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Working As A Field Applications Engineer

  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Selling or Influencing Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $92,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Field Applications Engineer Do

Sales engineers sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses. They must have extensive knowledge of the products’ parts and functions and must understand the scientific processes that make these products work.

Duties

Sales engineers typically do the following:

  • Prepare and deliver technical presentations explaining products or services to existing and prospective customers
  • Confer with customers and engineers to assess equipment needs and to determine system requirements
  • Collaborate with sales teams to understand customer requirements and provide sales support
  • Secure and renew orders and arrange delivery
  • Plan and modify products to meet customer needs
  • Help clients solve problems with installed equipment
  • Recommend improved materials or machinery to customers, showing how changes will lower costs or increase production
  • Help in researching and developing new products

Sales engineers specialize in technologically and scientifically advanced products. They use their technical skills to explain the benefits of their products or services to potential customers and to show how their products or services are better than their competitors'. Some sales engineers work for the companies that design and build technical products. Others work for independent sales firms.

Many of the duties of sales engineers are similar to those of other salespersons. They must interest the client in buying their products or services, negotiate a price, and complete the sale. To do this, sales engineers give technical presentations during which they explain the technical aspects of the product and how it will solve a specific customer problem.

Some sales engineers, however, team with salespersons who concentrate on marketing and selling the product, which lets the sales engineer concentrate on the technical aspects of the job. By working as part of a sales team, each member is able to focus on his or her strengths and expertise. For more information on other sales occupations, see the profile on wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives.

In addition to giving technical presentations, sales engineers are increasingly doing other tasks related to sales, such as market research. They also may ask for technical requirements from customers and modify and adjust products to meet customers’ specific needs. Some sales engineers work with research and development (R&D) departments to help identify and develop new products.

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How To Become A Field Applications Engineer

A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become a sales engineer. Successful sales engineers combine technical knowledge of the products or services they are selling with strong interpersonal skills.

Education

Sales engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field. However, a worker without a degree, but with previous sales experience as well as technical experience or training, sometimes holds the title of sales engineer. Workers who have a degree in a science, such as chemistry, or in business with little or no previous sales experience, also may be called sales engineers.

University engineering programs generally require 4 years of study. They vary in content, but all programs include courses in math and the physical sciences. In addition, most programs require developing strong computer skills.

Most engineering programs require students to choose an area of specialization. The most common majors are electrical, mechanical, or civil engineering, but some engineering departments offer additional majors, such as chemical, biomedical, or computer hardware engineering. However, some undergraduate programs offer a general engineering curriculum; students then specialize in a particular area either on the job or in graduate school.

Training

New graduates with engineering degrees typically need sales experience and training before they can work independently as sales engineers. Training covers general sales techniques and may involve teaming with a sales mentor who is familiar with the employer's business practices, customers, procedures, and company culture. After the training period, sales engineers may continue to partner with someone who lacks technical skills yet excels in the art of sales.

It is important for sales engineers to continue their engineering and sales education throughout their careers. Much of their value to their employers depends on their knowledge of, and ability to sell, the latest technologies. Sales engineers in high-technology fields, such as information technology and advanced electronics, may find that their technical knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, requiring frequent retraining.

Advancement

Promotions may include a higher commission rate, a larger sales territory, or elevation to the position of supervisor or sales manager.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Strong interpersonal skills are a valuable characteristic for sales engineers, both for building relationships with clients and effectively communicating with other members of the sales team.

Problem-solving skills. Sales engineers must be able to listen to the customer’s desires and concerns, and then recommend solutions, possibly including customizing a product.

Self-confidence. Sales engineers should be confident and persuasive when making sales presentations. 

Technological skills. Sales engineers must have extensive knowledge of the technologically sophisticated products they sell in order to explain their advantages and answer questions.

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Field Applications Engineer Career Paths

Field Applications Engineer
Product Manager Marketing Manager Business Development Manager
Senior Business Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Product Marketing Manager
Senior Product Marketing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Product Manager Sales Manager Account Manager
Global Account Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Regional Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales & Business Development
12 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Marketing Manager
Business Development And Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Regional Sales Manager Director Of Sales
Director Of Sales, Americas
13 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Account Executive District Sales Manager
Eastern Regional Sales Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Applications Engineer Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Senior Product Line Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Applications Engineer Program Manager Director Of Sales
Director, Strategic Accounts
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Applications Engineer Engineering Manager Sales Engineering Manager
Director Of Sales Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Manager Sales And Marketing Manager Product Marketing Manager
Global Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Marketing Manager Market Manager Brand Manager
Group Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Sales Engineer Senior Sales Engineer
Technical Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Purchasing Manager Product Development Manager
Manager, Product Management
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager National Account Manager Global Account Manager
Global Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Contracting Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Engineer 4.2 years
Sales Engineer 3.7 years
Marketing Engineer 2.9 years
Top Careers Before Field Applications Engineer
Engineer 3.4%
Top Careers After Field Applications Engineer
Consultant 2.9%

Do you work as a Field Applications Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$92,000
Show Salaries
$69,000
Min 10%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Median 50%
$121,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Vancouver, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a Field Applications Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Field Applications Engineer in the United States is $92,442 per year or $44 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $70,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $122,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Field Applications Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Field Applications Engineer, Principal Broadcom Corporation Oct 21, 2015 $175,000
Field Application Engineer CEVA Development Inc. Jun 20, 2016 $159,370
Field Applications Engineer Micron Semiconductor Products, Inc. Aug 13, 2015 $148,000 -
$150,000
Staff Field Applications Engineer Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation Jul 01, 2016 $145,933 -
$155,700
Principal Field Application Engineer 6Wind USA Inc. Jun 01, 2016 $142,000 -
$150,000
Field Applications Engineer NXP Semiconductors USA, Inc. Nov 19, 2015 $141,960
Field Applications Engineer, Principal-Test Broadcom Corporation Aug 01, 2015 $141,960
Field Applications Engineer, Staff Synopsys, Inc. Nov 16, 2016 $140,000 -
$160,000
Field Applications Engineer Intel Americas Oct 18, 2016 $137,093 -
$144,140
Lead Field Applications Engineer Atrenta Inc. Jan 04, 2016 $136,000
Field Applications Engineer, Principal-S Broadcom Corporation Nov 26, 2015 $135,430
Field Applications Engineer Aeroflex Wichita, Inc. Jun 10, 2015 $134,867
Field Applications Engineer Aeroflex Wichita, Inc. Aug 31, 2015 $134,181
Field Applications Engineer Aeroflex Wichita, Inc. Aug 28, 2015 $131,352
Field Application Engineer TYCO Electronics Corporation, A Te Connectivity Ltd. Company Feb 16, 2015 $110,000
Field Application Engineer & Product Marketing Embedded Data Modul Inc. Sep 15, 2015 $110,000
Field Application Engineer Data Modul Inc. Sep 19, 2015 $110,000
Field Applications Engineer Dassault Systemes Biovia Corp. Jul 26, 2016 $110,000
Field Application Engineer & Product Marketing Embedded Data Modul Inc. Sep 12, 2015 $110,000
Field Applications Engineer Adobe Systems Incorporated Aug 12, 2015 $109,762 -
$172,776
Field Applications Engineer Atmel Corporation Feb 17, 2016 $109,371
Field Application Engineer Luxshare-ICT Jan 08, 2016 $108,992
Field Applications Engineer Synopsys, Inc. Sep 03, 2015 $95,254 -
$170,254
Field Application Engineer Teradyne, Inc. Aug 17, 2015 $94,920
Field Application Engineer Chelsio Communications, Inc. Sep 21, 2015 $94,500
Field Applications Engineer Adobe Systems Incorporated Jul 30, 2015 $94,162 -
$172,776
Field Application Engineer TYCO Electronics Corporation Oct 19, 2016 $94,000
Field Applications Engineer KLA-Tencor Corporation Nov 16, 2016 $93,559
Field Applications Engineer KLA-Tencor Corporation Aug 11, 2015 $93,538 -
$94,538

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Top Skills for A Field Applications Engineer

  1. New Product Development
  2. Technical Support
  3. Semiconductor
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Submit new product development proposals to management & R&D team.
  • Accompanied sales staff to customer meetings for product promotion/development and provided technical support to make meetings more successful.
  • Participated in a cross-functional team to prepare ON Semiconductor to replace a competitor's data communications device.
  • Create documents for new issues or recommended best practices to present to the team during weekly FAE best practices/issues meetings.
  • Accomplished Analog Devices Distribution Field Applications Engineer Certification in 1993.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Field Applications Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Virginia
  3. Utah
  4. Maryland
  5. Colorado
  6. California
  7. Texas
  8. Idaho
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Nevada
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  • (1,499 jobs)
  • (11,591 jobs)
  • (3,986 jobs)
  • (154 jobs)
  • (412 jobs)
  • (220 jobs)

Field Applications Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

83.9%

Female

8.5%

Unknown

7.6%
Ethnicity

White

50.9%

Asian

19.6%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

9.0%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Chinese

19.2%

Spanish

17.6%

Mandarin

14.4%

Japanese

8.0%

French

6.4%

German

5.6%

Italian

4.0%

Carrier

4.0%

Cantonese

4.0%

Vietnamese

3.2%

Korean

3.2%

Portuguese

2.4%

Hindi

1.6%

Dutch

1.6%

Bosnian

0.8%

Bengali

0.8%

Russian

0.8%

Tamil

0.8%

Shanghaiese

0.8%

Greek

0.8%
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Field Applications Engineer Education

Schools

San Jose State University

10.9%

Arizona State University

7.8%

University of California - San Diego

7.8%

University of Texas at Austin

7.0%

University of Florida

5.4%

University of Southern California

5.4%

Purdue University

5.4%

Texas Tech University

4.7%

Portland State University

4.7%

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

4.7%

North Carolina State University

3.9%

University of South Florida

3.9%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.9%

Santa Clara University

3.9%

University of Houston

3.9%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.9%

Northeastern University

3.9%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

3.1%

University of Central Florida

3.1%

San Diego State University

3.1%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

45.7%

Business

9.7%

Mechanical Engineering

8.3%

Computer Science

7.5%

Computer Engineering

4.2%

Computer Networking

3.4%

Management

2.4%

Computer Engineering Technology

2.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Engineering

2.0%

Marketing

1.8%

Computer Systems Security

1.4%

Physics

1.4%

Information Technology

1.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.2%

Management Information Systems

1.0%

Biomedical Engineering

1.0%

Industrial Engineering

1.0%

Music

1.0%

Finance

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.6%

Masters

34.7%

Associate

6.8%

Certificate

3.7%

Doctorate

2.5%

High School Diploma

1.8%

Diploma

0.9%
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Updated May 18, 2020