What is a Field & Service Tech?

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You don’t have to get a four-year degree to have an engaging, rewarding career. 

If you enjoy working with your hands in addition to your brain, then you can find tons of interesting opportunities in the industrial sector to pursue. Many of these mirror the average salary that people make after graduating from college.

One of these options is becoming a field & service tech. But this is a job title that many people aren’t familiar with.

So what is a field & service tech? How much do they make? And what does it take to become one?

We’ve put together this article to answer those questions for you. Keep reading to learn more.

What is a field & service tech?

A field & service technician is someone who goes out into the field to solve industrial problems. That typically means visiting job sites to service various types of equipment.

For example, an average day in the life for someone in this position could involve completing any of the following tasks:

  • Performing on-site inspections of machinery that’s been having problems
  • Doing routine maintenance tasks
  • Carrying out repairs
  • Documenting the work that’s been done
  • Communicating with team leaders at job sites

WHAT INDUSTRY DO FIELD & SERVICE TECHS WORK IN?

It’s no accident that the previous section didn’t say which industry these workers operate in. 

That’s because a field and service technician can work in many different industries, including HVAC, electrical, and even construction.

That means you can choose to become a field and service technician and still have some flexibility over the specific industry that you work in.

Working conditions

Field and service technicians can work at construction sites, manufacturing facilities, commercial buildings, and even residential homes. 

They go where there is a need for their skills, which may be any one of these locations depending on the specific industry that they operate in and what their employer specializes in.

That means someone in this role will spend a good amount of time traveling. You might only have to take day trips to different job sites if your employer’s territory is small. But you could also have to spend days or even weeks away from home if it’s larger.

Salary expectations

The average salary for a field & service technician is $50,013. This is just about the same as the average salary for people with a bachelor’s degree in the United States (a little over $51,000).

The important difference is, you don’t necessarily have to go to school at all to become a field and service technician. That means you may be able to get into a career that pays you what you want faster and with less debt.

Future outlook

Field and service technicians are well-positioned to continue thriving well into the future. That’s because these workers don’t have to worry about things like automation or a changing economy reducing the number of available jobs.

As long as we manufacture and build things in this country, we will always need field and service technicians who specialize in coming out to job sites and repairing equipment.

This job isn’t something that robots can do––and it’s not a need that’s going to go away for the foreseeable future. 

That means you should be able to become a field and service technician without having to worry about what the future holds. The same isn’t true of the many jobs that are at risk due to automation.

Becoming a field and service tech

If you think that you might want to pursue this line of work, the next step is figuring out what it takes to get started. We’ve outlined that process for you in this section. There are two main options available to you.

COMPLETE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION

If you haven’t already, the first step to getting this job is completing your high school education. This will show employers that you possess the baseline level of competence that they’re looking for.

If you’re in high school now, then you may also want to try to take certain classes to get you ready for this type of work. Anything that gives you the opportunity to work with tools should be helpful for this career.

If you’re past the age of high school and don’t have your diploma, don’t worry. You can also satisfy this step by earning your GED.

OPTION 1: GET AN APPRENTICESHIP

Perhaps the most popular pathway to becoming a field & service technician is through an apprenticeship. These give you the opportunity to work alongside a field and service technician who has already established a career in the industry.

Apprenticeships are a great way to learn the hands-on skills that you need to thrive as a field and service technician throughout the rest of your career.

You can find them through local unions and non-union industry organizations. A community college or technical school may also be able to help you find one.

OPTION 2: PURSUE A POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION

While you don’t need a degree to become a field and service technician, earning one could be a smart move if you plan on being in this industry long-term.

That’s because employers place a higher value on job applicants who have dedicated more of their time and energy to learning their crafts. And earning a college degree is a fantastic way to demonstrate your commitment.

If you’re interested in doing this, then you can look into the options for certifications and associate’s degrees at your local community colleges and trade schools. 

Try to pick a program that focuses on the specific industry that you’d like to be a field & service technician in. For example, you could look for degrees with a focus in construction, HVAC, or electrical systems. 

COMPLETE YOUR ON-THE-JOB TRAINING

Whether you choose to pursue post-secondary education or an apprenticeship, you’ll have to complete some on-the-job training once you get your first job.

This is similar to an apprenticeship in that you’ll spend some time working with a more experienced employee before being trusted to work on your own.

seven construction workers standing on white field

Pros and cons of this career path

If you’re still unsure about whether or not becoming a field & service tech is right for you, it can be helpful to take a look at some of the pros and cons of doing so. We’ll cover the major ones in this section.

SOLVE ENGAGING MECHANICAL PROBLEMS

If you love to work with your hands and solve mechanical issues, then this could be a very enjoyable career for you. Field and service technicians get to spend their days working out mechanical issues that can be really interesting to certain groups of people.

EARN A SOLID LIVING

You could also make a strong living as a field and service technician. As noted above, the average salary for these workers rivals that of the average bachelor’s degree holder.

Of course, your individual results may vary. Factors like your location, employer, and industry can impact your earnings potential. But if you’re just starting out, you have the flexibility to prepare yourself for jobs that offer you the highest salary outcomes.

BE INDEPENDENT

Another major benefit of this career is that you’ll have a lot of independence in it. Field and service technicians mostly operate by themselves when they go from job site to job site.

This means that if you really hate dealing with micromanaging bosses, this could be the job for you. This is rare for field and service technicians, as they typically manage their work independently. 

SPEND A LOT OF TIME TRAVELING

One of the downsides to this line of work is that you may have to spend a good deal of time traveling. Field and service technicians don’t work in the same place every day. 

That means you will have to be willing to go wherever the work is for that day, week, and month. This may sometimes require you to spend long periods of time away from home.

MAY HAVE TO WORK ODD HOURS

Field and service technicians also respond to emergency situations. These can occur at odd hours, such as in the middle of the night or on the weekends.

You may or may not have to work odd hours depending on the type of work that your employer does. But you may not get the option of choosing either.

Find your next field and service technician job through Rock the Trades

When you’re ready to find your next job as a field and service technician, Rock the Trades can help. Our app automatically connects you with employers in your area that are looking for job applicants with your skills.

All that you need to do to get started is download our app and tell us a little about your background. We’ll handle everything else on our end so that you can start seeing the top jobs in your area right away without having to keep track of them yourself. So why wait? Take the first step towards your next industrial job by downloading the RTT app today.

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