What does a Field Technician do?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

A field technician is someone who works in the “field,” as opposed to in an office, laboratory, showroom, performance venue, school, or other setting. He or she is also a “technician,” as opposed to a researcher, manager, agent, engineer, sales rep, analyst, specialist, merchandiser, supervisor, etc. Someone who works in this type of job may sometimes also have other, separate roles and work locations. Moreover, field technician is a designation in many career areas, and there a large number of quite varied positions in different fields, performing different types of work.

Electricians are often field technicians.
Electricians are often field technicians.

Field archaeologist is the name of the short-term positions that a relative neophyte to archaeology takes on, under supervision to begin to learn the work of an archaeological dig. In this role, a technician would do surveying, controlled excavation, plan views, note taking, and artifact collection. Qualifications can be met through a bachelor’s degree in archaeology, anthropology, or a related field, completion of field school, or prior experience in the field. Hiring for this type of position may be by a college or university, a state, local, or federal government agency, or a private company.

Home repair specialists are often referred to as field technicians.
Home repair specialists are often referred to as field technicians.

A field technician in meteorology, on the other hand, carries out a very different range of tasks, including management of meteorological tower siting, installation, and maintenance, both routine and emergency, and setting up instrumentation. Qualifications can be met through a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or a related field, or through experience.

Some field technicians repair printers.
Some field technicians repair printers.

A technician whose specialty is HVAC refrigeration could be employed to travel to various businesses who use refrigeration units and provide repairs and maintenance as needed. An example of such a job is maintaining and repairing soft serve ice cream freezers or working for a retail appliance company repairing home appliances, including air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators and freezers. Qualifications may include technician III training and/or EPA Universal certification.

Some field technicians are responsible for maintaining copy machines.
Some field technicians are responsible for maintaining copy machines.

Field technicians can also work in a wide range of other career fields doing a wide range of different tasks. Examples include working in avionics servicing Blackhawk helicopters, robotics servicing laboratory equipment, computer security developing infrastructure, broadcasting installing and repairing television broadcast signal equipment, food production troubleshooting and repairing machinery and systems, health care providing fraud investigation services, and office equipment repairing laser printers, color copiers, fax machines, computers, and other devices.

A field technician works on site, typically in a hands-on manner.
A field technician works on site, typically in a hands-on manner.
Field technicians may service Blackhawk helicopters.
Field technicians may service Blackhawk helicopters.
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Discussion Comments

scifreak

@seekinfo- Most field technician jobs pay around $29,000-$44,000. Not too bad when some of the jobs require a vocational certificate up to a bachelor's degree. My brother is a field technician who works as a HVAC refrigeration specialist. He had to get certifications in order become licensed.

seekinfo2

I wonder how much the average field technician's salary is? I have watched many shows where they have dug up ancient artifacts and have always wondered what the people digging made. I also did not realize that they had to have surveying skills. I thought they just worked under the head archeologist and were told exactly where to dig. Since they can survey, they can certainly perform some actions on their own.

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