In many industries being on field does require skills sets that are different from working from a fixed office location. Many important operations in industry such as I.T or Oil & Gas occur outside of the office, as such it’s imperative that field engineers be skilled in handling a variety of tasks that is needed specific to on field engineering support.
The following are 5 skills that would be helpful in becoming a successful field engineer.
#1. Good communications skills
A field engineer must possess good communication skills. One of the most important factors for any business is how they communicate their products or services to their clients. This is not much different especially for engineers who must do on field work. Without the ability to communicate, an engineer is going to have a tough time helping clients understand what is going on. In order to handle on field job, an engineer must be a calm, understanding and a patient person who knows how to fully and easily communicate with clients. Having the ability to write reports that are easily understood and convey ideas face-to-face in conversations can help field engineers solve problems more quickly as well as let clients know they understand their problems and are working hard to correct them. On top of that, engineers must also be able to effectively communicate with the home office regarding situation on field.
#2. Analytical thinking
A good field engineer must possess analytical thinking. In the field of Engineering, there is frequent need for problem solving, as such if something doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, it needs a fix. Since on field work is mostly used by industries that often uses expensive resources, an engineer must be able to think on his or her feet while brainstorming solutions that can cut costs and time and addressing as many issues as possible. Sometimes these solutions will require testing and additional research, an engineer must know when this is necessary and how such tests can be performed efficiently and at minimum costs.
#3. Leadership skills
Being a strong team leader means knowing when to manage and knowing when to do the complete opposite. Engineers should be familiar with their team members individual strengths and how to use different manpower for different tasks, as well as know when they can initiate said tasks by themselves. This also involves possessing the ability to be firm with people, but also being open and negotiable. A good on field engineer also must believe in his teams and must allow feedbacks, questions and opposing views that may help. The ability to lead a team is an essential skill for anyone not just on field engineers who wants to work their way up in industry. Without it, there’s very little room to grow personally or professionally.
#4. Education & Training
Another skill set that could be helpful for on field engineers is to constantly upgrade their education and training. For example, the I.T industry newer and better technology is introduced at a rapid phase. The second an engineer have a full grasp on a technology, something newer, better, and totally different comes along. This is a constant, and it means an engineer’s education and knowledge must be ever-fluid and expanding. Without the willingness to learn new technologies or skills, an on-field engineer isn’t going to be much use to organization that employs them.
#5. Handle stressful situations
Finally, and on field engineer must be able to handle stressful situations. The on-field support challenges the engineer at every corner and at all levels. Not only do the arising issues takes engineers to the edge of their knowledge, issues such as irate customers, traffic, timeframes and can really push them to their limits. As such it’s crucial for engineers to can handle the stress of everything coming at them at once.