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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

  • $63,000

    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 Career Paths

Field Service Technician
Service Manager General Manager Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Service Manager Operations Manager Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Service Manager Owner Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Analyst Chemist
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Operation Supervisor
Fleet Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Engineer Technical Support Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Lead Technician Technical Manager
Technical Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Crew Leader Lead Carpenter Lead Installer
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Regional Service Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Senior Technologist
Senior Service Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Assistant Branch Manager
Branch Service Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Owner Maintenance Manager Regional Service Manager
Area Service Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Lead Technician Service Technician Lead
Technical Services Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Engineer Building Engineer
Senior Maintenance Technician
8 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 4.6 years
Service Technician 3.4 years
Field Technician 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Field Service Technician
Technician 10.3%
Mechanic 4.2%
Owner 3.2%
Supervisor 3.0%
Manager 2.8%
Top Careers After Field Service Technician
Technician 8.4%
Owner 5.0%
Consultant 2.8%

Do you work as a Field Service Technician?

Field Service Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

85.6%

Female

8.0%

Unknown

6.4%
Ethnicity

White

61.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.5%

French

8.0%

Carrier

6.2%

German

5.3%

Arabic

3.5%

Japanese

2.9%

Chinese

2.8%

Italian

2.6%

Portuguese

2.5%

Mandarin

1.6%

Korean

1.6%

Russian

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Cheyenne

0.8%

Cantonese

0.7%

Dakota

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Romanian

0.5%

Persian

0.5%

Hindi

0.5%
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Field Service Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.1%

Community College of the Air Force

9.2%

Universal Technical Institute

6.9%

More Tech Institute

6.4%

Central Texas College

4.4%

Strayer University

4.3%

A-Technical College

3.8%

The Academy

3.6%

Pennsylvania State University

3.5%

University of Houston

3.4%

University of Maryland - University College

3.4%

American InterContinental University

3.4%

Kaplan University

3.1%

Colorado Technical University

3.1%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.1%

Western Governors University

2.9%

Arizona State University

2.8%

Texas A&M University

2.7%

Northeastern University

2.6%

Purdue University

2.6%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

24.3%

Business

14.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

11.2%

Computer Science

6.4%

Information Technology

5.4%

Computer Information Systems

4.7%

Automotive Technology

4.3%

Computer Networking

4.1%

Mechanical Engineering

3.3%

General Studies

2.7%

Management

2.6%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.0%

Engineering

2.0%

Industrial Technology

1.9%

Computer Technical Support

1.8%

Education

1.7%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.7%

Communication

1.7%

Project Management

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

29.2%

Bachelors

28.9%

Associate

25.0%

Certificate

6.9%

Masters

6.5%

Diploma

2.8%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$63,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$40,000
Min 10%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$99,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
IAP Worldwide Services
Highest Paying City
San Diego, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.1 years
How much does a Field Service Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Field Service Technician in the United States is $63,254 per year or $30 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $40,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $99,000.

Real Field Service Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Customer Service Project Engineer Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc. Seattle, WA May 07, 2015 $140,641
Customer Service Project Engineer Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc. Seattle, WA Aug 08, 2015 $140,641
Customer Service Project Engineer Cubic Transportation Systems Seattle, WA Aug 10, 2015 $130,810
Customer Service Engineer Nokia Solutions and Networks Us LLC Redmond, WA Feb 03, 2015 $127,814
Field Service Engineer Spirent Communications, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA May 02, 2015 $120,000 -
$125,000
Field Service Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Cary, NC Sep 08, 2015 $119,503
Engineer IV, Field Services Compressor Controls Corporation Houston, TX Apr 14, 2016 $119,059
Premier Field Engineer, Devices-OEM Services (Cogs) or Other Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jan 29, 2015 $116,272 -
$136,272
Field Service Engineer Spirent Communications, Inc. MD Jun 22, 2015 $115,000 -
$120,000
Field Service Engineer Viewray Inc. Oakwood, OH Sep 17, 2016 $115,000
Field Service Engineer L-3 Applied Technologies, Inc. San Leandro, CA Apr 24, 2016 $114,695
Field Service Engineer L-3 Applied Technologies, Inc. San Leandro, CA Apr 24, 2015 $114,691
Electrical Engineer/Field Service Technician American Augers, Inc. West Salem, OH Sep 11, 2015 $112,030
Field Service Engineer Accuray Incorporated Anchorage, AK Jul 27, 2015 $79,434
Field Service Engineer X Tech, FAB Ready Solutions, Inc. Hillsboro, OR Sep 30, 2015 $79,306
Field Service Engineer Ab Sciex Framingham, MA Feb 09, 2016 $79,248 -
$94,224
Field Service Engineer Engel MacHinery, Inc. Edinburg, TX Aug 26, 2015 $78,542
Customer Service Engineer Photon Dynamics, Inc., An Orbotech Company Colorado Springs, CO Sep 01, 2015 $78,000 -
$87,000
Field Service Engineer Hermes Microvision, Inc. Boise, ID Jan 05, 2015 $78,000
Field Services Electrical Engineer TRC Engineers, LLC Augusta, ME Sep 09, 2016 $78,000
Stimulation Services Field Engineer Tucker Energy Services, Inc. McAlester, OK Sep 02, 2015 $78,000
Field Service Engineer FEI Company Hillsboro, OR Feb 12, 2016 $68,640 -
$90,910
Field Service Engineer Sidel, Inc. Norcross, GA Sep 17, 2015 $68,640
Field Services Electrical Engineer TRC Environmental Corporation Auburn Hills, MI Dec 26, 2016 $68,250
Field Service Engineer Ericsson Inc. Plano, TX Nov 27, 2015 $68,210 -
$77,858
Field Service Engineer Gebo Cermex USA Inc. Norcross, GA Mar 17, 2015 $68,000 -
$70,000
Customer Service Engineer Hermes Microvision, Inc. Boise, ID Aug 21, 2016 $68,000
Field Service Engineer Hermes Microvision, Inc. Malta, NY Sep 01, 2015 $68,000

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Top Skills for A Field Service Technician

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Customer Service
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Investigated telephone and written requests for assistance related to network, computer hardware/software applications for the purpose of resolving problems.
  • Delivered extensive customer service and consulting to customers related to equipment maintenance, repair, maintenance intervals, and best applications.
  • Provide day-to-day hardware and software technical support to users within their business unit dialysis facilities and administrative offices.
  • Configured and Maintained and repaired network printers and replacing parts as necessary.
  • Serviced continuous preventative maintenance for each gamma camera system for optimum reliability of customer hardware and software.

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Top 10 Best States for Field Service Technicians

  1. Alaska
  2. Hawaii
  3. Wyoming
  4. North Dakota
  5. Nevada
  6. Texas
  7. Arizona
  8. Alabama
  9. Iowa
  10. Rhode Island
  • (111 jobs)
  • (166 jobs)
  • (157 jobs)
  • (308 jobs)
  • (402 jobs)
  • (4,104 jobs)
  • (927 jobs)
  • (596 jobs)
  • (705 jobs)
  • (128 jobs)

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