Radiotelephone Operator License (GROL) is required to adjust maintain, or internally
repair FCC licensed radiotelephone transmitters in the aviation, maritime and
international fixed public radio services. It is required to operate any maritime
land radio station or compulsorily equipped ship radiotelephone station operating with
more than 1500 watts of peak envelope power and any voluntarily equipped ship and
aeronautical (including aircraft) stations with more than 1000 watts of peak envelope
The GROL also conveys all of the operating authority of the Marine
Radio Operator Permits (MROPs). These are required to operate radiotelephone
stations aboard vessels weighing more that 300 gross tons, that carry more than six
passengers for hire in the open sea or any coastal/tidewater area of the United States,
aboard certain vessels that sail the Great Lakes, and to operate certain aviation
radiotelephone stations and certain coast radiotelephone stations.
The qualifications for the General Radiotelephone Operator License
Be a legal resident of (or otherwise eligible for employment in) the
Be able to receive and transmit spoken messages in English.
Pass a written examination.
About the Examination
The examination consists of two parts:
Element 1 - Basic radio law and operating practice
- The basic radio law and operating practices with which every maritime radio operator
should be familiar. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 18 out of 24
Element 3 - General Radiotelephone.
Electronic fundamentals and techniques required to adjust, repair, and maintain radio
transmitters and receivers. The exam consists of questions from the following categories:
operating procedures, radio wave propagation, radio practice, electrical principles,
circuit components, practical circuits, signals and emissions, and antennas and feed
lines. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 57 out of 76 questions.
The actual examinations for the GROL draw their 100 total questions
from a pool of over 1,000 questions. The full multiple-choice questions, along with
the correct answers, are published
by the FCC.
How to Prepare / Study
While there are several ways to prepare for the General
Radiotelephone Operator License, perhaps the most effective method is to purchase and
study the following book:
GROL Plus -
General Radiotelephone Operator License GROL Plus provides the information needed to study for and pass the
examinations for the Marine Radio Operator Permit (MROP), the General Radiotelephone
Operator License (GROL), and the Radar Endorsement for the GROL.
Several community colleges have preparation courses and there are
also some commercial study courses available.
However, everyone I've tested used the above study guide and all passed with flying
Online Practice Tests
Test Preparation Provided by Technical Services Limited, this site provides short free
practice tests. There are more comprehensive practice tests for a fee.
Where to Take the Examination
FCC license examinations are given by the following Commercial
Operator License Examination Managers (COLEM):
Training Unlimited The FCC examinations are given by BFT's Elkins Institute Division at over 150
locations. The GROL exam runs $75.