Become a Ham

Before you can get on the air, you need to be licensed and know the rules to operate legally. In the U.S. there are three license classes—Technician, General and Extra.

  • The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on common-sense FCC rules and operating procedures, and only a very basic understanding of radio and electronics.. The license gives access to all Amateur Radio frequencies above 30 megahertz, allowing a Technician the ability to communicate locally and most often within North America. It also allows for some limited privileges on the HF bands used for international communications.
  • The General class license grants some operating privileges on all Amateur Radio bands and all operating modes. This license opens the door to world-wide communications. Earning the General class license requires passing a 35 question examination. General class licensees must also have passed the Technician written examination.
  • The Amateur Extra class license conveys all available U.S. Amateur Radio operating privileges on all bands and all modes. Earning the license is more difficult; it requires passing a thorough 50 question examination. Extra class licensees must also have passed all previous license class written examinations.

All of the questions and answers on the FCC license exams are readily available for you to study. You can even take practice exams online or download them to your personal computer or smart phone. In addition, there are several study guides that can be purchased to help prepare you for each of the exams.

For more information about getting started in Amateur Radio, we invite you to attend any of our Club meetings or Club Eat and Greets. We will be more than happy to assist you in getting started.

License Exams

License exams are administered by a team of at least three Volunteer Examiners (VEs) who are certified by one of the Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) authorized by the FCC. The VEC offices interface directly with the FCC and provide oversight and support services to the VEs.

The Wiregrass ARRL VE team gives exams for all classes of amateur radio licenses several times a year. For more information about specific dates and locations, please visit the Wiregrass VE Team’s website