How Do I Become a Field Manager?

Research what it takes to become a field manager. Learn about training and education requirements, job duties and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Business Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Field Manager Do?

The duties of field manager depend on the industry in which they work. In general, they supervise the activities of staff and perform activities in real-world, on-the-ground or hands-on settings. For example, as a construction manager, you would direct operations on the construction site itself, such as coordinating the use of different machines in order to ensure worker safety. Field managers in the engineering industry can find jobs in a variety of non-office settings; they may oversee quality control at manufacturing plants or conduct research in a lab. As a computer and information systems manager, you would be directly involved in the installation and day-to-day maintenance of an organization's computer network. Finally, community services managers who work in a field manager capacity may oversee and direct all operations within public health clinics or other establishments that offer resources directly to the public.

Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Education Required High school diploma to master's degree depending on industry
Training Required Most positions call for training or years of related work experience
Key Responsibilities Schedule and supervise staff, travel into the field to meet and/or work with staff members, ensure that company or organizational goals are met
Job Growth (2014-2024) 5% (construction managers)*
2% (architectural and engineering managers)*
15% (computer and information systems managers)*
10% (social and community service managers)*
Average Salary (2015) $97,510 (construction managers)*
$141,650 (architectural and engineering managers)*
$141,000 (computer and information systems managers)*
$69,430 (social and community service managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is a Field Manager?

The term field manager is used in a number of industries and represents many diverse jobs. However, though field managers have different assignments, educational requirements and experience needs, their core responsibilities, regardless of industry or organization, are scheduling and supervising staff to ensure that company or organizational goals are met. Field managers might work at a central location and travel into the field to meet and/or work with staff members, or be stationed at a satellite location with their staff, while reporting to a centrally-located department head or other supervisor.

Where Could I Work?

As a field manager, you could work in a variety of industries. Your job might be for a private business supervising employees who take care of company equipment - such as underground waste storage tanks in an environmental services business - or products like home appliances, heating systems or personal computers. Other industries that employ field managers include emergency medical services, Internet technology and the non-profit sector. State and federal governments have field manager positions in areas such as land and natural resource management. In addition, there are new positions being created in the growing sustainability industry, also called the green industry; field manager for wind farm energy operations is one example.

What Tasks Will I Perform?

Field managers working in the service industry are tasked with administering client service contracts and managing workers who perform installations, service work and repairs of company equipment. In the computer industry, for instance, this could involve working with data centers or cloud providers. On the other hand, a wind farm field manager might provide equipment maintenance, handle operations budgets, hire subcontractors and handle customer service. In comparison, government agencies may employ field managers in local offices to supervise staff, coordinate schedules, train new employees and prepare reports on local office activities. Field managers may also be employed by non-profit agencies to perform similar tasks.

What Requirements Will I Need to Meet?

Typically, you'll need to demonstrate an ability to supervise and evaluate employees and interact with various levels of management and personnel, including internal and external agencies. Other qualifications could include experience in creating, managing and prioritizing work assignments.

Beyond these typical requirements, the combination of education, training and experience you'll need to work as a field manager can vary widely with the job. For example, in the computer networking technology area, you might need a Master of Business Administration degree and as much as ten years of experience, while a position in the environmental services profession could call for a high school diploma, hazardous waste safety training and three years of experience. A job managing an energy resource for the federal Bureau of Land Management might require that you already work for the federal government at a specific employment rating and have prior experience administering energy programs, along with knowledge of state and federal energy regulations.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of working as a field manager, you could get a manager position in an office setting. For instance, engineering managers in office settings may draw up new product designs and prepare budgets for major engineering projects. Another office-based job option is a position as a human resources manager, where your job would be to coordinate hiring, facilitate positive employee-employer relationships and handle employment issues like benefits and complaints. For either of these managerial jobs, you would need to have at least a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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