What is a Field Service Technician and What Do They Do?
A field service technician is a highly skilled professional who specializes in the installation, maintenance, and repair of technology systems outside of a central office or headquarters. While their role may often go unnoticed by the public, their services are frequently utilized. The term “field service technician” is used in various industries and the roles and duties may slightly change depending on the employer’s line of business.
We spoke with several Aerotek experts to shed light on what it takes to become a field service technician, their responsibilities and to better understand potential career paths.
What is a Field Service Technician?
While most may not be familiar with this occupation, it is likely that they’ve benefited from the assistance of one at some point. Field service technicians are skilled at installing, troubleshooting and repairing various products and equipment.
It is a field service technician’s job to directly engage with the customers, serving as the frontline representative between the equipment owner and the equipment manufacturer. They possess the necessary knowledge and skills to proficiently install and service these products. In the event of equipment malfunctions or the need for troubleshooting, a field service technician will promptly be deployed to evaluate and rectify the situation.
What is the Career Path to a Field Service Technician?
The career trajectory for a field service technician depends on the industry and company in which they operate. Given the diverse range of equipment serviced by technicians, there are many ways a novice could get their start. No matter which industry you choose, you’ll typically need a General Education Development (GED) certificate or high school diploma.
Using your personal interests as a starting point could uncover the right career path for you. Are you interested in helping to keep hospitals running safely? Or perhaps you’ve always been interested in a career in renewable energy or aviation?
Depending on which industry you want to work in, additional coursework or certifications may be necessary to get your foot in the door. Certain employers may offer apprenticeship programs designed to provide comprehensive education and training. These opportunities are particularly advantageous, as they may potentially culminate in permanent employment.
Field Service Technician Job Description
Field service technicians are essentially problem-solvers. While they may be present for the installation of products, such as a CNC machine or HVAC equipment, their main job is to maintain, repair, and troubleshoot these systems. This requires a lot of problem-solving, as well as a lot of background knowledge on the equipment, plus being skilled and handy with tools and mechanics.
Besides solving or troubleshooting, field service technicians must also document activity and services rendered. They may also need to make challenging decisions. They may play a key role in determining if older equipment is running sufficiently and determining when new equipment is needed. They’ll also need to communicate their work and findings to customers and their team, so a fair amount of teamwork is involved. Technicians will often be evaluated based on customer feedback and satisfaction, and the quality of their work and documentation.
Field Technician Examples
The duties of field service technicians are relatively similar industry to industry, but there might be slight changes depending on which sector you work in. To better understand the slight differences, we spoke with several Aerotek experts.
Sales practice lead Rick Cirilo has over nine years of staffing experience in the construction industry. He describes the common duties of a field service technician in construction.
“The skill set ‘Field Service Technician’ in the construction division can vary on industries and types of companies we’re hiring for. A field service technician is traveling to customers to service, troubleshoot, maintain, repair and/or replace new equipment. The type of skill set we look for in field service technicians could range from millwrights with a welding background, commercial HVAC technicians and fire protection pipefitters who do inspections and installs. There are other industries we can hire field service technicians for, but those are the main industries we see here in central Pennsylvania. Our goal is to always get an individual with great troubleshooting skills, installation, and customer service skills to help maintain customer satisfaction, along with keeping long standing relationships,” says Cirilo.
Account Manager Benjamin King has over six years of experience working with field service technicians. He sees the skill set having a similar role.
“From my experience within the oil & gas industry, the field service technicians are hired to be just that. The company makes their product and sells the products to their clients. The field service techs are hired to fix the product anytime there is an issue. They typically will be on the road traveling to client sites a majority of the time, diagnosing and troubleshooting the equipment, replacing parts, fixing issues, etc.,” says King.
We also spoke with Account Manager Jason Gross who has over nine years of staffing experience to understand the role in aviation and airport operations.
“A field service technician to us would be what we call an AOG (aircraft on the ground) tech. Which is someone who travels to work on aircraft that is down in the field,” says Gross.
How Much Do Field Service Technicians Make?
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, field service technicians earn a median annual salary of $50,080. It is important to note that this figure represents the midpoint of the salary range, and experienced technicians, particularly those employed by larger companies, particularly within the technology sector, often enjoy significantly higher compensation packages. Moreover, it is worth acknowledging that the profession is experiencing a growth trend, albeit at an average rate, further accentuating the potential for career advancement and enhanced earning prospects within this field.
Embarking on a career as a field service technician offers plenty of captivating prospects. From the opportunity to engage with a wide range of equipment to the privilege of traveling to customer locations to assist with their equipment, the role can be a dynamic and fulfilling experience. Moreover, this occupation grants the chance to acquire extensive knowledge within a specific field and gain exposure to diverse personnel, including engineers, sales representatives, and service workers.
When considering a career as a field service technician, factor in how the job changes across industries and what certifications and trainings are required. When you’re ready to apply for a field service technician job near you, search our job board.
When you’re ready to apply for a field service technician job near you, search the latest openings on our job board.