FCC Licensing


The FCC regulates Amateur Bands by requiring individuals to have licenses before transmitting. There are various licensing levels, each with its own level of privileges. The higher your license, the more frequencies you are allowed to transmit on. The first license level is Technician, followed by General, and then Extra.

Getting Licensed

In order to receive a license, you must first pass a short multiple-choice test of approximately 35 questions for Technician and General licenses, and 50 questions for Extra licenses. The Technician exam tests your knowledge of basic electronics, FCC regulations, and behavioral guidelines for transmitting on amateur radio bands. Exams are given periodically in multiple locations.

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) publishes instructional books and sample questions to help prepare you for your exam. For more information, please visit the ARRL Question Pools. There are numerous other online resources for enthusiasts wishing to enter the exciting world of Amateur Radio. Please explore the links below for more information.

Exam at the University of Pittsburgh

PARC often administers examinations on the University of Pittsburgh campus for both students and non-students. If you are interested in obtaining your first Amateur Radio license or would like to upgrade your existing license, please contact Joseph.

Study Session at the University of Pittsburgh

During the Fall 2008 semester, the University of Pittsburgh will be holding a series of study sessions for new members interested in obtaining licenses. For more information on times and locations for these study sessions, please join the PARC mailing list.

The study sessions will be using the following online tools:

  • Study Session Presentations: Tera VE Study Guides (WARNING: links to old FCC question pools)
  • Sample Licensing Exams: QRZ.com 

Useful Links

Here are some links to websites that have official FCC question pools for each level of amateur radio license. These questions are very helpful in giving you a feel for the various sets of topics which appear on the license examinations.