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Service engineers are necessary to install and keep machinery running, regardless of its location. The mix of complex machinery with computerized operations has required these technicians to specialize, becoming experts on one type of machine. When the equipment is too large to be easily moved to the engineer, he or she must go to it. Field service engineer jobs may exist in almost any field but are especially common in the banking, manufacturing, and medical industries.
Within the banking industry, field service engineer jobs may include the maintenance and installation of automated teller machines (ATMs). Often, banks subcontract this work out to the original manufacturer or retailer of these machines. As most of these organizations work with specialized equipment, they often provide their own training. As a result, an associate's degree in a related field is preferred but not necessarily required for employment. The exposure of each engineer to large sums of money, however, necessitates extensive criminal background checks to ensure trustworthiness in workers.
Biomedical field service engineer jobs are specialized positions dealing primarily with medical diagnostic equipment. The complexity of certain equipment, such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanners and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, may require specialization. Frequently, however, smaller machines, such as ultrasound and X-ray equipment, may be serviced by generally trained field technicians. Again, an engineer of this type is rarely employed by an individual health care facility; he or she generally works for the agency that rents or sells the equipment.
Medical centers may require a technician on-site to ensure the proper operation of certain critical biomedical equipment. Field service engineer jobs of this type usually work with life support systems, such as ventilators and neonatal incubation units. Knowledge of laboratory testing devices and patient monitoring equipment is frequently required. In general, an engineer in this capacity is employed directly by a hospital, but independent contractor opportunities do exist within this field.
In some instances, field service engineer jobs are teaching positions. These individuals are usually employed by equipment manufactures to teach consumers about the maintenance and repair of their products. Assignments for these types of engineers generally require both classroom settings and hands-on instruction at the location of purchasing organization.
The educational requirements of field engineers vary widely, but most positions require a two-year degree in electronics or a closely related field. Further certification in the repair and maintenance of specific machinery or experience with certain equipment may also be required. These jobs, by definition, require frequent travel.
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