What does a field technician do?
Field technicians perform preventative maintenance and necessary repairs on a variety of electronic equipment. They often travel to factories and other locations to perform their duties. They typically have assigned areas where they perform maintenance tasks on a regular basis. When unexpected malfunctions occur, field technicians often travel to a customer’s location to fix the equipment. They often perform work on home-based equipment including appliances, security systems, televisions, computer equipment, and heating and ventilation systems. They also work on heavy equipment such as diesel engines, factory machinery, and computer networks.
What kind of training does a field technician need?
Field technicians must have at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer candidates with an associate degree in electronics and sufficient work experience. Field technicians must have a solid understanding of electronics and electrical equipment. Many vocational and technical schools and community colleges offer programs in electronics. Most employers provide on the job training where new field technicians work with experience workers to gain the necessary skills and experience. They move on to work independently once they have shown proficiency in the position. Many field technicians gain professional certification to demonstrate their competence and remain competitive in the field. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians offers many different levels of competence. Certification requirements vary, but typically include minimum education and passing an examination.
What are the prospects for a career as a field technician?
Employment of field technicians is expected to grow more slowly than average for all professions, increasing 5% from 2008 to 2018 (1). Increased automation will contribute to the slow job growth.
Job prospects should be favorable especially for field technicians with an associate degree, professional certification, and extensive experience. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace field technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do field technicians make?
As of December 2009, the average annual salary for field technicians is $38,000; average annual field technician salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a field technician is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in the maintenance and repair of a variety of electronic equipment. Field technicians must have a solid understanding of electronics and be able to troubleshoot a variety of problems. Good eyesight, accuracy, patience, detail orientation, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Field technicians must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they often work directly with customers. They must be able to work effectively independently as well as part of a team.