You are a professional only in case you are certified to be a professional. In spite of the operation field, only a license is the only evidence of your qualification and skills. The same thing is with amateur radio. If you want to use special techniques, you firstly need to learn how to use it and provide your knowledge. Passing the FCC test is the major and the easiest way to do so.
Obtaining the FCC license is obligatory for every DX enthusiast or professional. No matter if you cooperate with emergency series, take part in ham contests and fairs or simply keep in touch with your friends from just around, you need to get a license. This is the only chance to get a permission to use radio gear as well as DX radio stations in spite of your purpose.
You can find all DX information on exams and tests in your region. Every state and country establishes their own rules and requirements of passing the test. They have some slight differences while the general points are the same. Every license refers to a particular category. Every category has a set of questions. Some of them are rather easy for those who do not strive to go higher. Some are more complex and call for extra knowledge and technical skills.
For instance, you do not plan using your amateur radio within a short-wave band that includes HF and LF allocations. In this case you will only need to answer some general questions. If you are eager to operate on short waves, you need to learn additional information and answer extra questions during the test. Once the Morse code also used to be an obligatory part of the FCC examination. However, it was excluded from the testing program several decades ago by the majority of countries. At the same time, most of hams still love this mode and use it rather often. Knowing the Morse code will certainly be a great plus.
You should not be afraid to pass the test. There are no difficult questions in case you are prepared. Minimum knowledge is required whenever you plan to operate on HF band as well as a selection of other available frequencies for amateurs. You will also get a chance to take part in various ham contests. Only make sure that you fit the category of your competitors. It will cost you not more than $10 to pass the exam. However, the price can vary from state to state. Check with the information available in your region.