The General Radio Operator License – Why Every A&P Mechanic (Especially Avionic Technicians) Should Get Their FCC GROL


Aircraft are becoming extremely technologically advanced with electronic integrated mechanical components. Airframe and Powerplant, or A&P  mechanics, can not afford to limit themselves by strictly working within the simple A&P scope of jobs. There is great value in getting additional certifications in order to have an increased amount of job options. Avionics technicians should also learn the A&P mechanical components, so they are able to be multifaceted team members in any aviation company. The small to middle-sized aviation businesses cannot afford to pay two different types of technicians. These companies are looking to cut costs and be more efficient by hiring employees who have multiple certifications or licenses. An aircraft technician who obtains the A&P along with the FCC General Radio Operator License will become a valuable team member who is highly sought after, not to mention they will improve their career opportunities.

An A&P mechanic that also holds an FCC GROL will demonstrate a willingness to work hard. This work ethic should also get your resume moved to the top, filtering out competition that does not have both credentials. Obtaining both licenses can also show the employer that you are dedicated to gain better knowledge about the industry and that you are committed to your work. Drive, dedication and commitment are exactly the type of personality traits employers seek when looking to build a solid team.

Avionics technicians are some of the highest paid maintainers in the aviation industry when they hold both an FCC GROL and an A&P. Sure, you can still get a great job as a civilian military contractor without either license, but why take the chance of being passed up by someone that took the time to get them? In stark contrast to military contracts, many civilian companies require that a candidate obtain both licenses before being able to apply for any job posting.


If you are currently serving in the Armed Forces, it is a wise decision to obtain these licenses with tuition assistance. AFCOOL, NAVYCOOL or ARMYCOOL benefits will cover your costs (some in full, some in part). The military offers many opportunities to get training, testing and certifications that directly translate to the civilian sector. 

The longer the government keeps aging aircraft around, they will continue to upgrade avionics and mechanical components through modifications and upgrade packages. Everything you learn in maintaining existing military aircraft prepares you to take a quick refresher course and easily pass licensing exams.
An aircraft mechanic just needs some basic knowledge of electronics and radar to obtain the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) General Radio Operator License. All the training was provided at tech school and simply needs a little dredging to resurface to the top of memory.

Maintenance supervisors should encourage their troops to pursue certifications while the education benefits still exist. Any service member will tell you education benefits change as often as the uniforms do; don’t let great benefits you deserve go unused. Even if you feel these licenses aren’t for you, please help your fellow service members and allow them to take or pass on the opportunity.
Already have your FCC GROL? Why not shoot for your Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) Cert next!

Like this blog? Read our latest and greatest HERE