The present work investigates the optical properties of active coated spherical nano-particles excited by an arbitrarily located electric Hertzian dipole. The nano-particles are made of specific dielectric and plasmonic materials. The spatial near-field distribution as well as the normalized radiation resistance is examined. Both enhanced as well as reduced radiation effects are demonstrated. In particular, it is shown that specific active coated nano-particles can be designed to be resonant, leading to much larger values of the normalized radiation resistance than is the case with the corresponding passive coated nano-particles, thereby overcoming the intrinsic losses present in the plasmonic materials. Moreover, it is shown that other active coated nano-particle designs can significantly reduce the normalized radiation resistance; thus both the resonant as well as non-radiating/transparent states of the active coated nano-particle are identified. Implications of both the resonant and non-radiating states on the previously proposed localized sensors based on the active coated nano-particle will also be considered here.