what is a field engineer?

As a field engineer, you use your theoretical understanding of engineering concepts and practical designs to install and maintain equipment, machines and systems. You offer services to clients in the field by overseeing operations and ensuring the machinery works as expected.

You can work in industries that require on-site supervision of equipment. For instance, some field engineers work at airports as part of the maintenance crew, in warehouses, manufacturing factories and mining industries. Sometimes you install or repair machines at the client's residence or place of business. Your job requires the application of scientific and mathematical theories in solving problems. Some field engineers also work in the banking industry to install and maintain automated teller machines (ATMs).

what do field engineers do?

Field engineers diagnose systems or machinery problems. You usually troubleshoot the systems while in use, and you should not interrupt the workflow or halt the operations. Creativity helps you recommend or implement appropriate solutions to ensure the equipment works smoothly. As a field engineer, you can focus on one area or provide diverse services in various industries.

field engineer vacancies

average field engineer salary

As a field engineer, your average remuneration package is $93,000 per year. The salary ranges from $85,000 to $100,000 annually, based on your qualifications and experience. Field engineers new to the role handle simple tasks, which attract lower salaries, while experienced workers negotiate higher salaries since they perform complex duties.

The industry you work in affects your remuneration. For instance, field service engineers working on specialised equipment in construction or mining environments are likely to earn more than those working in less technical industries. Technical work environments require specialised skills and attract higher remuneration.

A field engineer's educational qualifications also influence their remuneration. For instance, you can negotiate a higher salary when you have specialised skills in handling repairs or installation.

Want to know what you will earn as a field engineer? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

field engineer careers

types of field engineers

Aside from working as a general field engineer, you can specialise in a single industry sector, including:

  • medical field engineer: as a medical or biomedical field engineer, you install, maintain and troubleshoot medical equipment. You install magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and scanners. You also service ultrasound and X-ray equipment or ventilators.
  • mechanical field engineer: as a mechanical field engineer, you will work in transport, energy or manufacturing industries. You inspect and troubleshoot equipment and machinery to ensure smooth operations.
  • IT field engineer: in IT, field engineers install and service equipment and ensure computer systems are running without glitches. In case of failure, you diagnose the problem and provide a solution to restore functionality.
  • automotive field engineer: as an automotive field engineer, you work with manufacturers and assembly units to inspect and fix vehicles. Sometimes you visit clients to solve problems in their cars.
A photo of a woman wearing a hard hat working in the engineering industry
A photo of a woman wearing a hard hat working in the engineering industry

working as a field engineer

Field engineers ensure machines work smoothly and the engineering designs are adhered to carefully. Here are the specific duties, responsibilities and work environments of field engineers.


education and skills

You require the following educational qualifications to become a field engineer:

  • educational skills: pursue a degree in the engineering field of your choice. Complete a bachelor’s degree programme in civil, mechanical or telecommunications engineering. You can also pursue diplomas and master’s degrees in various courses to improve your skills.
  • experience: you can gain experience through internships and entry-level roles, such as becoming a maintenance technician, before taking up a higher role. You also require certifications to improve your skills gradually.

field engineer skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a field engineer include the following:

  • technical maintenance: as a field engineer, expertise in technical maintenance is vital. You should know how to repair and service various equipment. Good background knowledge of the functioning of various systems helps you diagnose and repair problems. Aside from routine servicing, your technical maintenance skills aid in troubleshooting problems that arise and identifying efficient solutions.
  • critical thinking: during maintenance, you perform various tests and systems checks on machinery or equipment. Critical thinking ability helps you pinpoint a problem from the test results. The skill helps you determine a solution promptly and ensure minimal work interruptions during repairs.
  • communication skills: as a field engineer, you work alongside various technicians and engineers. You require communication skills when brainstorming ideas for repairs or explaining maintenance processes to the technicians. You also need writing skills for completing your reports and reviews of the tests and repairs completed. Occasionally, you give written suggestions to improve the machinery or provide maintenance procedures.
  • attention to detail: diagnosing problems in a system or machinery is challenging despite regular checks and tests. Without a keen eye for detail, you may miss some of the issues in the system or provide the wrong diagnosis.

FAQs about working as a field engineer

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a field engineer.

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.