We are often asked how much it costs to get your ham radio license, and it really depends. It all comes down to study preference and whether or not you’ll sit for more than one exam on test day. In this article we’ll explain all the costs and options, so you know exactly how much you’re going to end up paying.
Let’s break down your options to see how much it will cost for you.
Cost to Take the Exam: $15
This cost is pretty much unavoidable. You are basically paying to print the exams and for the time of the volunteers. The exam is usually in-person, just like most licenses like your Driver’s License, Concealed Carry, etc. etc. The volunteers who administer the exam also use whatever is left of the fees to continue advancing ham radio, so it’s a good cause anyway. The easiest way to register for the in-person exam is with the ARRL. These local radio clubs administer exams for $15, and you can save money by taking multiple exams in the same sitting! For example, you pass the level 1 exam (Technician License), you could simply move on to level 2 (General License) at no extra charge. Another important note: most exam locations will charge you $15 per attempt if you fail the exam and want to try again. Make sure that you’re achieving at least a 74% on your practice exams before attending an in-person so you can avoid having to pay for multiple attempts should you fail the first try.
It is now 100% possible to take the exam completely online. Similarly to an in-person exam, the examiners usually charge a small fee for the exam, between $5 – $15. Check out our guide on remote testing options to learn more.
Study Materials: $25
Some free options
We believe our online courses offer the most complete way to study and take practice tests, and they’re easy to use and access. However, if you’re looking to save some money or maybe just want a paperback book, you could possibly save some money with another option.
Total Cost For Technician License: $40
In summary, it’s going to cost you about $40 to get your Technician license, and if you take General at the same time and bought the bundle deal, you could get both licenses for a total of $50 (with study materials and the in-person exam included). This is just an average – depending on your study tools, you may be able to save a little money. The key is that you want to make sure you will pass the exam the first try so you do not have to pay the $15 again.