Field Engineer

Field Engineer

Factors Influencing Field Engineer Salary


Kaushik Bhaumik


April 19, 2018

Introduction to Field Engineering

Field engineering can be related to a broad range of jobs. For example, in chemical manufacturing companies, a field engineer’s position gives them the chance to interact with the customer facilities. In Telecommunications, a field engineer must ensure that the equipment operates according to design and scope of work.


In the telecom industry, field engineers have varied duties which include:

  • Installation and testing of telecom equipment
  • Maintaining, problem solving and repair of a communications system
  • Systems and equipment analyses

Demand for freelance jobs

In today’s job market, freelance jobs are in a boom. Companies save on in-house costs related to permanent, full-time telecommunication field engineers by hiring as and when required or on a need basis, which proves to be cost-effective. Which refers to the ‘gig economy’.

Freelancers have many job opportunities that offer them an excellent pay package. In telecommunications, freelancing field engineers can work on one to three projects simultaneously, which thereby increases what they earn and enables a higher field engineer salary.

For freelance telecom engineers, the typical work day ranges from traveling offsite to client facilities. Which also allows field engineers to pick and choose distances they wish to go for their work.

Ref: Why Freelance Field Engineer

The Freelance Field Engineer Salary

In the U.S., the average freelance field engineer salary is around $65,000 annually. The overall field engineer salary ranges between $58,535 and $73,897. A Field Engineer salary heavily depends on factors, such as education, experience, job description and specialty certifications.

Factors Influencing Field Engineer Salary

The primary elements that affect field engineer salary depends on the maximum level of education, college degree attained, work experience and job description.

Basic factors influencing field engineer salary

For example, the job description for freelancers in the communications industry may include:

  • Design
  • Development
  • Implementation
  • Maintenance and repair of telecommunication systems, equipment, and networks

However, the design of a telecommunication system, equipment or network may also include full analysis to ensure that the design, development, and implementation are compatible with the needs of each customer’s business.

Thus, a job for a field engineer for telecommunications may also consist of specialty experience. For example, tasks may require experience with wireless networks, extensive area networks (WAN), government defense systems and cloud computing compatibility.

Regarding telecommunication development, job descriptions often include providing solutions to existing telecommunications problems and offering ideas for improvements and upgrades.

Specialty certifications in Telecommunication increase salaries

Unlike in-house field engineering jobs in telecommunication, freelance telecom engineers do not usually report to managers unless they are employees of the franchises. Specialty jobs may require, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree and certification.

Certifications may include:

  • iNARTE Telecommunications Engineer
  • NRS II: Nokia Network Routing Specialist II
  • RCDD: Registered Communications Distribution Designer
  • CTNS: Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist
  • IPEP: Internet Protocol Engineering Professional
  • RCDD: Registered Communications Distribution Designer

These are the top five types of certifications for telecommunications field engineers and may be a means of earning a higher salary. Telecommunication projects basis the level of technical support and project complexity.

Level of management variables

The determination of supervisory or managerial influence depends on the nature of the telecommunications work involved. The more one’s supervisory or management experience in telecommunications, the higher the salary.

Freelance jobs in telecommunications produce higher salaries compared to few other categories. However, job applicants who choose to freelance should consider job satisfaction against annual salary.

The factors that influence salaries for freelancing field engineers are based mainly on the job description, duties of the job, length of telecommunications projects, ability to increase customer base, retain customers from previous projects and personal satisfaction with the nature of each position.


Other essential factors that play a role in field engineer salary are innovations and changes in the telecommunications industry. For example, according to a Forbes report, ‘Network Function Virtualization’ (NFV) and ‘Software Defined Networking’ (SDN), are expected to make significant transformations in the telecommunications industry.

For field engineers to influence salary in this industry, the way to get ahead is to stay ahead.


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