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Engineering | Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer

Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

A Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer works with technology and electronic equipment that uses radio waves, from cell phones to radio stations. Designs, installs, and repairs systems and equipment that transmit radio signals. May specialize in design or maintenance; may focus on the design of transmission equipment, such as radio antennae, or manage larger systems such as networks of cell phone towers.

Job Outlook

There were 140 Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer job postings in North Carolina in the past year and 8496 in the United States.

In combination with other careers in the Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer industry, which includes the Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer career, the following graph shows the number of people employed for each year since 2015:

Salary

Many new Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer jobs have salaries estimated to be in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in job postings from the past year.

National

The average estimated salary in the United States for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $105,985.

State

The average estimated salary in North Carolina for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $96,596.

Percentiles represent the percentage that is lower than the value. For example, 25% of estimated salaries for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer postings in the United States in the past year were lower than $91,493.

Education and Experience

Posted Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer jobs typically require the following level of education. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

Education LevelPercentage
Associate's Degree2.74%
Bachelor's Degree70.32%
Master's Degree40.31%
Doctoral Degree17.36%
Other1.9%

Posted Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer jobs typically require the following number of years of experience. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Years of ExperiencePercentage
0 to 2 years13.73%
3 to 5 years41.34%
6 to 8 years16.25%
9+ years28.68%

Skills

Below are listings of the most common general and specialized skills Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer positions expect applicants to have as well as the most common skills that distinguish individuals from their peers. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is also listed.

Baseline Skills

A skill that is required across a broad range of occupations, including this one.

  • Communication (42.6%)
  • Troubleshooting (Problem Solving) (24.45%)
  • Management (19.66%)
  • Planning (17.3%)
  • Leadership (15.8%)
  • Mathematics (14.64%)
  • Problem Solving (14.14%)
  • Operations (13.51%)
  • Research (11.99%)
  • Presentations (11.06%)

Defining Skills

A core skill for this occupation, it occurs frequently in job postings.

  • Electrical Engineering (50.06%)
  • Microwaves (23.58%)
  • Radio Frequency (77.27%)
  • RF And Microwave Filter (14.45%)
  • Atoll (RF Planning Software) (8.28%)
  • Radio Frequency Engineering (22.71%)
  • Antenna (35.88%)
  • Link Budget (7.75%)
  • Python (Programming Language) (21.66%)
  • MATLAB (26.5%)

Necessary Skills

A skill that is requested frequently in this occupation but isn’t specific to it.

  • Radar (17.97%)
  • Advertisement (18.21%)
  • Network Performance Management (2.97%)
  • Automation (7.31%)
  • LabVIEW (5.01%)
  • Circuit Design (10.54%)
  • Project Management (9.96%)
  • Telecommunications (13.97%)
  • 5G Technology (12.52%)
  • Debugging (10.41%)
  • Sensors (6.09%)
  • Test Engineering (9.17%)
  • Printed Circuit Board (10.01%)
  • Systems Engineering (21.11%)
  • Schematic Capture (7.94%)
  • Simulations (24.72%)
  • Computer Engineering (10.64%)
  • Oscilloscope (11.56%)
  • Signal Generators (12.42%)
  • Test Planning (11.9%)
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) (6.22%)
  • Integrated Circuit Design (2.04%)
  • Communications Systems (8.57%)
  • C++ (Programming Language) (11.68%)
  • Electronics (12.57%)
  • C (Programming Language) (7.96%)
  • Computer Science (13.73%)
  • Analog Electronics (3.92%)
  • Data Processing (3.63%)
  • Agile Methodology (3.75%)
  • Electronic Circuits (6%)
  • Algorithms (9%)
  • Systems Integration (7.29%)
  • Test Equipment (21.15%)
  • New Product Development (11.24%)
  • Systems Design (13.16%)
  • Scripting (8.49%)
  • Signal Processing (9.8%)
  • Data Analysis (7.44%)
  • Digital Signal Processing (8.53%)
  • Network Planning And Design (4.24%)
  • LTE (Telecommunication) (11.73%)
  • Physics (15.5%)

Distinguishing Skills

A skill that may distinguish a subset of the occupation.

  • Radio Frequency Optimization (1.11%)
  • MapInfo Professional (3.82%)
  • Noise Figure (5.32%)
  • Electromagnetism (5.66%)
  • DVB - Digital Video Broadcasting (1%)
  • Spectrum Analyzer (7.18%)
  • Electromagnetic Waveguides (2.52%)
  • 3GPP (Telecommunication) (4.57%)
  • Modulation (5.62%)
  • FEKO (3.29%)
  • Filter Design (3.05%)
  • Phase Noise (4.82%)
  • Millimeter Waves (3.51%)
  • Low-Noise Amplifier (3.92%)
  • Scattering Parameters (4.17%)
  • Global System For Mobile Communications (1.72%)

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is listed.

  • 3GPP (Telecommunication) (5.4%)
  • Antenna (42.39%)
  • Electrical Engineering (59.14%)
  • DVB - Digital Video Broadcasting (1.18%)
  • Global System For Mobile Communications (2.03%)
  • Python (Programming Language) (25.58%)
  • Link Budget (9.16%)
  • Microwaves (27.86%)
  • Noise Figure (6.28%)
  • Phase Noise (5.7%)
  • Radio Frequency Engineering (26.83%)
  • Scattering Parameters (4.92%)
  • Spectrum Analyzer (8.48%)
  • Atoll (RF Planning Software) (9.78%)

Alternative Job Titles

Sometimes employers post jobs with Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer skills but a different job title. Some common alternative job titles include:

  • Radio Frequency Engineer
  • Radio Frequency Engineering Manager
  • Radio Frequency Design Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Radio Frequency/Microwave Engineer
  • Test Engineer
  • Principal Engineer
  • Microwave Engineer
  • Principal Electrical Engineer
  • Principal Systems Engineer

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring occupations with similar skills, you may want to research the following job titles. Note that we only list occupations that have at least one corresponding NC State Online and Distance Education program.

Common Employers

Here are the employers that have posted the most Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer jobs in the past year along with how many they have posted.

United States

  • Raytheon Technologies (612)
  • Lockheed Martin (519)
  • Northrop Grumman (454)
  • Dish (225)
  • Actalent (186)
  • Apple (162)
  • The Judge Group (152)
  • L3Harris Technologies (140)
  • Randstad (128)
  • Boeing (122)

North Carolina

  • Randstad (19)
  • Verizon Communications (10)
  • Indotronix International Corporation (10)
  • Qorvo (10)
  • Skyworks (6)
  • The Judge Group (5)
  • TE Connectivity (4)
  • General Dynamics (4)
  • Insight Global (4)
  • Skyworks Solutions (4)

NC State Programs Relevant to this Career

If you are interested in preparing for a career in this field, the following NC State Online and Distance Education programs offer a great place to start!