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Working As A Radio Frequency Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $83,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Radio Frequency Engineer Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become A Radio Frequency Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Average Yearly Salary
$83,000
Show Salaries
$63,000
Min 10%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$110,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Cupertino, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.1 years
How much does a Radio Frequency Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Radio Frequency Engineer in the United States is $83,789 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $63,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $110,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Radio Frequency Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Analog/Rf Circuit Design Engineer, Principal/Manager/Rf Systems Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. Jul 15, 2016 $181,915 -
$245,500
RF Design and Performance Engineer Nextgen Global Resources LLC Jan 01, 2016 $180,000
RF Design and Performance Engineer Nextgen Global Resources LLC Jan 16, 2016 $180,000
Senior RF Engineer Nvidia Corporation Dec 18, 2015 $180,000 -
$185,000
RF Design and Performance Engineer Nextgen Global Resources May 18, 2016 $180,000
RF Design and Performance Engineer Nextgen Global Resources LLC Oct 19, 2015 $180,000
Senior Wireless/Rf Test Engineer Aruba Networks, Inc. May 11, 2015 $165,000
RF IC Design Engineer Apple Inc. Nov 30, 2015 $158,000 -
$178,000
SR. RF DAS Engineer Nextgen Global Resources LLC Aug 07, 2015 $156,000
RF Engineer III Kineticom, Inc. Jun 27, 2016 $156,000
RF Engineer III Kineticom, Inc. Jun 27, 2016 $156,000
Senior Ran/Rf Project Enginer Pi Works Us Inc. Apr 15, 2015 $155,000
RF Test Engineer Apple Inc. May 16, 2016 $153,587 -
$191,000
Engineer, Staff II-Rf/Wireless Broadcom Corporation Jun 04, 2015 $94,500
Engineer-Services RF Ericsson Inc. Oct 12, 2015 $94,449 -
$141,673
Engineer-Services RF Ericsson Inc. Sep 01, 2015 $94,449 -
$141,673
Engineer, RF Deployment T-Mobile USA, Inc. Sep 11, 2016 $94,395
Rf/Microwave System Engineer III Sprint Corporation Aug 02, 2016 $94,000
RF (Radio Frequency) Engineer III Sprint Corporation Apr 04, 2016 $94,000
Principal RF Engineer Amdocs Inc. Feb 08, 2016 $94,000
Senior Radio Frequency Performance Engineer Alcatel Lucent USA, Inc. Mar 19, 2015 $93,990 -
$131,250
RF Engineer Ericsson Inc. Aug 16, 2016 $79,875 -
$119,638
RF Engineer Amdocs, Inc. Apr 28, 2015 $79,850
RF Engineer Amdocs, Inc. Apr 30, 2015 $79,850
Senior RF Design Engineer M2 Global Technology, Ltd. Sep 30, 2015 $79,810
RF Engineer Amdocs, Inc. Feb 03, 2016 $79,810
RF Engineer Telecom Technology Services, Inc. Jun 20, 2016 $79,810
RF Engineer Amdocs, Inc. Feb 03, 2016 $79,810

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Top Skills for A Radio Frequency Engineer

  1. RF Engineer
  2. KPI
  3. Cell Sites
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Eliminated tedious manual development testing by RF engineers by implementing a high level of RF frequency and temperature compensation test automation.
  • Collaborate with LCC technical management team to deliver comprehensive technical and KPI presentation to Sprint regional directors.
  • Enhanced territory system metrics by adding cell sites, performed site modifications and executed parameter changes.
  • Performed measurements and determined filter specification necessary to meet A/C line noise specifications per MIL-STD-461F.
  • Provided ongoing evaluation and support for first generation CDMA/AMPS cellular handset and participated in design/development of next generation products.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Radio Frequency Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Virginia
  5. Alaska
  6. Maryland
  7. Alabama
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Idaho
  10. New Mexico
  • (387 jobs)
  • (2,134 jobs)
  • (402 jobs)
  • (834 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)
  • (471 jobs)
  • (140 jobs)
  • (151 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)

Radio Frequency Engineer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 10,072 Radio Frequency Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Radio Frequency Engineer Resume

View Resume Examples

Radio Frequency Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

83.2%

Female

10.0%

Unknown

6.8%
Ethnicity

White

44.6%

Asian

21.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Unknown

10.5%

Black or African American

9.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

28.4%

Carrier

14.6%

French

8.8%

Arabic

7.3%

Chinese

5.7%

Mandarin

3.8%

Japanese

3.8%

Hindi

3.4%

Italian

3.4%

Portuguese

3.4%

German

3.1%

Korean

2.7%

Cantonese

2.7%

Urdu

2.3%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Russian

1.5%

Polish

1.1%

Thai

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Serbian

0.8%
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Radio Frequency Engineer Education

Schools

University of Texas at Arlington

12.0%

University of Texas at Dallas

9.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

8.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

6.3%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.2%

Southern Methodist University

5.0%

University of California - San Diego

5.0%

Arizona State University

4.8%

More Tech Institute

4.6%

University of Bridgeport

4.4%

Pennsylvania State University

4.4%

University of South Florida

3.9%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.7%

Drexel University

3.7%

University of Southern California

3.5%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

3.1%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.1%

North Carolina State University

3.1%

San Jose State University

3.1%

University of California - Los Angeles

2.8%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

60.9%

Business

5.4%

Computer Networking

5.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.3%

Computer Science

3.4%

Engineering

3.1%

Computer Engineering

2.7%

Communication

2.2%

Management

1.5%

Information Technology

1.5%

Digital Media

1.5%

Project Management

1.2%

Mechanical Engineering

1.2%

Physics

1.2%

Computer Systems Security

0.9%

Finance

0.8%

Engineering And Industrial Management

0.8%

Computer Information Systems

0.8%

Systems Engineering

0.7%

Engineering Technology

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.1%

Masters

41.3%

Associate

5.7%

Doctorate

3.4%

Certificate

2.8%

Diploma

1.5%

High School Diploma

1.1%

License

0.1%
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Internship
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Updated May 18, 2020