Ham Radio Licensing

How D:

This page offers information on Ham Radio Licensing.  Study materials, websites and testing links.  It really isn’t that hard to get your license and there are lots of resources out there to help you, both free and paid.  Once you do get your license, please drop me an email and let me know. I am always happy to hear about new licensed amateurs.

In order to operate a Ham Radio, you need to get a License and Call Sign through the FCC, here in the United States.   There are many resources out there to help you study and get your license.  I will list some of them below, grouped by Books, Videos, Websites and Apps.  A combination of resources from all of these groups tends to be the best way to learn and get licensed.

In the US, we have three license levels:  Technician, General and Amateur Extra.  You have to pass the prior test(s) to take the next one.  The Technician’s License gives you privileges on VHF and UHF bands as well as some limited HF bands.  This gives you a good start in the hobby and gets you on the radio using HTs.  Handheld Transceivers or Handy Talkies.  Once you have the Technicians license you can go on for your General License and then Amateur Extra.  In the long run, I recommend that you at least get your General License.  The Tech License only opens up half the world of Amateur Radio.  When you get your General License, a whole new section of the hobby opens up to you.  This is a hobby of endless opportunities.

Lets get started.  A life long journey of new interests and friends starts here.

If your like me, I am not much of a book learner.  While I do read books to help me learn, I learn and retain much more information via video and audio then reading.  I recommend that you look through the resources below and pick that combination of items that helps you learn the best.



There are a number of great books out there to learn what you need to get licensed.  I will list a few of my favorites here.  Books for all levels of licensing are available from these Authors.  You need to start with your Technicians Class.  I will list links to the Technician’s study materials individually.  Note that some of these books are also available in audio format from Audible and in Kindle format.

Video Series


  • Practice Exams – Taking practice tests is essential to see how well you know the information.  The two sites below allow you to take practice tests with the actual test questions.  Use these resources and take lots of practice tests.  When you start passing every time, you know you are ready.
    • ARRL Practice Exam Site – http://www.arrl.org/exam-practice
      • The ARRL provides a website where you can take practice tests that include the actual questions from the test.
    • Ham Study – https://hamstudy.org/
      • On-line site to prepare for your next exam.  Includes practice tests with the actual questions and other study resources.
    • ARRL Getting Licensed Site – http://www.arrl.org/getting-licensed
      • Links to study materials, practice tests and other licensing references.
  • General Reference – These sites contain additional information about Ham Radio and all that it covers.  A good place to go to learn about all the different things you can do in the hobby.

IOS and Android Apps

  • There are quite a few apps out there to help you with getting your license.  They offer practice tests and other learning tools.  I have only used IOS apps on Apple products but I know many of the same apps are available for Android.  Do a search on your device’s app store for “Ham Radio” and you should find a whole list of them.
    • For my studying I used a series of apps by James Thomas called Ham Tech, Ham General and Ham Extra.  The icon for his series looks like this.


I hope this helps you get started in Ham Radio.  Don’t let the depth of information on this site or on the Internet stop you from moving forward.  If someone asked me, “What is the minimum I need to get started?”  I would say to buy Gordon West’s 2018-2022 Technicians Class book and then go over to HamStudy.org and use their site for practice tests and flash cards.  A few weeks of reading and taking practice tests and you can be ready to get your license.

Lots of information but what do I do when I am actually ready to test?

Once you have your license, please stop back here and download a copy of the New Ham Packet that I created.  It includes a wide variety of information to help you explore your new hobby.

Good luck and I hope to hear you on the air soon!

Bio – My name is John Fuller, WJ0NF.  I live in Gateway Colorado with an unofficial population of 26 people.  4 of which I have helped get licensed.  I was licensed in September of 2016.  After 2 1/2 weeks of extreme studying, I showed up at the test session with no sleep, an upset stomach and the cold sweats.  That’s what happens when you put too much pressure on yourself.  However, I did pass all three tests in one sitting.  I have my Amateur Extra license, my VE (Volunteer Examiners) certification from the ARRL and I am an ARRL registered License Instructor.  I love and explore this hobby with a passion and hope to share it with anyone interested.  73


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