I work for one of the World's largest EPC Companies. We have both Engineers and Field Engineers. Most of what the others have said is true and some sound more like pencil pushers tooting their little horns. As for my Company the Field Engineer is considered the client to Engineering, basically their designing for the FE to install, start-up and operate. The intent is a high quality design that fits and works first time, obviously much to some of their surprise, Engineers are also human and errors in design are common
I'm a Lead Field Engineer,,, Obviously, I work in the field, this is where it all comes together. Technically, I'm the Engineer in the field. I oversee the installation of varies systems and at times I've had +250 people working directly for me. My responsibilities varies from spending countless hours on the phone with Engineers reviewing their design, interpreting design (the 2D to 3D transition can sometimes be very screwy, for some reason Engineers seem to have a hard time with this, the "Paper to Reality Paradox"), resolving conflicts between design disciplines (for some reason these Engineers seat across from one another and don't even speak), issue design changes (the Engineering Dah Factor), perform constructability reviews, manage manhours, deal with labor issues, schedule issues, weather, system start-up, vendors, so on so forth.
As for pay,,, I fall pretty much inline with the Engineers, some make more others make less. It all depends on years of service.
There's several factors you need to look at
1. What type of person are you? Hands on or off?
I'm a hands on guy, I want to be in the field where it all comes together, I'll let the offices guys do all the calcs, Cad, and paper stuff (boring if you ask me)
2. The Company you work for definitely has a bearing on your pay. Some value the field guys, some value the Engineer and others value both.
3. Depends on you,,,what type of person are you? A go getter done type, a follower, a hider or just plain lost. Trust me this has a major impact on your future, you can either ride the system and acheive the minimal or take the system by the hand and twist it for max.
Now the choice is totally up to you.... Which path to take.
Engineering definitely more indepth studies and beleive me I've met some great Engineers, guys who really know their stuff and design what was thought to be impossible. Future problem... Outsourceing,, more and more companies are outsourcing their engineering to India, China, etc.
Tech Engineer, allot less indepth study, more of a broader range of abilities when it comes to the hands on installation. I've worked with some of the best in this field. And we have built the impossible designs. Definitely can't outsource this job if built in the US.
Answered By: Bobbys_life - 6/17/2008