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Become A Field Service Technician

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Working As A Field Service Technician

  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Make Decisions

  • $69,267

    Average Salary

What Does A Field Service Technician Do

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians, also called mechanics, inspect, maintain, and repair vehicles and machinery used in construction, farming, rail transportation, and other industries.

Duties

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians typically do the following:

  • Consult equipment operating manuals, blueprints, and drawings
  • Perform scheduled maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating parts
  • Diagnose and identify malfunctions, using computerized tools and equipment
  • Inspect, repair, and replace defective or worn parts, such as bearings, pistons, and gears
  • Overhaul and test major components, such as engines, hydraulics, and electrical systems
  • Disassemble and reassemble heavy equipment and components
  • Travel to worksites to repair large equipment, such as cranes
  • Maintain logs of equipment condition and work performed

Heavy vehicles and mobile equipment are critical to many industrial activities, including construction and railroad transportation. Various types of equipment, such as tractors, cranes, and bulldozers, are used to haul materials, till land, lift beams, and dig earth to pave the way for development and construction.

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians repair and maintain engines, hydraulic systems, transmissions, and electrical systems of agricultural, industrial, construction, and rail equipment. They ensure the performance and safety of fuel lines, brakes, and other systems.

Service technicians use diagnostic computers and equipment to identify problems and make adjustments or repairs. For example, they may use an oscilloscope to observe the signals produced by electronic components. Service technicians also use many different power and machine tools, including pneumatic wrenches, lathes, and welding equipment. A pneumatic tool, such as an impact wrench, is an air tool powered by compressed air.

Service technicians also use many different hand tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches, to work on small parts and in hard-to-reach areas. They generally purchase these tools over the course of their careers, often investing thousands of dollars in their inventory.

After identifying malfunctioning equipment, service technicians repair, replace, and recalibrate components such as hydraulic pumps and spark plugs. This may involve disassembling and reassembling major equipment or making adjustments through an onboard computer program.

Farm equipment mechanics and service technicians service and repair farm equipment, such as tractors and harvesters. They also work on smaller consumer-grade lawn and garden tractors. Most work for dealer repair shops, where farmers increasingly send their equipment for maintenance.   

Mobile heavy equipment mechanics repair and maintain construction and surface mining equipment, such as bulldozers, cranes, graders, and excavators. Most work for governments, equipment rental and leasing shops, and large construction and mining companies.

Rail car repairers specialize in servicing railroad locomotives, subway cars, and other rolling stock. They usually work for railroad, public and private transit companies, and rail car manufacturers.

For information about technicians and mechanics who work primarily on automobiles, see the profile on automotive service technicians and mechanics.

For information about technicians and mechanics who work primarily on large trucks and buses, see the profile on diesel service technicians and mechanics.

For information about technicians and mechanics who primarily work on motorboats, motorcycles, and small all-terrain vehicles, see the profile on small engine mechanics.

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How To Become A Field Service Technician

Most heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians have a high school diploma or equivalent. Because vehicle and equipment technology is increasingly sophisticated and computerized, some employers prefer to hire service technicians who have completed a formal training program at a postsecondary institution.

Education

Most heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians have a high school diploma or equivalent. High school courses in automotive repair, electronics, physics, and welding provide a strong foundation for a service technician’s career. However, high school graduates often need further training to become fully qualified.

Completing a vocational or other postsecondary training program in diesel technology or heavy equipment mechanics is increasingly considered the best preparation for some entry-level positions. Offered by vocational schools and community colleges, these programs cover the basics of diagnostic techniques, electronics, and other related subjects. Most programs last 1 to 2 years and lead to certificates of completion. Other programs, which lead to associate’s degrees, generally take 2 years to complete.

Training

Entry-level workers with no formal background in heavy vehicle repair often receive a few months of on-the-job training before they begin performing routine service tasks and making minor repairs. Trainees advance to more complex work as they show competence, and usually become fully qualified after 3 to 4 years of work.

Service technicians who have completed a postsecondary training program in diesel technology or heavy equipment mechanics require less training.

Many employers send new service technicians to training sessions conducted by equipment manufacturers. Training sessions may focus on particular components and technologies or types of equipment.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some manufacturers offer certification in specific repair methods or equipment. Although not required, certification can demonstrate a service technician’s competence and usually commands higher pay.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must perform many tasks, such as disassembling engine parts, connecting or attaching components, and using hand tools, with a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination.

Mechanical skills. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must be familiar with engine components and systems and know how they interact with each other. They must often disassemble major parts for repairs and be able to reassemble them.

Organizational skills. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must maintain accurate service records and parts inventories.

Physical strength. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must be able to lift and move heavy equipment, tools, and parts without risking injury.

Troubleshooting skills. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians must be familiar with diagnostic equipment, which can help find the source of malfunctions when they are difficult to identify.

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Field Service Technician Jobs

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Field Service Technician Career Paths

Field Service Technician
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Technician Operations Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Service Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Account Executive
District Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Service Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Service Manager Account Manager
Key Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Information Technology Manager Operations Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Field Engineer Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Project Manager Program Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Field Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineer Senior Software Engineer Product Manager
Product Line Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Project Engineer Sales Engineer
Technical Sales Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Program Manager General Manager
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Business Developer
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Field Service Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
System Technician 4.5 years
Service Engineer 3.3 years
Service Technician 3.2 years
Field Technician 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Technician 10.6%
Mechanic 4.0%
Owner 3.0%
Supervisor 2.9%
Manager 2.7%
Top Employers After
Technician 8.4%
Owner 4.2%
Consultant 3.0%
Engineer 2.8%

Do you work as a Field Service Technician?

Field Service Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

90.3%

Female

8.2%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.2%

French

8.3%

Carrier

6.9%

German

5.5%

Arabic

3.2%

Chinese

2.8%

Italian

2.7%

Japanese

2.6%

Portuguese

2.4%

Korean

1.8%

Mandarin

1.3%

Russian

1.1%

Cheyenne

1.0%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Dakota

0.7%

Romanian

0.6%

Cantonese

0.6%

Persian

0.6%

Polish

0.6%

Hindi

0.6%
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Field Service Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.1%

Community College of the Air Force

10.1%

More Tech Institute

5.8%

Universal Technical Institute

5.6%

Strayer University

5.0%

Central Texas College

4.7%

American InterContinental University

4.0%

University of Maryland - University College

3.3%

Pennsylvania State University

3.3%

Kaplan University

3.3%

A-Technical College

3.2%

Western Governors University

3.2%

University of Houston

3.1%

Colorado Technical University

3.1%

ECPI University

2.9%

Northeastern University

2.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.9%

Illinois Institute of Technology

2.9%

The Academy

2.7%

Arizona State University

2.7%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

23.2%

Business

14.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

10.8%

Computer Science

6.9%

Information Technology

5.8%

Computer Information Systems

5.1%

Computer Networking

4.4%

Automotive Technology

4.1%

Mechanical Engineering

3.4%

Management

2.8%

General Studies

2.6%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.0%

Industrial Technology

2.0%

Engineering

2.0%

Education

1.8%

Computer Technical Support

1.8%

Project Management

1.7%

Communication

1.7%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

30.8%

Bachelors

29.0%

Associate

23.2%

Masters

6.9%

Certificate

6.9%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Field Service Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Field Service Technician Uniform Color Company Holland, MI Sep 01, 2013 $172,290
Field Service Technician Uniform Color Company Holland, MI Sep 01, 2010 $156,908
Electrical Engineer/Field Service Technician American Augers, Inc. West Salem, OH Sep 11, 2015 $112,030
Field Service Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Reno, NV Jan 12, 2015 $104,209
Field Service Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Palo Alto, CA May 15, 2012 $101,719
Field Service Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Huntington Beach, CA Mar 21, 2016 $99,393
Field Service Technician IV Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Reno, NV Mar 11, 2012 $92,139
Electrical Engineer/Field Service Technician Trencor Ltd Leander, TX Apr 01, 2012 $90,000
Field Service Technician IV Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Reno, NV Mar 11, 2010 $89,548
Field Service Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Sep 30, 2012 $89,219
Field Service Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 10, 2012 $87,555
Field Service Engineer Level 6 Waters Technologies Corporation D/B/A Waters Corpo Jersey City, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $87,438
Field Service Engineer Level 5 Waters Technologies Corporation D/B/A Waters Corpo Jersey City, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $87,438
Field Service Technician IV Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Cypress, CA May 16, 2012 $87,325
Field Service Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Oct 03, 2012 $76,385
Field Service Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Huntington Beach, CA Aug 26, 2015 $75,885
Field Service Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Pocatello, ID Aug 26, 2011 $75,430
Field Service Technician Bobst Group North America Charlotte, NC Feb 04, 2009 $74,160
Field Service Technician Bobst Group North America, Inc. Charlotte, NC Jan 10, 2010 $73,844
Field Service Technician Bobst Group North America Charlotte, NC Jan 10, 2010 $73,844
Field Service Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Stevens Point, WI Aug 07, 2013 $73,322
Field Service Technician 4 Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. Allentown, PA Sep 16, 2010 $68,000
Field Service Technician Three-C Electrical Company Inc. Westborough, MA Jan 30, 2015 $67,309
Field Service Engineer Tait North America Inc. Houston, TX Oct 20, 2015 $66,789
Field Service Technician Evoqua Water Technologies LLC. Colorado Springs, CO May 15, 2016 $66,346
Field Service Technician Bobst Group North America Roseland, NJ Mar 06, 2016 $66,061
Field Service Technician Bobst North America, Inc. Roseland, NJ Jun 08, 2016 $66,000
Field Service Technician Bobst North America, Inc. Roseland, NJ Aug 08, 2015 $66,000
Field Service Technician Kopex USA Inc. Milpitas, CA Dec 18, 2015 $65,250

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Top Skills for A Field Service Technician

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  1. Computer
  2. Laser Printers
  3. Preventative Maintenance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained current knowledge of company products during a migration to computerized copiers that served as networked printers.
  • Provide computer systems and laser printers installations in businesses.
  • Perform preventative maintenance and repair of internal/ external shelter structure, reproduction equipment, and multimedia workstations.
  • Provide technical support to customers on operational or maintenance aspects of system equipment.
  • Analyze performance metrics on servers and PCs running Windows operating systems and assist in fine-tuning and improving resource utilization.

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Top Field Service Technician Employers

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