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Essential career advancement tips for field service technicians

Justine Arscott
December 20, 2023
7 min. read

Field service management is understandably known to be a demanding career path. From tight schedules to less-than-ideal conditions and a shortage of skilled workers, it’s understandable that technicians are under a lot of pressure. 

At the same time, for many technicians,  the positives of the profession truly outweigh the negatives. 

  • There’s a feeling of accomplishment that comes with problem-solving tough challenges 
  • Working in the field, you can immediately see the real-world impact of your work
  • Because field service management is a growth industry, you can find opportunities that pay well and open doors for growth
  • Given the pace of digital transformation in field service, technicians frequently have access to cutting-edge technology
  • Most importantly, the work is meaningful and directly impacts people’s lives 

As with any industry, whether you’re a newcomer to your field or an experienced professional, your career is what you make of it. With so many changes happening in the field service management industry, now is a great time to start thinking about your professional  advancement and skill level. 

1. Recognize how big-picture market trends impact your career growth prospects 

Especially when you’re focused on the day-to-day aspects of your role, it’s tough to take a step back and reflect upon the bigger picture. However, a macro perspective is critical to discovering new opportunities for growth. 

The fact is, despite the challenges that come with being a field service technician, your job is critical to keeping society running. People rely on your expertise to fix broken equipment, recover from service outages, and modernize outdated infrastructure. When things break, who else has the expertise to fix it?

The demand for your services is only going to grow. 

Especially with the rollout of Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation, major funding sources are becoming available for the development of new initiatives. With these new initiatives, there’s a lot that will need fixing and upgrading. 

One major area of economic growth is the global energy transition. 

“Wind and solar power are breaking records, and renewables are now expected to overtake coal by 2025 as the world’s largest source of electricity,” explains a team of writers for The New York Times.

These market shifts need to attract top talent. Inevitably, many field service technicians will come to the energy sector as career switchers. Whether it’s fixing malfunctioning manufacturing equipment, restoring service outages, or focusing on installations, there’s a lot of work to be done to support the progress of communities across the country.

2. Enhance your consultative expertise with technologies that improve customer communications

In the field service management industry, customer expectations can be especially tough to manage. That’s because technicians are often responsible for fixing problems and keeping clients informed of updates.

As a profession, field service management requires extreme focus. Problem-solving requires many moving parts. It’s challenging to take a step back to answer questions. Often, the task of managing customer emotions can feel like a distraction from the critical task at hand.

At the same time, your customers need answers from you. Not to mention, the situation of dealing with an outage — like a power outage — can be overwhelming. 

For these reasons, companies are using technology such as self-serve customer portals and automated text messages to keep customers informed. What’s important to keep in mind, with this tech, is that the solutions are only as effective as the humans who are using them.

As a field service technician, you can increase your performance on the job by increasing your proficiency with digital communication technology. For instance, if your customer has a question, you can proactively coach them to seek answers independently. In addition, you can listen to your customer’s feedback and take back recommendations to your director of operations or executive team lead to suggest potential technology improvements to make the self-service customer experience even better.

By familiarizing yourself with technologies that improve customer communications, you are not only a user of technology but an active stakeholder in making sure that your team is using the right solutions in the field. This on-the-ground view will be invaluable to executives who rely on your insight to shape customer experiences, overall.

3. Familiarize yourself with trends in innovation

Digital transformation is a major trend in the field service management industry. One of the biggest challenges; however, is being able to choose what technology to adopt. 

As a field service technician, you’re in an optimal position to advise management as to what types of solutions are highly practical — and what isn’t.

From artificial intelligence (AI), to the internet of things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 5G high speed internet, remote assistance video technology, and high performance computing, field service management organizations have access to a wealth of problem-solving capabilities.

Your perspective can help executive teams differentiate signals from noise and better identify priorities.

Consider the scenario of remote diagnostics and troubleshooting, as an example. A common pain point among field service management companies is that there simply isn’t enough bandwidth to meet customers’ needs. There’s simply more work that needs to be done than there is time to do it.

You don’t need to be an expert. Problem-solving requires curiosity first and foremost. But ultimately, as you discover the broad range of technologies available, you may be wondering how to make sense of it all. How do you practically stitch together a solution that tailors the technical solution to the exact problem that you’re looking to solve? On-the-ground perspective is critical to answering this question. For instance, you could opt to use augmented reality (AR) glasses that help in-office teams visualize what field technicians are seeing on the ground. Another solution could be a call-based web link, which allows a technician to take control of a customer’s smartphone to help with seeing the problem from a distance, first-hand.

Maybe the right technical solution will require a mix of technologies.

Remember, the technologies that you choose can help to alleviate stress on technician teams that are limited on time and unable to travel to work sites as a result. By building a reputation as a tech-enabled field service expert, you’ll build trust as a leader who your teammates, especially those making technical decisions from an office, can turn towards as a problem-solver.

Final Thoughts

The future of your field service career depends on the decisions that you’re making today. The key is to remember that, at the end of the day, what’s accomplished is for the betterment of society and its infrastructure.

In all of this, people-based workflows are fundamental. Especially with the introduction of technology, the way that technicians work together is critical to the success of an initiative. With hands-on responsibilities in the field, you’re in the optimal position to advise management and enhance your career prospects, overall.

Being part of innovation and digital transformation not only keeps the job interesting but also opens up opportunities for growth and specialization. Field service technicians are continually exposed to new equipment, technologies. This constant evolution ensures that your skills stay sharp, making it an ideal career for those who crave continuous learning and development.

Career advancement starts with your perspective, differentiation, and ability to offer unique and constructive solutions. It’s that simple.

At Praxedo, we work with over a thousand companies around the world. More than 60,000 field service professionals use our application every day. Our singular focus, as a company, is to help field service teams remain empowered. While our core product is software, we are in the business of human relationships.

This scale and reach of impact have very human consequences. We care about ensuring that field technicians stay optimistic and empowered, no matter what’s happening in the world. That means connecting the impact of your work to an optimistic bigger picture. Behind every key performance indicator (KPI) is a human story.

Learn more about Praxedo

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