Original article by Jim Hare
The world of work has changed drastically in even the last 10 years; we’ve moved from a series of very traditional professions and career paths to concepts like “the gig economy” or “the sharing economy”. You can now make money simply with your apartment (AirBNB) or your car (Uber) – and in many cases, completely work on your own schedule.
As these new possibilities have emerged, there are needs for redefinition around other professions, such as field service agents. What are the benefits to becoming a field service agent right now?
Money isn’t everything, no, but it is very important and it does provide a baseline to consider. Field service agents typically make a decent living, with normal factors like experience influencing the number upward.
On Payscale, a site that rates various careers and compensation factors, over 1 200 field service agents voted their profession as something that leaves them “highly satisfied”. Within general categories of customer-facing professions, it’s one of the highest-ranked in terms of satisfaction from those who are working within the field already.
- New skills
Field service work used to be a more old-school profession: routing from a central hub, paper invoices, etc. Now it’s very much at the forefront of broader technological trends, with electronic inventory management, computerised routing and mobile as a top priority for (a) field service agents accessing information and (b) customers getting their paperwork. You’ll learn about the use of various newer technologies, such as programmable logic controllers. PayScale also found that knowledge of those systems can increase your salary by up to 20%. That’s a nice bonus, in any field!
- No standard days
If you’re not a cubicle-friendly person and you want some different experiences across your workday, becoming a field service agent is a good call. You’ll constantly go on new jobs, meet new customers and encounter different challenges at each location.
Sitting all day is not good for any of us, so becoming a field service agent can be beneficial for your health. It’s not a sedentary lifestyle. You will be in your car or truck driving from customer to customer for periods, yes, but you’re often moving around and responding to customer needs at their locations. It’s an active lifestyle compared to many desk-based jobs in the same industry.
In addition to the technical and technological skills mentioned above, becoming a field service agent is great for developing relationships. You’re constantly working with your home office (dispatchers, inventory management, etc.) and new customers at their locations, so you learn quickly how to handle any customer service mix-ups. As you rise up in your field service organisation, this background in handling the good and bad of your job will be very useful. Establishing strong relationships and “social capital” is thought to be the most important part of job satisfaction, and becoming a field service agent will assure you of that.