What are FAE pre-requisites?
With FAE now recognised globally as a white-collared opportunity, it is vital that you possess the below technical skillsets along with the general ones:
- As stated above, the primary requirement to work as an FAE (often referred to as Technical Sales) is an engineering degree irrespective of disciplines. However, elementary technical skills are a must-have here. Some companies even seek a Master’s in VLSI or embedded systems.
- As per job portal Naukri, the common skillsets listed for field application engineer include (but not limited to) System Verilog, technical support skills, VLSI, Embedded Systems, HDL, C, Product designing (Both software & hardware), software testing and Technical Sales.
- Effective communication skill are mandatory and uncompromising.
In addition to the above pre-requisites there are other skills that are company-dependent and go by the sector that the firm is currently into and the exact nature of products offered.
Career Progression and pay packages
Experts, who we consulted, strongly believe that a career as a Field Application Engineer or Technical Sales suits those not desirous of seeking fancy job titles, but rather looking at utilising technical talent.
To start with, fresh engineers would be offered designations such as Application Engineer, Field Application Engineer, Technical Sales Executive, and even as a trainee. There is a possibility that you could be offered even business-oriented job titles like Project Manager, and even Account Manager based on your experience level.
“As you acquire experience, you would be improvising on your business skills as you will be working with clients closely. There are many opportunities to travel in this job as you may need to meet clients or manufacturers personally,” advises Utsava.
Experts also advise FAEs to tread carefully, as making the right decisions could fast-track careers and could also lead to FAEs even reaching the CEO level. Business qualities and talent would be the deciding factor in such scenarios. More ‘positive business’ generated would lead to faster career progression.
As far as pay packages are concerned, fresh engineers can expect packages starting from ₹1.5 –₹2 lakhs per annum. This again depends on the area of expertise, job requirements, work profile, and the company’s reputation.
Experienced players can expect to make anywhere between ₹10-₹20 lakhs per annum.
“With new products and technologies popping up in the market every day, the need for field application engineers are increasing and there is a good scope for engineers to start their career in this field. Apart from attractive compensation, the job comes with nice advantages of learning business, travelling, meeting lot of people, continuous learning, challenging professional environment and a lot more.” signs-off Utsava.
The anonymous Applications Engineer at Altair Engineering advises FAEs to remain optimistic about pay packages. In case FAEs stick to one company over an extended period, then pay package earned would be directly proportional to the amount of effort put in.
It is a level playing field
Unlike core information technology enabled services (ITes), FAEs believe the playing field is level as far as competition is concerned. However, your interviews would still be challenging despite the absence of cut-throat competition. Nonetheless, it should do no harm to you to make hay while the sun is shining bright.
Major Contributors to the story
|Utsava Rathi||Manager and Analyst at Job Search Engine Neuvoo|
|Active Field Application Engineers who requested complete annonymity; and currently working with major firms in India|
Written by Rahul R, Senior Technical Journalist at EFY