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Summary Report for:
49-2021.01 - Radio Mechanics

Test or repair mobile or stationary radio transmitting and receiving equipment and two-way radio communications systems used in ship-to-shore communications and found in service and emergency vehicles.

Sample of reported job titles: Communications Systems Technician, Field Service Technician, Field Technician, Radio Frequency Technician (RF Technician), Radio Repairman, Radio Service Programmer, Radio Service Technician (Radio Service Tech), Radio Technician (Radio Tech), Subscriber Technician, Two-Way Radio Technician (Two-Way Radio Tech)

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Examine malfunctioning radio equipment to locate defects such as loose connections, broken wires, or burned-out components, using schematic diagrams and test equipment.
  • Repair circuits, wiring, and soldering, using soldering irons and hand tools to install parts and adjust connections.
  • Install, adjust, and repair stationary and mobile radio transmitting and receiving equipment and two-way radio communication systems.
  • Test equipment functions such as signal strength and quality, transmission capacity, interference, and signal delay, using equipment such as oscilloscopes, circuit analyzers, frequency meters, and wattmeters.
  • Calibrate and align components, using scales, gauges, and other measuring instruments.
  • Mount equipment on transmission towers and in vehicles such as ships or ambulances.
  • Turn setscrews to adjust receivers for maximum sensitivity and transmitters for maximum output.
  • Test emergency transmitters to ensure their readiness for immediate use.
  • Remove and replace defective components and parts such as conductors, resistors, semiconductors, and integrated circuits, using soldering irons, wire cutters, and hand tools.
  • Insert plugs into receptacles and bolt or screw leads to terminals to connect equipment to power sources, using hand tools.
  • Monitor radio range stations to detect transmission flaws and adjust controls to eliminate flaws.
  • Test batteries, using hydrometers and ammeters, and charge batteries as necessary.

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Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Facilities management software — Computerized maintenance management system CMMS
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Adjustable widemouth pliers — Pump pliers
  • Adjustable wrenches — Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Ammeters — Bench ammeters; Clamp ammeters; Volt-ammeters
  • Bench scales
  • Diagonal cut pliers — Diagonal-cutting pliers
  • End cut pliers — Side cutting pliers
  • Hydraulic hand crimp tool — Hydraulic wire crimpers
  • Insulation resistance meters — Insulation resistance testers
  • Levels — Torpedo levels
  • Longnose pliers — Longnosed pliers
  • Multimeters — Digital multimeters
  • Nut drivers — Nut wrenches
  • Ohmmeters — Analog ohmmeters; Digital ohmmeters
  • Oscilloscopes — Digital oscilloscopes
  • Personal computers
  • Radio equipment tester — Radio signal testers
  • Screwdrivers — Cabinet-tip screwdrivers; Conduit-fitting and reaming screwdrivers; Keystone-tip screwdrivers; Square-recess tip screwdrivers
  • Soldering iron — Cordless soldering irons
  • Tablet computers
  • Tape measures — Measuring tapes
  • Utility knives
  • Voltage or current meters — Bench voltmeters; Clamp voltmeters; LED voltage testers; Neon voltage testers (see all 5 examples)
  • Wattmeters — Watt meters
  • Wire-stripping pliers — Wire strippers

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Knowledge

  • Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Skills

  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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Work Activities

  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Inspect telecommunications equipment to identify problems.
  • Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
  • Connect electrical components or equipment.
  • Install audio or communications equipment.
  • Repair electrical circuits or wiring.
  • Solder parts or connections between parts.
  • Test communications equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Calibrate equipment to specifications.
  • Position equipment using hand tools, power tools, or heavy equipment.
  • Adjust the tension of nuts or bolts.
  • Inspect safety equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Repair electrical components.
  • Control power supply connections.
  • Repair electronic equipment.
  • Test electrical circuits or components for proper functioning.
  • Clean equipment, parts, or tools to repair or maintain them in good working order.
  • Lubricate equipment to allow proper functioning.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 59% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 66% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 45% responded “Very important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 63% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 58% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 56% responded “Extremely important.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 38% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 70% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 77% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 67% responded “Important results.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 44% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 46% responded “Important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 54% responded “Important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 88% responded “40 hours.”
  • Consequence of Error — 39% responded “Serious.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 36% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 26% responded “Moderate responsibility.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
34   High school diploma or equivalent Help
30   Post-secondary certificate Help
20   Associate's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RIC   Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers.
Employment data collected from Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers.
Industry data collected from Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers.

Median wages (2017) $26.92 hourly, $56,000 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2016) 15,000 employees
Projected growth (2016-2026) Average (5% to 9%) Average (5% to 9%)
Projected job openings (2016-2026) 1,600
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2016)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017 wage data external site and 2016-2026 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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