Career Development

What Does a Field Service Engineer Do?

Find out what a field service engineer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a field service engineer.

Field service engineers are highly specialized technicians who work onsite at client locations to install, repair, and maintain equipment or systems. They may be called upon to diagnose problems with existing equipment or systems and recommend solutions for improvement.

Field service engineers must have a broad range of technical skills in order to do their jobs effectively. They commonly specialize in one area of expertise—such as HVAC systems, electrical systems, plumbing systems, etc.—and they must be able to quickly assess the situation at hand and determine the best course of action to take.

Field Service Engineer Job Duties

Field service engineers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Troubleshooting equipment problems by testing components as well as reviewing service records to identify the cause of the problem
  • Performing preventative maintenance on equipment such as cleaning motors and replacing filters
  • Installing new equipment, including wiring new machinery or equipment, connecting computer components, and calibrating machinery
  • Diagnosing problems with equipment and machinery in order to repair them or determine why they cannot be repaired
  • Working with customers to assess their needs, develop solutions to meet those needs, and implement new equipment or processes
  • Inspecting equipment to ensure that it is operating safely and efficiently according to industry standards
  • Managing inventory of spare parts to ensure adequate supplies are available for repairs
  • Recording data about equipment problems and resolutions for future reference
  • Recommending solutions to customers regarding complex problems that cannot be solved by standard repair methods

Field Service Engineer Salary & Outlook

Field service engineers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company they work for. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $72,500 ($34.86/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $100,000 ($48.08/hour)

The employment of field service engineers is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited because many companies are automating their equipment and facilities, which should reduce the need for these workers. In addition, some companies may choose to outsource repair work to other countries where wages are lower.

Related: In-Depth Field Service Engineer Salary Guide

Field Service Engineer Job Requirements

Field service engineers typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Field service engineers are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Many employers prefer an associate’s degree in engineering, electronics, computer science or another related field.

Training & Experience: Field service engineers typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other experienced employees. This training helps the field service engineer learn the specific procedures and processes for the company. It also helps them learn the specific software and equipment the company uses.

Certifications & Licenses: Field service engineers do not need any certifications to earn their title. However, some field service engineers can earn certifications to gain additional knowledge about their responsibilities and further their career advancement opportunities.

Field Service Engineer Skills

Field service engineers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Field service engineers use technical skills to troubleshoot and repair machinery. They must have a thorough understanding of the equipment they service to ensure they can identify and repair any issues. Technical skills can also include computer skills, which are necessary for many aspects of the job, including writing reports and communicating with clients.

Communication skills: Field service engineers communicate with many people throughout their workday, including customers, other engineers and managers. Effective communication skills can help you build rapport with customers, answer questions and solve problems. You can also use communication skills to help you collaborate with other engineers to solve technical issues.

Customer service skills: Customer service skills can help you interact with clients and customers in a professional and helpful manner. As a field service engineer, you may be responsible for resolving any issues a customer may have with their product. Customer service skills can help you communicate with customers and help them understand the issue and find a solution.

Problem-solving skills: Field service engineers often troubleshoot and solve problems for customers. They may be called to customer sites to repair equipment, check on the status of a repair or provide guidance on how to use a new product. Problem-solving skills can help you identify the source of an issue, find a solution and explain it to customers.

Organizational skills: Field service engineers often have strong organizational skills, as they often have many tools and paperwork they need to carry with them. Having good organizational skills can help you keep track of your tools and paperwork, which can help you complete your work efficiently.

Field Service Engineer Work Environment

Field service engineers are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of a company’s products at customer sites. They may work in a variety of settings, including factories, office buildings, and homes. They may be exposed to noise, dust, and other hazards when working with machinery. They may also be required to work in uncomfortable or cramped positions. Field service engineers typically work a 40-hour week, but they may be required to work overtime or be on call to respond to customer emergencies.

Field Service Engineer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how field service engineers work. Field service engineers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Talent

The field of engineering is growing rapidly, and businesses are increasingly looking for engineers with more technical skills. This means that field service engineers will need to be able to provide more support than they have in the past, as businesses rely on them to keep their systems running smoothly.

Field service engineers can stay ahead of this trend by becoming more familiar with the latest technologies and learning how to troubleshoot complex problems. They can also focus on developing strong customer relationships, which will help them get the support they need when they need it.

More Automation

As automation becomes more prevalent in industry, field service engineers will need to learn how to work with these systems.

This trend is already being seen in manufacturing plants, where robots are being used to perform tasks that were once done by humans. As a result, field service engineers will need to be able to work with these machines in order to maintain them. In addition, they will need to be able to understand the software that controls these machines in order to make adjustments when necessary.

Greater Focus on Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is an important part of any business’s operations, as it helps to ensure that equipment stays in good working condition. However, many businesses do not put enough emphasis on preventative maintenance, which can lead to costly repairs down the road.

Field service engineers can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in preventative maintenance. By doing so, they can help businesses to save money on repairs and improve the overall efficiency of their operations.

How to Become a Field Service Engineer

A field service engineer career can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the engineering industry. As a field service engineer, you’ll have the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects and learn about different technologies. You’ll also develop important skills such as problem solving and communication.

To become a field service engineer, you’ll need to have a degree in engineering or a related field. You’ll also need to be certified in your area of expertise. Certification can help you stand out from other candidates and show potential employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job.

Related: How to Write a Field Service Engineer Resume

Advancement Prospects

Field service engineers typically start their careers in entry-level positions. With experience, they can advance to higher-level positions, such as lead field service engineer or field service manager. Some field service engineers eventually move into sales or marketing positions with their companies. Others become independent consultants.

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