Radio frequency engineering involves the design, production and maintenance of telecommunications equipment. These engineers work with broadcasting devices, cell phone schematics, wireless Internet networks and other systems to keep the lines of communication open. Many even draw upon their knowledge of radio frequency physics and electrical engineering to expand the reach of radio waves, making communication clearer than ever.
Most RF engineers are employed by telecommunications companies, the military, broadcast stations and research and development firms, and job duties vary by industry. RF engineers in research and development, for example, may use new technologies to improve existing radio frequency systems. Regardless of their field of employment, all RF engineers should be able to work on a team to brainstorm ideas. They should also be well versed in mathematical models, physic equations and practical applications.
RF Engineer Job Education Requirements
A bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or a related field is required to get started on the RF engineering career track. Those aiming for research jobs should have master's degrees in their field, if not PhDs. Recent graduates can expect to find entry-level job openings as junior engineers or technicians, since on-the-job learning is important in this industry. Related careers include product engineering, software development engineering and quality engineering.
RF Engineer Job Market
Electrical engineers are always in demand for their versatility in applying and developing new technologies. Because of this, employment for RF engineers is expected to grow 4 percent through 2022. This is slower than average for all occupations, but job openings are available for anyone willing to relocate to where the opportunities are.
RF Engineer Salary Information
RF engineers with bachelor's degrees earn an average of $65,000 a year. Pay increases with education level, so engineers with a master's can expect a starting salary of around $70,800; those with a PhD average $92,900 a year starting out.