If you want to get your hand on the powerful Ham radio, you’ve got to get a license. Unlike your walkie-talkie or the CB radio, the radio gives you the power to cover long distances. And to get that kind of service and make proper use of it, you’ve got to get FCC approval.
So, how to get a Ham radio license from FCC?
If you go on the internet, there will be so many content about getting the license, it will confuse you. Let’s not get into that, and just focus on what you need to do.
3-Steps To Get Ham Radio License
Before moving ahead, first, you’ve got to make sure of two things. It is the basic criteria that you’ve got to fulfill before getting ready for the license part.
And the things that you need to have is a valid US mailing address. If you’ve got one, great. Then all you require is to have a Taxpayer identification number like the SSN or FCC registration number.
Got those sorted, then move forward.
Pick The License Level
When you’re trying to get a license, you have to choose the level of license you’re looking to get for the Ham radio. The device is quite a technical one compared to the CB or walkie-talkie; therefore, depending on the user level, FCC provides 3-types of license. And obviously, with each level, you’ve got certain privileges.
For starters, if you get the Level 1 license, which is the technical one, then you will be able to use the VHF/UHF for your handheld Ham. For any newbie, this is the license you’ve got to get first.
The next is the General license, which is level 2. With it, you get access to the HF bands. If you want to extend your communication range nationwide or worldwide, this is what you need. FCC, let’s take the level 2 license test on the same day as the Technician one. You’ve got to pay no extra fees for it. So, if you think you’re ready, you can go for it.
Then comes the last level, that is the Amateur extra. If you can crack it, you will get more HF privileges like all the frequencies. And that is quite helpful as things can get crowded in level 2 when it comes to the HF bands that are up for their use.
Study for the Exam
As there are 3-different licenses, obviously, there are 3-different exams for it. Depending on one which one you’re trying to get, you’ve got to prepare for it. You can get some study tips for ham license exam.
If you’re eyeing the entry-level 1 exam, then you’ve got to do at least 10 hours of study overall to get ready for the 35 questions for the test.
Similarly, the general level also consists of 35 questions. SO, if you’re trying to crack both, there are 70 questions for you to answer.
However, when you move up to the ladder and try to reach the top with level 3, you’ve got to prepare for another 50 questions. And in all those exams, you’ve got to get at least a 74% mark to pass.
Now, obviously, to prep for such an exam, you’ve got to study. And for that, you will find quite some material over the internet that is free. You can go through them and learn about them if you’re trying to get ready for the technician level exam.
However, some of the things aren’t enough to clear the doubts, And there aren’t materials that might help you get through the upper level. You’re genuinely passionate about clearing those levels, then invest in a premium course of some sort.
At online, you will find materials in different forms. Some learn better visually, while there is no better way to consume information than reading for others. Whichever you prefer, go for that.
If you look through Amazon, you will get your hand on books to provide the information you need. ARRL is one such as they got pages of manuals out there for you with a lot of knowledge. It might be hard for some to go through such dense materials. They will preferably opt for a video lesson instead.
But many will benefit from the thorough stuff that the book got.
Taking The Exam
You’ve picked the license type you want to get and also prepared for it. Then what? Yes, now it is time to take the test. Now, about the test, you have to take it by an FCC accredited coordinator called VEC.
You should know that only VECs are allowed to take the exam and no one else in the USA. Don’t fall for any scam telling you that you can take the exams for less money.
Coming to the test. You can take it two ways. You can get there and take it in person. Or they got the option of taking it remotely too. In this current time, having that option is quite good.
Let’s say if you’ve chosen to take the first one. Where will you go for that? It won’t be that hard. Just go on the internet and find a local ham radio club. Most clubs are ARRL affiliated, so they can take the exams.
You can go to the ARRL search page and enter your zip code to find out where you need to take the exams.
If you’re not interested in going out to sit for the exam. You can do that from the comfort of your home; FCC allows it too. Many VECs are taking exams online. Just go on the internet and find one where you can register to get your license for the Ham radio
Also read: How To Make Your First Call On Ham Radio
How to get a ham radio license?
I hope you’ve got your answer. Just follow the steps above, and you’ll get the license you’re looking to get on the spot after taking the exam.
Don’t forget to share that when you do. Hoping to get this Ham community bigger with a new member like you.