So you want to be a Ham? (or take an UPGRADE EXAM?)

Ham Radio is a high-tech hobby that can be fun for anyone. Amateur Radio operators are people from all walks of life--no matter what age, gender or physical ability. Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier! You can usually find an amateur radio class in your area sponsored by friendly volunteers who will help you learn the ropes.  And, knowledge of the Morse Code is NO LONGER required.

There are many area clubs/groups here in Upstate NY that do training and VE license exams on a fairly regular basis. Check out the list of Upstate NY clubs by scrolling down on the right side toolbar on our website(

We will try to keep an updated list of exams and training going here:

The Liverpool Amateur Repeater Club conducts VE test sessions on the 4th Thursday of each month (except July & August) at the North Syracuse Community Center. Testing starts at 5:30pm. Walk-ins are welcome. All exam elements are offered. If  you plan to attend please bring two ID’s (one photo), a copy of your license or CSCE if you have one, and a black pen.

The cost to take the exam is $15. If you pass you can continue on to the
next level at no charge. Any re-takes cost another $15. Calculators are permitted. Cellphone/Smartphone calculator apps are not allowed. Contact Al May with any questions at 633-9280(before 9pm) or

LARC will also be sponsoring a Extra licensing course in preparation for the FCC Amateur Radio - Extra License starting on March 27th 2018, contact:

The Albany/Troy VE Team (ATVET) is a joint effort of the Albany Amateur Radio Association (AARA), and the Troy Amateur Radio Association (TARA). We are affiliated with the ARRL/VEC, and have been proud to provide testing opportunities since 1984. If you have any questions, please feel free to phone (evenings and weekends) at 518-482-8700, or e-mail me at

Another Albany area team; Hams-that-Care provides quarterly licensing training. Capital Area Radio Enthusiasts (CARE) Group provides weekend Technician Courses four times a year. Learn more at:

Binghamton/Broome County: If anyone wants VE testing in the Broome county region, VE sessions are held the last Monday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Vestal Public Library, 320 Vestal Parkway East (Route 434) except when the Library is closed. Contact Norman for details. There is no test session in July; in May the test is the Monday before memorial day.

- The Bear Bait Radio Club (Syracuse) is conducts Amateur Radio Technician Classes and VE test sessions at the Clay Welcome Center on RT. 31, Clay NY.
Next Technician class will will be April, 21-22, 2018, 8am-5pm at the Clay Historical Park, RT 31 in Clay. No charge for the class, open VE testing will be held immediately after the last class. Contact Scott WA2DTN at 315.247. 8525 to register.
 More information on the club website:

The BBRC web page is experiencing problems at this time, so the REGISTER link won't steer to the right Google form. In the meantime, please use this link instead:

The registration link is at the bottom of the listing. The class will be April 21&22, 8am-5pm at the Clay Historical Park, RT 31 in Clay. No charge for the class, open VE testing will be held immediately after the last class.

- Keuka Lake ARA will be holding VE exam sessions in Bath NY for 2017.
2017 Exam schedule:

- Madison-Oneida Amateur Radio Club (MOARC) sponsors monthly classes in Verona NY. VE sessions are given at the Madison-Oneida BOCES on the third Friday of every month at 7PM. Contact Leonard Popyack; WF2V at 315-853-8974

- Ontario County - Squaw Island ARC  (SIARC) and Ontario County ARES/RACES Volunteer Examiner Team is proud to be a part of the Laurel-VEC and holds Amateur Radio Exam Sessions on the 2nd Wednesday of every other month (see schedule below).Walk-in applicants are welcome and the site is handicapped accessible.
We would be happy to schedule special group exam sessions to accommodate amateur radio classes.

January 10th
March 14th
May 9th
July 11th
September 12th
November 14th

Please Visit : for more information and directions to the testing facility.

Rochester NY (Pittsford) - Rochester Radio Repeater Association (RRRA) - is having a VE testing session on the 17th of August 2018 at their regular meeting time 7:30pm, instead of our normal club meeting. This will be held at the Pittsford Town Hall basement.

Rome NY - Rome Radio Club - VE Exams are held at the Griffiss Institute located at 725 Daedalian Drive, Rome NY, on the second Tuesday of every month at 19:00 local time (7:00PM). see: for more information

- Tompkins County Amateur Radio Assoc. - 2015 VE Exams, (see web-site) at the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response, 92 Brown Road, near the Ithaca Airport. info at:
Jan 2017 Tech class - more at:

- Buffalo/East Aurora - Technician Level HAM RADIO Classes (WNY). Wednesday, October 7, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (EDT) Location: Empact America, 7615 Seneca Street, East Aurora, NY 14052. More details at:

- Rochester RARA courses/exams:
 - Rochester RARA exams

- Genesee Valley Amateur Radio Association (Avon)
Next Testing May 21st 2017 - 5:30pm - Room 205 Livingston Co. Govt. Center Geneseo
Next Meeting May 21st 2017 - 6:30pm - Room 205 Livingston Co. Govt. Center Geneseo

Working out details for Field Day 2017. Possibly setting up again this year at Perry Village Park.

Email for details.

A few web sites for getting started or help in upgrading your Amateur Radio license:

Web sites with practice exams:

(UPDATED 12/26/16)

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