Field Engineer Job Description
Field engineers are on-site technicians who troubleshoot issues and problems with equipment or systems. They can work in a variety of different sectors depending on the area of engineering they specialize in. This job involves applying theories to address problems, writing reports to outline these issues and solutions, and working with companies to help develop more efficient systems. Field engineers usually work most of their hours on site, so office work is minimal for them. This job is well suited to analytical and critical thinkers who can apply logic and theories to problems, have the patience to find resolutions to complex issues, and have strong communication skills.
Field Engineer Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization a field engineer works for will determine the exact duties they perform. Based on job listings we analyzed, those duties typically involve:
Field engineers carry out research to identify problems and develop appropriate solutions for them.
Field engineers oversee the maintenance of different types of equipment and infrastructure related to their industry.
Install New Technologies
One of a field engineer’s main jobs is installing new and more advanced technologies per the requirements of the research team and the needs of employees.
Field engineers test machines that are already installed to check their performance and safety and evaluate whether they meet compliance standards.
Field engineers maintain reports of their work that are handed to the senior engineer on the project, as well as anyone else related to the project. These reports keep track of progress and any issues that halt progression.
Field Engineer Skills and Qualifications
Field engineers are critical thinkers with strong communication and customer service skills. They’re also able to apply scientific and technical theories to their work. Typically, employers require a bachelor’s degree in an engineering-related subject as well as the following abilities:
- Communication skills – field engineers should be strong communicators who are able to talk with customers and explain complex issues to people with no technical knowledge
- Critical thinking – field engineers must use logic to solve issues and develop more efficient systems
- Diagnostic abilities – a key aspect of a field engineer’s daily duties is diagnosing problems with existing equipment and finding solutions to them, so great diagnostic abilities are essential
- Analytical thinking – the ability to analyze systems and manage technical tasks is important in this job, and field engineers need the technical and analytical skills to carry these tasks out effectively
- Problem-solving skills – field engineers provide technical support for different projects, including the testing and maintenance of systems, so good problem-solving and troubleshooting abilities are useful in this role
Field Engineer Education and Training
The minimum requirement to become a field engineer is a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in engineering that’s relevant to the employer’s industry. For those looking for an opportunity at an automobile company, for example, a mechanical engineering degree is most suitable. There are also technical certifications available, such as heavy equipment certifications or technical computer certifications, which offer more specific training. Some companies may also provide on-the-job training for employees.
Field Engineer Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for field engineers is nearly $62,000. Field engineers in the 10th percentile earn around $47,000 annually, while the highest paid earn close to $84,000 a year. Some companies offer packages that reach up to $10,000 from bonus structures based on individual or group performances, and profit-sharing opportunities of up to the same amount.
The hiring company has the biggest impact on pay for this role, closely followed by location and level of experience. Seventy-eight percent of employers offer dental plans, and 88 percent offer medical insurance as part of their benefit package. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this sector will grow 8 percent through 2026.
We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you learn more about a career as a field engineer:
Field Engineer Blog – covering a range of topics, from working as a freelance field engineer to factors that affect possible salary opportunities, this blog is a great site to have bookmarked for those new to the industry who want to further develop their knowledge
Civil Engineer USA – this LinkedIn group is designed for civil engineers, students, and employers who want to connect with others in the industry. Field engineers can work in a variety of sectors depending on their specialization, so joining groups related to your sector is beneficial for networking and knowledge sharing
Field Engineer’s Manual – now in its third edition, the revised version of this guide covers everything from technical data to conducting preliminary surveys and evaluating construction plans. It also covers other useful topics, including safety and first aid, and makes a great reference guide for new and experienced field engineers
Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers – this book is a must for field engineers working in the automotive or mechanical sector, as it covers core topics critical to this area. From the materials of engineering to engineering ethics and applied mechanics, it has everything you need to know and more
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