What Does a Field Service Engineer Do?

A field service engineer may install and operate equipment.
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  • Written By: A. Garrett
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
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A field service engineer designs, installs, or repairs equipment related to various sectors of technology. For example, an engineer can work in electronics or biomedical fields, and in the public or private sector. People working in this profession perform repairs and installations on site at the customer’s home or place of business instead of from one standard location. The job description is fairly standard throughout the trade, but it does vary somewhat based on sub-specializations. Working as a field service engineer usually requires a bachelor’s degree from a college or university or equivalent training.

Technically, there is no particular training or schooling available for becoming a service engineer who works in the field, and any formally educated engineer who installs or repairs electronics at a work site can probably do this job. These engineers can work in the public or private sector, although employment is most commonly found at private sector electronics manufacturing companies. Companies often hire engineers so that they can consult with customers seeking to buy equipment or install and help train the customer’s employees on how to use hardware.

Additional job duties include field-testing equipment and designing it. Someone working in this job may be asked to look at blueprints to find potential flaws in a design or to develop procedures for proper installation. Also, the job description associated with this occupation may require the engineer to install and operate equipment at test sites to ensure a product’s efficacy.


Usually, a field service engineer focuses primarily on identifying and repairing equipment problems at a customer’s site. Someone working in the field is expected to resolve the issue in a timely manner without disrupting the client’s work flow. These engineers seldom work under direct supervision and sometimes oversee the work performed by repair or installation technicians. Consequently, someone hired for this position should be self-motivated and be comfortable in a leadership role.

Due to the fact that these engineers perform most of their work at the client’s office or work site, someone seeking employment in this occupation should be willing to travel and usually must have a clean driving record. He or she should also be able to effectively communicate and teach clients about the products. Most people in this field have a bachelor’s degree in some engineering discipline, but some employers hire people who have on-the-job or military training.


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