A Radio Frequency Engineer, also known as an RF Engineer, is an electrical engineer who specializes in devices that receive or transmit radio waves. All of our wireless and mobile devices operate on radio waves, so our tech-centered society would not be possible without the work of RF Engineers. These Engineers often work in a collaborative environment both with other RF Engineers and stakeholders in other disciplines.
An RF Engineer is a skilled position that requires both a Bachelor’s degree and completion of a state licensure exam. State Licensure is required for an aspiring RF Engineer because so many positions are with public telecommunications companies. Other possible employers include the military or a radio broadcast stations. There also are a limited number of research positions available in academia.
RF Engineer Duties and Responsibilities
RF Engineers specialize in designing, implementing and maintaining wireless communication systems. The following duties and responsibilities illustrate what that looks like broken down into tangible tasks
Optimize the Performance of Existing Wireless Networks
Think of how the wireless Internet on our smartphones has gone from 1G to 4G LTE. That progress is the result of RF Engineers running constant evaluations on network KPIs, as well as performing regular maintenance on existing equipment.
Design RF Schematics for New Wireless Networks
Another core duty of the RF Engineer is to design RF schematics for constructing new wireless networks. For those who work in the telecommunications industry, this can involve surveying acquired land for optimal positioning of communication towers. This data is then analyzed and used to create a custom plan for bringing the team’s vision to reality.
Ensure Regulatory Standards are Met
Anyone who works in a regulated industry, such as telecommunications, is required by the FCC to pass a series of State Licensure Exams. RF Engineers use the information learned during this licensure process to ensure complete compliance with FCC regulations.