Getting your Amateur Radio or Ham license can be a lot of fun and very rewarding.
The requirements for getting a U.S. Ham license are very straight forward:
- Take a 35 question exam, and get at least 26 correct
- Have a valid US mailing address, and
- Not be a representative of a foreign government
Yup, those are the only requirements for a U.S. Amateur Radio License. There is no age requirement. There is no citizenship requirement.
The 35 questions are selected from a pool of 400-600, but they are divided among 10 knowledge areas and sub-divided into 35 subsections, each covering a specific knowledge area. So you will only be asked one of the 4-10 questions from each of the sub-sections.
It may sound like a huge list of high-tech stuff which can be daunting, and it can be challenging if you have never heard of any of this stuff before, but it is most definitely not an insurmountable challenge. The truth is, that many of the questions are not technical. With a little effort, you can do this!
When I teach Technician radio classes sometimes students are skeptical about their abilities. All I ask is that you try. Most students DO pass, and they surprise themselves at how much they learned to get their license. You don’t need to be an expert in physics or electromagnetic field analysis to pass the exam. You just have to want to get that license and put in some study time.
How much time will it take? That’s really up to you. Everyone learns a little differently and at a different pace. We all have had different experiences in life. Most people usually take between two and five weeks of study before they are ready to pass the exam depending on how much time they put into studying.
If you are here and reading this, you have an interest in Amateur Radio. You may not even know exactly what that interest is, but that’s all you need to take that next step and study by yourself or take a class. You can find classes listed on the ARRL website.
If you have questions about Amateur Radio and getting started please email me and I will be happy to do what I can to get you started on your ham journey.
Page Updated 28 December 2023