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Radio Frequency Engineers

The Job

Radio frequency engineers strategize the design and construction of wireless telecommunications devices and systems. They may create wireless networks and systems for broadcasting devices and cell phones. They also develop schematics for maintaining existing telecommunications systems. They apply their knowledge of electronics and electrical engineering as well as radio frequency physics in increasing the geographical distance that radio waves can reach. Radio frequency engineers work for telecommunications companies, broadcast stations, as well as in research and development, and for government and military organizations.

Research and development organizations hire radio frequency engineers to help them create new technologies and products and also to identify problems with existing systems and find ways to improve them. Radio frequency engineers work closely with other engineers in teams, using physics and math equations to come up with practical applications for technologies such as cell phones, radio antenna systems, satellite dishes, to name just a few. Radio frequency engineering teams will also assess the effectiveness of the new systems and products they develop.

As described in a wiseGEEK article, radio frequency engineers who work for telecommunications companies and broadcast stations are responsible for network installation and maintenance. They oversee the operations of large servers and transmitters, ensuring they are functioning properly. They also determine the best ways to send television and radio signals that are clearer and have broader geographic reach. Radio frequency engineers use cable boxes, antennas, and wireless routers to ensure signals are picked up effectively. In large companies, radio frequency engineers may work as systems analysts, with tasks related to preventive maintenance and repairs on local area networks.

Radio frequency engineers who work for government and military organizations are focused on creating new technology for communications systems and devices. They design secure cell phones and two-way radios that have high protection against interception. Radio frequency engineers also enhance the broadcasting capacities of transmitters by applying radio frequency theory to scramble signals. Those who work for the military may also be tasked with performing communications systems and devices repairs and maintenance work on the spot during military operations.

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