Men make up the majority of Radio Frequency Engineers in the United States, and the nationwide average salary in this area lies in the neighborhood of $81K annually. Total cash compensation for Radio Frequency Engineers runs from $53K to $121K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $11K and profit sharing that can reach almost $10K. The company is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and experience level are driving factors as well. Job satisfaction for Radio Frequency Engineers is high. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$54,979 - $118,642
(Median)
$55K
$81K
$120K
MEDIAN: $80,544
10%
50%
90%

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$15.53 - $56.69
(Median)
$16
$30
$57
MEDIAN: $29.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$54,979 - $118,642  
   
Bonus
$509 - $11,156  
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $9,916  
Commission
$6,741  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$52,721 - $121,408  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 887
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$15.53 - $56.69  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.61  
Overtime
$15.40 - $60.62  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$509 - $11,156  
   
Commission
$6,741  
Profit Sharing
$-0.49 - $9,916  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$52,721 - $121,408  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 85
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Job Description for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer

Radio frequency (RF) engineers are responsible for performing research that furthers the success of intelligence sensors and surveillance radars, including research in the fields of bistatic, passive and active multiple inputs, multiple outputs, monostatic, and over-the-horizon radar.

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Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Tasks

  • Conducts research that tests and analyzes design, operation, and performance of components and systems.
  • Designs, develops, and maintains radio frequency systems.
  • Gathers information to prepare and present reports on project topics.
  • Performs bench tests and evaluates radio frequency systems.

Common Career Paths for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer


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Radio Frequency Engineers who go on to become Design Engineering Managers may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Design Engineering Managers is $102K annually. With an annual salary of $96K, Senior Electrical Engineer is the most common role for Radio Frequency Engineers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Wireless RF Network Engineer role — which usually pays $67K — is also typical for Radio Frequency Engineers, though less common by comparison.

Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer


Ericsson Inc., AT&T Mobility LLC, First RF Corporation, Verizon Wireless, and Northrop Grumman Corporation are all popular places to work. Nokia, Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $102K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include T-Mobile, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp, and Verizon Wireless, where Radio Frequency Engineers typically earn around $95K, $92K, or $88K, respectively.

Employees at C Squared Systems, First RF Corporation, and U.S. Cellular Corporation can also expect below-average earnings of $63K, $69K, and $73K.

Popular Skills for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer


Radio Frequency Engineers seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Engineering Design, Semiconductor, Project Management, Engineering Design, and Satellite, Microwave Technology are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 14 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Windows Operating System General Use, C, and Microsoft Word. Most people familiar with Engineering Design also know Satellite, Microwave Technology, Test Engineering, and Microsoft Excel. Those familiar with Wireless tend to be well versed in Microsoft Excel.

Pay by Experience Level for Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries for inexperienced workers average out to $85K, and those with five to 10 years' experience earn a higher median of $72K. After one to two decades on the job, professionals can reap plentiful salaries that average out to the six-figure sum of $101K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $105K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $81,628

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For those looking to make money, Radio Frequency Engineers in San Jose enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 38 percent above the national average. Radio Frequency Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Plano (+10 percent), Los Angeles (+7 percent), Boulder (+6 percent), and Baltimore (+6 percent). Boston ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 14 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Phoenix (11 percent less) and Atlanta (9 percent less).

Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Reviews

What is it like working as a Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer?

Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer in Culver City:
Pros: -Variety of radio frequency system to learn. -Able to use different test equipment. -Interact with different electronic devices.
Cons: -Patience. -A lot of traveling.

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Experience Affects Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Salaries




National Average
$82,000


Skills That Affect Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer Salaries



Engineering Design
up arrow 3%

Satellite, Microwave Technology
up arrow 2%

Simulation
up arrow 2%

National Average
$82,000

Wireless
up arrow 2%

Matlab
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 4%




C++
up arrow 6%



C
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 99 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 78%
medical benefits
Vision: 64%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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