Ham Radio Licensing Classes

Classes Offered:

These are in-depth classes intended to help you not only pass the test, but to have some knowledge of ham radio including how to set up and operate an amateur radio station. The Technician class is an 18 hour class, and the General class is 21 hours.

Technician Class

The Technician Class license is the starting point, the first ham radio license you can get. You must pass the test for the Technician license before you can take the test for any higher level of license. Having a Technician license allows you to transmit mainly on frequencies above 30 MHz. You can be heard regionally on repeaters, and there are even ways to extend the range of your transmissions over much of the world.

Textbook for Technician Class:

The book we will be using for our next Technician class is the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, 5th Edition. Be certain to get the 5th edition because older editions of the book are obsolete.

Dates, Times and Location for Technician Class: October 10th, 12th, 17th, 19th, 24th and 26th with all times 6:00 to 9:00 PM. The VE session (licensing test) will be held on Saturday 10/29 at 9:00 AM. Both the classes and the VE session will be located at the Taylor/Snowflake Fire Department at 425 Papermill Rd in Taylor, AZ.

General Class

This is the second level of ham radio licensing and allows you to use ALL amateur radio bands. This opens up the entire world to you since this includes bands that can go all around the Earth without depending on infrastructure such as the Internet.

Textbook for General Class:

The book we will be using for our next General class is the General Class License Manual for Ham Radio, Ninth Edition. This edition will continue to be current until 6/30/23. Be certain to get the Ninth Edition as any earlier editions are obsolete.

Dates, Times and Location for General Class:

At present, we anticipate the next general class being offered in Spring of 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Where can I get my textbook?
A: You can order it from Amazon.com, ARRL.org and many other places. When ordering from a vendor other than ARRL.org, be especially careful about which edition of the book the vendor is selling since many vendors sell obsolete books. You do not want to get an obsolete book because the question pool changes every 3 years. See above for which editions are current and be sure you are getting the current edition with the current question pool.

Q: When should I order my textbook?
A: You should order it at least two weeks before the start of a class to allow time for shipping. If the class is starting sooner than that, you might consider expedited shipping if available from your vendor.

Q: I see you have several different class sessions scheduled on different days. Can I attend just one session, or do I need to attend all of the class sessions?
A: To cover all the material in the book and on the test, you need to attend all of the scheduled class sessions.

Q: Is there a fee for the class?
A: There is no fee for the class. However, you must purchase your textbook (see above for more information) and, after you pass the licensing test, you must pay the FCC a $35 fee for your license IF your license is new (Technician). There is no $35 fee for upgrading a license, such as from Technician to General.

Q: Do I need to take a test to get my license?
A: Yes. You take a test at what we call a Volunteer Examiner (VE) Session. We strive to provide a VE session during the last week of the classes. You can take the test at our VE session or at any other VE session.

Q: Is there a fee for the licensing test?
A: It depends on which Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) organization the VEs belong to. If you take your test at our VE session, we normally use Laurel VEC VEs who do not need to charge any fee for the test. If you take your test elsewhere, you may have to pay a test fee of $15, again depending on the VEC the VEs giving the test belong to.

Q: Do I need to pre-register for the class or the test?
A: No. All you have to do is show up at the class location and attend classes. The same applies to the VE session, just show up.

Q: What should I bring to a VE session? 
A: You should bring the following:

  • Two forms of identification, including a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport or ADOT ID card. Students in junior high or high school who do not have the above can usually use their school IDs, providing the ID has the student’s photo.
  • Two pens to fill out the application paperwork and two pencils for taking the test. Two because pens can run out of ink and pencils can break.
  • If you are upgrading your license (such as testing for a General license when you already have a Technician license), you need to bring a copy of your current license that we can keep. A “Reference Copy” printed from the FCC web site is fine. We need to keep a copy of your license because we turn it in with the paperwork for your license upgrade.
  • All applicants must have an FCC Registration Number (FRN). If you already have a ham license, it is on your license. If you are testing for a Technician License, you must apply for an FRN from the FCC before the VE session. This is a simple process, and we will cover how to do this in the class.
  • You many NEVER use any cell phone app (such as a calculator) during any VE session, so if you want to use a calculator on the test, bring an actual calculator. Your calculator must have any memories cleared, and the VEs are the final arbiter of which calculators may be used.

Q: What if I have other questions?
A: Email your questions to nm3s@fastmail.com.