A field engineer routinely works away from their employer's office and on job sites for clients or customers, helping them with issues first hand. This could be anywhere, from an offshore oilrig through to a client's office or customer's home.
Who can I work for?
You can work for private engineering or manufacturing firms, consultancies and contractors or in local government. Many IT companies also employ technicians to work in the ‘field' for their clients.
Where and when can I work?
It depends on the project you are working on and who you are working for. You will be required to travel all over the country, and sometimes abroad, and could work standard days or overnight and weekends, as the work dictates.
What can I earn?
It depends entirely on the sector you are working in, your location and your employer. Salaries range from about £25,000 in the electrical sector up to £47,500 in the oil, gas and alternative energy industries.
What are the benefits?
There is the potential for a varied workload, with lots of travel and a different project every week. Depending on the sector you work in, it could also be a lucrative career option, with a high demand for professionals.
Are there chances of promotion?
You can go on to lead a team of engineers working out in the field or even become a freelance consultant.
What will I be responsible for?
You are responsible for offering support and assistance to clients and customers in your technical area of expertise. As the authority in your field, you will be required to undertake all duties associated with it, be it initial installations through to maintenance and training.
Do I need any experience?
You will need to have a relevant degree in an engineering discipline. This could be geoscience through to chemical engineering. Some work experience is also beneficial.
What attributes are needed?
Many field engineers work alone so you will need to be comfortable with working individually and confident in your own abilities. You will also need to be highly organised and able to manage lots of different jobs all at one go. You should also have excellent communication skills in order to deal with people at all levels.