If you have completed your engineering undergraduation and are intending to take up work straightaway desiring to make a career away from the conventional engineering disciplines whilst utilising (and gaining) technical skills, then industry experts believe that you could work as a Field Application Engineer (FAE). Here, your communication skills, along with soft skillsets play a vital role. So, if you have a penchant to work as an engineer who can communicate well, then FAE is potentially for you.
Target companies here are many, ranging from factories to large-scale corporate firms. However, at this point in time it is worth noting that Field Application Engineering (FAE) has itself been victimised by myths that have even gone as far as labelling the field as a ‘salesman’s job’.
We spoke to experts with both domain knowledge and expertise on FAE, to bust myths associated myths and to decode the concept of how it is to work as a field application engineer.
You are a pure engineer and consultant and not a travelling salesman
“Field application engineering is not exactly a sales job, here you give correct explanations and solutions for the clients to understand the product, acting as an engineer,” states Utsava Rathi who works as a Manager at job search engine Neuvoo. Utsava closely analyses the FAE industry.
As per Utsava, the best aspect about being a field application engineer (FAE) is that you get to debug errors, along with influencing clients technologically. Even technological support needs to be offered to clients so that their prospects are bolstered. With this, you would be remotely influencing clients’ sales decisions
FAE makes you the bridge that destroys other bridges
Fundamentally, when you start working as an FAE and are deputed on a project, you are seen (by clients of your company) as a pure engineer with effective communication. The latter skills are required as you would interact with people to impart knowledge on the products manufactured/developed by your firm; products here range from machinery hardware to software offerings.
“As an FAE, the onus is on you to enable clients understand technically what your company offers. You are also responsible for delivering technical solutions through your skills. On completion of this, you will then intimate the post-sales team to enable them to close the business deal with the clients,” states, a senior field application engineer working with Tecnomic Components, on the condition of anonymity.
Work technically on products within your company
This is yet another important aspect about working as an FAE; as you would naturally possess a BE/B.Tech degree, you also get to work on technical products in areas such as testing, design, research & development (R&D), and in certain cases re-engineering as well.
“It is always good to study the company and its machinery or product before taking up the job,” adds Utsava.
With you acting as a technical consultant, there is always scope for improvisation of your skills. Even if you land a job as an FAE in a manufacturing firm, you will have plenty of opportunities to improvise on your technical skillset.
Here, improvisation also extends to your business skills as well. At this instant, you would be interacting with clients and helping them take business decisions that are technically forward; therefore, the growth of your company depends on you.
“Technical solutions are vital for any technology product development company. Upon introducing yourself as an FAE or a Technical Sales and Solutions consultant, your skills horizon immediately expands,” advises a senior Application Engineer at Altair Engineering.