Amateur radio often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service in which participants, called “hams”, use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public services, recreation, and self-training.
Amateur radio operation is licensed by an appropriate government entity (for example, by the Federal Communications Commission in the United States as coordinated through the International Telecommunication Union.
An estimated two million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio.
The term “amateur” does not imply a lack of skill or quality, but rather that the amateur radio operator is not paid for his or her efforts.
The initial licensing level is Technician Class. In order to receive a Technician Class license, you must first pass a 35 question multiple choice test. Testing sessions are generally held at local amateur radio clubs, so check your local area for available testing sessions and classes that may be available. Normally there is a $15 fee for processing your test, some areas and testing organizations do not charge or charge a different rate, check with your local testing organization for their procedures and rates.
Amateur Radio Licenses are valid for 10 years, and there is no cost to renew your license. If you decide you want to upgrade to a higher class of license, a testing fee is generally required.
ARRL Level 1 Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
ARRL Public Service Communications Manual