Getting a field service engineer job.

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How did you get your start doing field service engineer work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

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Al in Satellite Provider

106 months ago

I actually started field service work while in the military. I was in communications security then, and on my first assignment, the task presented to us was to upgrade the existing comsec gear on ground vehicles for the 8th Infantry Division in Germany to a newer system. As an afterthought, the decision was made to do the upgrades on-site rather than bring all the vehicles from several locations to our shop. I immediately feel in love with working this way. After getting out of the military, I landed a position as a medical x-ray service engineer, and later the position I have now which is security x-ray screening of vehicles and cargo. I am currently the field service manager for 24 FSRs and 70+ systems owned by the USMC and located throughout the Anbar Province in Iraq. The best part of this job is not only do manage the team and equipment, but I still get to work on the equipment, and not just any equipment either. I get tasked with rebuilding the worst damaged ones usually from mortar fire.

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Field Service Engineer in Salt Lake City, Utah

96 months ago

I also got my start in the military. I was in the United States Air Force working on Mobile Radar Systems (729th ACS). I was responsible for the mobile setup, radio communications integration, software builds, and hardware maintenance. It was a job that was all field service work. I loved the work and found that it was rewarding.

When I got out of the Air Force I worked for a a Bio-Medical Company fixing Blood Measurement equipment. Later I was recruited and joined another medical company specializing in Nuclear Medicine. A year later I got promoted as a Field Service Engineer
supporting ADAC, Philips, and GE Nuclear Med. Cameras. It's hard work but satisfying.

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Truthbetold in Orlando, Florida

70 months ago

The best advice that I can give you is to look for work in any different area. If you like constantly working before you leave your house, through what is supposed to be lunch hour, way past five o'clock everyday, in the evening, on the weekends and then having to deal with customers that won't let you work on the system until way late in the day; and of course the frustration of management that doesn't understand why you want to be paid for your overtime worked, this may be the perfect job for you. Not to mention the constant extra duties thrown in your lap late in the day; like having sales clowns that have their own " great ideas" that come at the cost of your time and energy or picking-up the slack for employees that go away for long periods of time like Guard Reserve while you work twice as hard and long so that you keep your affairs in order or you will pay dearly at review time. Basiclly, the harder you work, the harder you must work costantly in the future to improve. The minute that you draw boundries, you are deemed as having a bad attitude because you manned-up and stuck-up for yourself.
Also, keep in mind that companies like GE and Siemens have long lost any good Managers to good companies that appreciate good employees. If you get stuck with a manager that brown nosed his way there and is as dumb as a box of rocks; you will be constantly paying in sweat and toil.

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FE in Orlando

67 months ago

I couldn't agree more with what Truthbetold. And no, I don't know him.

I have been working as a Field Engineer in the medical imaging industry for 20+ years. I got my start in the Navy. I was an Electronics Technician and when I got out, I worked as a bench tech and absolutely hated it. I did some odd jobs for a friend of mine who worked for a doctor. He owned an interest in a MRI in town and told me that the engineer they had was leaving. The rest is history.

You need a strong background in electronics technology, computer operating systems, networking, some college level physics and customer service.

The career path for an FE is either Service Manager or Production Engineer, both of which usually requires more education.

It can be very frustrating becuase you are usually very specialized, on a daily basis, deal with people who have no idea what kind of challenges you face and lots of time end up being the fall guy for someone elses short comings.

What keeps me coming back is the satisfaction I get from solving a very difficult problem and fixing a system.

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jondawson917 in Edmonton, Alberta

13 months ago

I started out of university and interested in traveling. I worked with Abbott labs and GE Oil & Gas. Transitioning from a hospital/clinic environment to industrial plants in isolated are was difficult but worth it. My suggestion is to not let management push you around-they're expectations will always be high and you need to set yours as an employee in demand.

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