November 29, 2022
Also known as field service engineers, field engineers are tasked with managing technical functions, testing equipment, handling repairs, managing engineering projects, and conducting site inspections. The main difference between traditional engineers and field engineers is the fact that field engineers are tasked with maintaining infrastructure outside of a centralized operations center. As opposed to other disciplines of engineering, field engineers spend only a small percentage of their time at an office.
Each field engineer typically focuses on one service area. For example, there are field engineers who are software specialists, hardware specialists, and other engineers who focus on different types of systems maintenance. Field engineers can work in the construction, telecommunication, energy, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries. Your specific duties depend on the industry in which you work, but you typically must travel to a work site to inspect it before they install a machine or piece of equipment. You also travel whenever equipment is experiencing technical issues.
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Field engineer duties usually include inspecting and installing equipment and new technologies, directing crews or workers on site, conducting research, and reporting on project status. Field engineers will make sure that everything works smoothly and engineering designs are being followed.
To pursue a career as a field engineer, one can make use of training programs, degrees, and apprenticeships that are offered at various institutions. While formal training is required to get the job, it is mostly on the job that you will attain most of your training and experience which would help you be successful. The field options that you have are numerous and include utilities, pest control, programming, electronics and plumbing among others.
As far as the scheduling is concerned, there are no fixed rules. This can vary depending on the service you offer and how much you are willing to travel. You will find some field engineers who are open to travel for an assignment, while there are others who prefer a standard daily schedule. A self-employed engineer can decide his own schedule.
While a field engineer might require a team for certain assignments, overall, they work alone. A field engineer tool kit is sometimes supplied by the company, while at other times, this is an investment that you will need to make. Traveling and communication expenses also need to be thought about.
If you have a job in a company that is technology-based, you might have to continue your education as products are always in a constant state of evolution and you will need to adapt to the changes that are being made. Some companies are willing to pay for continued education.
There are certain skills that will be required if you want to have success in the field. For starters, you need to be equipped with the ability to manage technical work even if you do not have any supervision. You also need to develop the ability to work in difficult conditions including adverse climatic conditions.
Many times, it is not just problem solving that you will be required to do. You will need to diagnose the problem first, so this is something that you need to develop an understanding of.
You also need to be able to communicate well with your customers and be able to understand the points that they are trying to make.
It is also recommended that you have an interest in the field. Without enthusiasm and passion for this line of work, it may be harder for you to have success.
There is no denying that there is plenty of work in this field. However, it does require commitment and passion. You will need to develop the ability to think critically. At the same time, you will also need to be open to learning throughout your life since new tools and advancements are frequently introduced. If you are contemplating becoming a field engineer, these are a few things that you need to be prepared for.
Salary.com estimates the average pay for a Field Engineer in the United States to be $68,085 per year, with a salary range of $61,252 to $74,320. Additional pay could include a cash bonus, commission, tips, and profit sharing. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on what sector you are working in as well as other factors such as education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.
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