Worked All Continents (WAC)

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) sponsors the Worked All Continents award and it’s an easy early step into DX award chasing for many Hams. Making things a bit easier is the fact that the continent of Antarctica is ignored for this award. Note the southernmost continent’s glaring absence from the world map on the award below.

Older version of the Worked All Continents (WAC) certificate
My old style award from years ago.

Without the Earth’s southernmost landmass the award requires merely six contacts, with one on each continent.

To spice things up there are several different versions of the award based on modes of operation:

  • Mixed mode
  • CW
  • Phone
  • Digital
  • Image
  • Satellite

And then on top of that there are endorsements that can be attached to those certificates:

  • QRP (5 watts or less)
  • 1.8 MHz
  • 3.5 MHz
  • 50 MHz
  • 144 MHz
  • 432 MHz
  • 1296 MHz

QSL cards are required here and they must be sent in with the award application. Exceptions are made if the cards are checked by one of the registered DXCC card checkers that are sprinkled throughout the country and in some parts of the world.

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) serves as the secretariat or host organization of the IARU. So it seems a little strange that this award cannot be applied for via the Logbook of the World site.

As of 2019 the cost of the award was $16.00 or $18.00 depending on your location with an extra $3.00 to $8.00 fee for the return of your QSL cards. Yeah, I want my cards back! More information is available on the IARU’s WAC page.

Newer version of the Worked All Continents (WAC) certificate
The latest version of the award.
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  1. That’s unfortunate that Antarctica is ignored for this category. I have worked two stations there on FT8.

    1. I suspect this was left out because when WAC was first introduced there was no chance to work a station there at all. Full time research stations on Antarctica came after the number of “continents” was already baked into the award. Seems like this would make for a good endorsement sticker opportunity if nothing else.

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