The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a US government run agency that regulates the requirements for all Radio Emissions within the United States. Amongst its many sub-functions is the setting of Competency Standards for a plethora of different Operator Licenses that are legally required for Radio communications. One of the highest level Commercial licenses being the General Radiotelephone Operator License, or simply: GROL.
The GROL is required to adjust, maintain, or internally repair FCC licensed radiotelephone transmitters in the Aviation, Maritime or International fixed public radio services.
This license must be held by operators of certain maritime and aviation based land radio stations, compulsory equipped ship radiotelephone stations operating with more than 1500 Watts of Peak Envelope Power (PEP), and voluntarily equipped ship stations with more than 1000 Watts of PEP.
The GROL also functions as a baseline for further License endorsements. For example, the Radar endorsement is required to legally install, maintain and service ship Radar equipment. Without attainment of this qualification, a career installing, Servicing or even designing Radar equipment (within the Military, Maritime or Aviation Industries) would be extremely difficult to achieve.
The GROL also functions as an Electronic and Radio competency for many skilled professionals, as it is issued by the US government. Thus, attainment of this qualification provides further validation of skills and knowledge that are achieved within these professions. To further illustrate this point, the domestic Broadcast Industry (Radio and television) is not legally bound to require Technicians and Engineers to hold a GROL. However, in a lot of instances these organizations recommend that this License be achieved to substantiate a high level of Electronic and Radio Communications knowledge.
In order to be eligible for the License to be issued, you must satisfy three basic requirements. They are:
1. Be a legal resident of the United States who is eligible for employment.
2. Be able to receive and transmit spoken messages in the English language.
3. Pass a multiple choice examination covering basic Electronic theory, Radio law, and Operating Procedures. These are covered in the FCC Element 1, and Element 3 Examinations.
Most FCC Licenses are achieved through various forms of Home Study tuition. This can be provided through an assortment of different types of Training material such as Tapes, CD’s, Books and Software packages. Unfortunately, without an Electronics background, and a dedicated study raceme attaining a GROL can be an almost impossible task. Also on top of this, some students find it difficult to achieve their goals when left to their own demise. Most Home Study courses leave the student without the ability to get any type of question answered as part of the presented Training Material, and there is often no reference to the basic principles that lie beneath the presented answers. In these cases, personal tuition is another option that should be sort.
On average, a dedicated student can consider sitting for the FCC examinations within a three month time period. For employment purposes, this qualification is well worth achieving!
-By: David Willcocks
David Willcocks is an Electronics professional, Trainer, and Technical writer. For more information on FCC Training please visit http://www.outbackelectronics.com