On the Job: Field Network Engineers
Explore one of the most critical jobs in the Managed IT department with a look at the role our Field Network Engineers play. Here, specialists and recruiters share what it takes to thrive in these highly technical positions at Impact Networking.
Field Network Engineer is one of the most critical roles in the IT space at Impact. It’s a critical role because it’s client-facing—in this role, you’re the face of Impact. So engineers have to come prepared, have to come on time, and have to come with solutions in hand.
The main goal for field network engineers is to be the technical expert for the client while providing extraordinary customer service. We look for personality traits, not only as they relate to the client, but also as they relate to getting along with the rest of the team and the rest of Impact. We want people that will go in and provide extraordinary customer service while getting the job done.
A typical day for a field network engineer is never very typical. It could range from going onsite and resolving issues or working on projects, to going onsite for a system assessment, which is a brand-new client that you’ve never been at before, or it could be simply working out of the office to project plan and document the environment.
Typically, the morning starts with reviewing all the alerts and notifications that we get overnight. After that, there’s usually a couple morning meetings to sync with different teams, to talk about the project progress. As field network engineers, we do take escalations from our help desk, which are generally critical issues that either take too long to resolve or are outside the capacity of a help desk engineer, or help desk analyst, to take care of.
You have to be an expert in all things technology. You don’t want to go in and have an upset customer because you weren’t the right person for that client or because you didn’t know what you were doing.
A good field network engineer knows when to ask for help; they know when they don’t need help, they know when they do, and they know when they need to rely on their team. They also know how to make things better for the customer in a very timely fashion.
Some skills we look for in candidates are well-rounded IT individuals. So technical skills, that’s a huge part of what’s going to make you successful. But also the soft skills—it’s very much a jack-of-all-trades type of role, this isn’t a typical IT position where you come to the office every day and you sit at your computer from 8 to 5. There’s a lot of client interaction, so having the ability to talk to clients and to make it known that they’re your number-one priority is important.
What makes a good field engineering candidate is gonna be somebody that has project-based experience. It’s a lot of work, and it’s a lot of technical work. When you get into an IT type of position, there’s a lot of support on the back end, and for a lot of internal IT professionals, their network infrastructure is already built. So, they’re supporting it, they’re managing it, they’re maintaining it.
For a field network engineer, you’re coming in and you have to implement it. It’s very much project-based; you’re implementing it, you’re building it from the ground up, and then you’re supporting it on the back end.
There’s definitely a balance between how much you already know and how much you want to know, because in the world of IT, things are changing all the time.
There’s new, up-and-coming technology that you have to be able to learn, and just because you know something that might have been brand new five years ago, it might not be new today. Being able to come in and really understand that there’s always something to learn, but also having those past experiences is hugely beneficial.
You will never work this hard in your life, and you will never have more fun doing it.