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What does a Field Engineer do?

Sara Schmidt
By
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A field engineer is a professional who works at job sites other than the main company office or headquarters. This person often services clients at their homes or businesses. He or she may work in a variety of fields, and can be responsible for installing hardware, servicing a machine, or the maintenance and repair of already-installed products.

Expertise in the area of service, including a strong familiarity with the product, creativity, and problem-solving abilities are all good skills for a field engineer to develop. Since field engineers typically work directly with clients, it can be beneficial to have strong communication skills as well. Good fine motor skills and dexterity are often required.

There are a number of training programs, degrees, and apprenticeships that a potential field engineer may seek. An average field engineer typically learns through on-the-job experience, but formal training in the specialized field is often required, or at least desired, depending on the company. These fields can include a wide variety of subjects, including utilities, construction, engineering, pest control, plumbing, computer programming, electronics, and many other areas.

The day-to-day schedule of a field engineer will vary depending on the person's area of expertise, company, and willingness to travel. Some field engineers may travel a day or more to repair specialized equipment, such as a specific piece of farm machinery, while others may perform tasks within their own neighborhoods. A field engineer who works for a company may work a standard daily schedule, while a self-employed engineer may work out of his or her own home, creating his or her own flexible schedule.

While working with a team may be a requirement, many field engineers work alone. Tools, transportation, and a communication device such as a cellular phone or pager may or may not be supplied, depending on the company. Field engineers in the construction industry, for example, often are required to supply their own tools and transportation, while engineers in the cable industry are more likely to have a company vehicle and tools to use. Some companies also provide reimbursement for miles traveled while working.

Continuing education may be required, especially if the company is technologically-based. As products and services change, field engineers must be ready to learn and adapt to these changes. Education may be paid for by the company.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Sara Schmidt
By Sara Schmidt , Writer
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for Practical Adult Insights, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.

Discussion Comments

By anon987655 — On Feb 04, 2015

A field engineer can also work in the shipbuilding industry. FrameMaker, you are correct about these jobs being well suited for ex-military. I served in the Navy for 15 years and I am now a field engineer for a shipbuilding company in California. The field engineer job title is a broad occupation. In my industry we are the last resort when it comes to trouble shooting, personnel requirements (i.e., managers, supervisors, etc.) If the company has a need for any one of the aforementioned then we are the experts who fill in those blanks left.

By FrameMaker — On Aug 08, 2010

A field service engineer is often a good job for military personnel. I had a friend that was a medical field engineer. Before becoming an engineer, he was a member of the army. I am not sure what he did in the military, but the job suited him well. He had no problems traveling, he had excellent communication skills, and he was disciplined enough to work independently. He loved his job because it allowed him to travel, and gave him a flexible schedule.

He would often fly or drive to different cities to perform maintenance and repair on expensive hospital equipment. Sometimes the repairs were as simple as replacing a wire or speaker, leaving him the rest of his trip to explore and have fun. A field engineer job can be a good one if you can land one.

By anon76583 — On Apr 11, 2010

Excellent description for a Field Engineer!

Couldn't be better! Thanks!

Sara Schmidt

Sara Schmidt

Writer

With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for Practical Adult Insights, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
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