Field service engineers are technical specialists and natural problem fixers who never sit still. They are frequently on the frontline with customers and responsible for designing, installing, maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing an array of technical hardware and devices. They may also supervise field service technicians or field specialists in carrying out practical tasks, like installation and repair.
Since field service engineers, field service technicians and field specialists all help keep equipment, machinery and systems running for customers, they rarely work in the office and travel from customer-to-customer site. Therefore, being people-centric and providing great customer service is a must when working on premises.
Next to performing or monitoring a technician’s performance, a field service engineer is often responsible for executing more strategic work. This can entail developing strategies for system design, continued innovation and improvement, maintenance and related.
Field service engineers can work in a range of technical sectors, including telecommunications, information technology (IT), manufacturing, transportation, facility management, and industries where electronics and mechanics are essential to operations. A field service engineer who specializes in electronics is also known as an electric field engineer.
In facility management, field service engineers may be responsible for designing strategies for using data analytics to measure a building’s energy efficiency or placing sensors in equipment. In the telecommunications industry, field service engineers may need to install, or monitor the installation, of new equipment to increase internet speed in homes. In the manufacturing sector, a field service engineer may be tasked with training team members of technicians or specialists in how to repair certain technical components and equipment.
Common field service engineer responsibilities
A field service engineer is responsible for performing a range of important engineering tasks. Responsibilities may include:
- Conducting research and communicating with customers to identify their needs, diagnose problems and explain technical issues;
- Designing and improving diverse technical components, instruments, products, or systems;
- Inspecting, monitoring, testing, detecting, preventing, and solving an array of electromechanical or other technical malfunctions, such as failing equipment sensors;
- Installing or maintaining technical equipment, systems, or machinery;
- Collaborating with and overseeing fellow field service technicians or field specialists, providing training when needed;
- Delivering field servicing results in line with agreed project timelines and budgets;
- Reporting on results to team and management;
- Ensuring the compliance of field service engineering outputs with relevant requirements, codes, and certifications, and in line with customer needs and demands;
- Always assuring the safety and security of team members;
- Traveling to customer premises to execute tasks.
Qualifications for field service engineers
Field service engineers should have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Technology, Computer Science, or a related technical field. In some countries, an engineering license may also be required.
Additional supporting skills and experience include:
- Experience as a field engineer, or in a similar technical role;
- Solid understanding of technical systems, with knowledge of electronics and mechanics;
- Excellent applied math and analytical skills;
- Proficiency in using diverse hardware and software systems;
- Strong communication and customer service skills to be able to work easily with customers, technicians, and other team members.