Training & Events

Ham Licensing and Training

Amateur radio is a federally licensed and administered radio service. An amateur license is not required to join HMBARC, but is required for actively transmitting on the amateur bands and participating in most of our activities.

Whether you're interested in amateur radio as a hobbyist or for community service, the HMBARC can help you get your amateur radio license. Please contact us to express your interest. We are happy to assist you in studying for the license exams, finding a class, or locating an exam facility.


The ARRL (American Radio Relay League) is the national association for Amateur Radio and an excellent resource for all things related to ham radio.  A good discussion of the requirements and benefits of different classes of licenses may be found on the ARRL’s webpage Getting Licensed.


There are three ways to get the training needed to take an amateur radio license exam.

Take a class

The Half Moon Bay Amateur Radio Club periodically offers classroom instruction leading to the Technician class Amateur Radio license.  Please contact us for details. The SC4 Amateur Radio Club (SC4ARC) also offers classroom instruction; details may be found on the SC4ARC website.  The ARRL provides many resources related to licensing, education, and training including help finding a class (when using this resource, we suggest you enter your zip code and “within 100 miles” in the field immediately to the right).

Study at your own pace

There are many books and online courses that can help you prepare for any of the ham licenses. One popular book is Gordon West’s 2022-2026 Technician Class study manual (Amazon). It’s also available as an audio CD. The ARRL is also a good source for books (license manuals).

HamTestOnLine is a good computer-based online course.

Find a ham cram

In-person licensing classes are offered in the Bay area as one-day “ham crams” where participants complete supervised classroom study and take the test immediately following the class.  Check the Bay Area Educational Amateur Radio Society website, baears, for information on the time and location of the next class.