A Field Engineer has an incredibly important role to play. As an IT professional, the Field Engineer will have to manage technical functions, work schedules and internal and external colleagues working on set projects. Working closely on site with clients, they will manage the compliance of engineering projects whilst also testing equipment for efficiency in the workplace.
In addition, they may need to acquire data and carry out research to enable decisions to be made, prepare designs for longer-term developments, work on new installations as well as be involved in projects to upgrade installed systems and provide diagnostic, repair and recovery services.
Becoming a field engineer requires a lot of work and dedication, but if it’s something you have been thinking about for a while, hopefully this article will enable you to learn more about a Field Engineers career path.
What skills do you need to become a Field Engineer?
As mentioned above there are a lot of areas a Field Engineer needs to be skilled in. The list below is comprehensive and lists many of the attributes demonstrated by an Experienced Field Engineer. Whilst you may not have all of the attributes and skills listed when you start your career, you should strive to achieve them as you progress.
- A Degree in Engineering, Computer Science or similar field or undertake an apprenticeship
- Familiar with the technical aspects of machines, equipment, and technology used in different field projects
- Strong problem-solver and be able to manage crises if they arise
- Excellent attention to detail
- Outstanding communication skills
- Leadership and Teamwork skills
- Ability to contribute in presentations and attend meetings with colleagues and clients
- An analytical mind
- Willingness to travel and potentially work away from home
- Flexibility to work occasional overtime and weekends
- A clean DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check
What is the usual career path to become a Field Engineer?
Most Field Engineers will have studied a selection of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at GCSE and A-levels. An engineering, computer science or a degree in a similar field is sometimes then studied at university. It is possible to undergo an apprenticeship programme to become a Field Engineer.
It is helpful to also understand the potential industries that you may end up working in. Following companies within relevant industries across social media, particularly LinkedIn can be beneficial. Reading industry-specific publications can also be useful.
Ongoing learning is a key feature of being a Field Engineer with accreditations and qualifications available through software and hardware providers; professional bodies and internal training programmes. Experience is invaluable, and every day there are opportunities to learn and further your skill set.
What’s likely to be in a Field Engineer’s job description?
The role of a Field Engineer is varied, but is likely to include installing, deploying, configuring and troubleshooting for clients.
Core skills for SCT’s business tend to require networking, server and cabling experience, the ability to carry out work on a wide range of networking technologies from leading manufacturers and will often require relevant qualifications or experience.
Customer service attributes are also essential. At SCT we pride ourselves on the level of service we provide to our clients. A job description will therefore expect strong communication skills with the ability to communicate and manage client expectations.
Most roles will also ask for a flexible approach to both client and company requirements, with an ability to collaborate with internal and external colleagues.
Due to the secure and sometimes sensitive nature of the role, a Field Engineer will usually have to have some form of security clearance, with a minimum of a DBS check.
An important job requirement - being on call
As a Field Engineer a large part of your role is to fix critical issues for the customer. These issues however don't always happen during normal working hours and many businesses need 24/7 uptime. There may be an urgent maintenance requirement at a site which needs an engineer's attention to help get critical infrastructure back up and running. So, if you are looking to become a Field Engineer, you will need to be aware that you will be required to be on-call during evenings and weekends, which are often done on a rotation basis for one week each month.
Women in Field Engineering roles
Estimates of how many women are currently working as Field Engineers varies across sources, but it is clear that most IT Field Engineering roles are currently held by men. This is something that SCT would encourage where feasible. We are committed to both career and personal development for all our staff through mentoring and training programmes.
According to a new analysis by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, computing degrees have seen a 23% growth in accepted applications from women since 2019. This is a higher percentage rise than for any other UCAS subject group, which is positive news. It means that the number of women taking computer science degrees is growing faster than for any other UK university subject.
How do I become a Field Engineer with Smart Capital Technology?
If you would like to find out more about being a Field Engineer, please get in touch. We can give you details of how they support our channel partners and their customers and how you can join our amazing team of existing Field Engineers. Or if you would like to see what jobs we have at available, you can head over to our careers page. We would love to talk with you.