RF Engineer: How it Works, Skills Required, Job Description, and Salary
Radiofrequency (RF) technology is not the type of career that has a high wear rate. But if the job is as good as it sounds, why is it so difficult for companies to find RF engineers to fill their vacancies?
There are two main reasons. The first is due to the basic rule of supply and demand. The field of wireless communication has grown steadily in recent years, as have the areas of software and computer technology.
Because the demand for software developers has been so high, and the profession has a reputation for paying extremely high salaries, many engineering students have focused on this field.
How RF Works?
Radiofrequency (RF) is generated when an alternating current flows through a conductive substantial. Their frequency and length consider waves. The frequency is measured in Hertz(Hz) (or cycles per second) and the wavelength in meters (or centimeters).
Radio waves are electromagnetic waves and move at the speed of light in free space.
The equation that connects frequency and length is as follows: Speed of light (c) = frequency x wavelength.
In the equation, you can see that the wavelength decreases as the RF frequency increases; this is how RF works.
Become a Radio Frequency Engineer
Radiofrequency engineers are specialists in the field of electrical engineering. They work with devices that send or receive radio waves, including wireless devices, radios, and cell phones. Training in general electronics, physics, and mathematics is required to design and improve wireless networks. Engineers must also have excellent communication skills, as they can expect to work as a team or with others outside their area of expertise. These employees generally work in an office environment for a typical full-time week.
Although the role of the RF engineer is highly technical, general skills such as active listening and listening are critical to success in this area. RF engineers must also have the perfect mix of independent work and collaboration with others. Based on our analysis of vacancies for RF engineers, here are some general and advanced skills that employers expect from RF engineering candidates.
Job Description for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer
RF engineers are in charge of conducting research that helps the success of communication sensors and surveillance radars, including research in the areas of bistatic, passive, and active multiple inputs, multiple outputs, monostatic detectors, and speed cameras above the horizon.
RF engineers need to broaden their current knowledge of radio frequency sensor components, data acquisition, and analysis to improve the design, testing, and evaluation of radars. Their job is to take measurements to measure performance, efficiency, and relevance in the laboratory and to create systems that other engineers can use to test these areas in the laboratory. Executive engineers can directly supervise some of their work. Experienced engineers generally assist RF engineers in all aspects of data campaigns and acquisitions. Cleaning and office work may also require for each shift.
This situation generally requires at least five years of experience in the radiofrequency field. Some institutions require at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, others a master’s degree. Some employers also need to know about analysis software such as Matlab, C, or VHDL.
RF Engineer Duties and Responsibilities
RF engineers specialize in the development, implementation, and maintenance of wireless communication systems. The following tasks and responsibilities illustrate what specific tasks look like
Optimize the performance of existing wireless networks
Think about how the wireless internet on our smartphones has changed from 1G to 4G LTE. These advances are the result of RF engineers who continually review the network’s KPIs and regularly maintain existing equipment.
Design RF patterns for new wireless networks
Another critical task for the RF engineer is to design RF diagrams for the construction of new wireless networks. For those working in telecommunications engineering, this can include surveying the land acquired to position communication towers optimally. This data then examined, and it used to create a personalized plan that makes the team’s vision a reality.
Make sure that the legal standards observed
Anyone operating in a regulated industry such as telecommunications must pass several government license tests. RF engineers use the information they received during this licensing process to ensure full compliance with FCC regulations.
Analyze the equipment and identify areas for improvement
Much of an RF engineer’s time is spent in the field, either installing new radios or maintaining existing equipment. It includes analyzing the functionality of the devices and recommending upgrades for decision-makers if necessary.
Communicate data with digital software
Understanding the KPIs of wireless networks in a way that decision-makers understand is an essential part of an RF engineer’s job. According to our research on job descriptions for HF engineers, this usually done using Excel worksheets.
The average salary for electronics engineers, which includes RF engineers, is $ 90,300. Agreeing to the BLS, those in the 90th percentile earn more than $ 152,000, while those in the 10th percentile make $ 63,400. The three states with the highest average wages for RF engineers are California at $ 111,500, Maryland, at $ 117,000, and Rhode Island at $ 118,600.