Managing a field service operation is no simple task. Even for smaller organizations, field service managers oversee myriad responsibilities, ranging from scheduling to contract management, stock and inventory management, BYOD or mobility programs, customer service, and oversight of the company’s field service management software solution, usually in conjunction with the IT department.
The caveat is that every field service manager may have responsibilities unique to his or her company’s working methods, processes, or customers. This widespread variation in the specific job functions and duties held by field service managers makes it difficult to gauge the appropriate salary range for these professionals. This guide will cover the various responsibilities of field services managers, general salary information and trends, and other information that aids in determining the most appropriate salary for your unique field service operation.
Required Skills for Field Service Managers
Field service managers must have the ability to adapt readily to change, make rapid decisions based on available data, and possess exceptional leadership skills. Field service managers may be responsible for managing and scheduling a few field service technicians to hundreds – or more. The more field service technicians a manager is responsible for leading, the more complex the role, particularly when technicians of various skill sets must be allocated efficiently to ensure that customers’ needs are met.
PayScale explains that field service managers are responsible for managing trained teams that enter the field on assignments such as installations, upgrades, or infrastructure repair. Field service managers are tasked with ensuring teams are adequately trained, maintain up-to-date skills and credentials, and perform field work in a satisfactory manner to facilitate customer retention and quality of service.
Additionally, field service managers are typically responsible for the budgeting and administrative functions related to the field service operation, as well as logistics. That means accounting for travel expenses, equipment costs, and other expenses, as well as aiding in setting appropriate prices for customers related to field services.
When customer issues arise with services provided in the field, it’s the field service manager who serves as the primary point of contact for addressing such issues and/or escalating customer service matters to the appropriate department when necessary. Additionally, field service managers are often responsible for handling service contracts and directing support services, as well as overseeing the scheduling of field service technicians, according to Salary.com.
Field Service Management Education, Background, and Work Environment
Field service management involves a deep understanding of logistics, as well as other skills and abilities. For this reason, companies often seek candidates with Bachelor’s-level education with a multi-disciplinary emphasis that encompasses both information technology and business logistics.
Field service managers typically work in an office environment, although ample time is spent in the field training field service technicians, conducting quality audits, and worksite inspections. For field service managers responsible for managing technicians spanning a wide geographic area, travel is sometimes involved.
Field Service Manager Salary Data in the United States
According to Indeed.com, the average field service manager salary nationwide is two percent (2%) higher than average salaries for all job postings nationwide, at $58,000 (as of December 10, 2015). In some metropolitan areas, the average salary for a field service manager is substantially higher. For instance:
- In New York, NY, the average salary for field service managers is $80,000, 36% higher than average field service manager salaries for job postings nationwide.
- In Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA, the average salary for field service managers is $63,000, 7% higher than average field service manager salaries for job postings nationwide.
- In Boston, MA, the average salary for field service managers is $74,000, 26% higher than average field service manager salaries for job postings nationwide.
- In Chicago, IL, the average salary for field service managers is $71,000, 20% higher than average field service manager salaries for job postings nationwide.
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Data from other regions shows average salaries lower than the nationwide average. For instance:
- In Denver, CO, the average salary for field service managers is $56,000, 4% lower than average field service manager salaries for job postings nationwide.
- In Tucson, AZ, the average salary for field service managers is $50,000, 15% lower than average field service manager salaries for job postings nationwide.
- In Grand Rapids, MI, the average salary for field service managers is $54,000, 8% lower than average field service manager salaries for job postings nationwide.
Other metropolitan areas show average salaries near the nationwide average for field service managers, such as:
- In San Diego, CA, the average salary for field service managers is $59,000, just one percent (1%) higher than average field service manager salaries for job postings nationwide.
- In Portland, OR, the average salary for field service managers is $57,000, 2% lower than average field service manager salaries for job postings nationwide.
These results indicate that there is little correlation with specific regions of the United States and average field service manager salaries. Metropolitan areas with the highest average salaries for field service managers are dispersed throughout the U.S.
According to PayScale, salaries for field service management positions range from $40,188 - $97,868, with bonuses ranging from $0 - $14,992. Some positions may offer profit sharing options for field service managers, ranging from $0 - $5,918. Commissions for field service managers average $4,913, with total pay ranging from $39,094 - $102,574. This data is based on reports from more than 500 individuals holding field service management positions in companies throughout the United States as of September 2015.
Glassdoor paints a different picture, noting an average salary nationwide for field service management positions of $93,947. This figure is substantially higher than those cited by other sources and is based on data from 113 salaries. However, this average could be influenced by the large number of high-paying positions currently listed on Glassdoor.com, such as more than 25 salaries from Schlumberger, mostly ranging in the $90,000s, as well as field service manager salaries for healthcare and health tech companies such as CareFusion and Welltec, both of which tend to average in the $90,000s.
Other positions and salary data listed on Glassdoor reflect the mid-$50,000 or $60,000 range cited by other salary data sources, such as positions with Delta Air Lines, Canon Solutions America, and Lowe’s. This data suggests that industry may have a significant influence on the average salaries for field service management positions, with industries such as technology and healthcare offering higher-than-average salaries for field service managers.
According to Salary.com, “The median annual Field Service Manager salary is $90,259 with a range usually between $76,177 and $105,711. However, the salary for someone with the title Field Service Manager may vary depending on a number of factors including industry, company size, location, years of experience and level of education.”
Field Service Manager Salary Data for Europe and Asia-Pacific
Salary data for field service management careers in other global regions, such as Europe and Asia-Pacific, is not as readily available. However, a search on SalaryExpert.com indicates that for a field service manager in the United Kingdom with a BA/BS degree and 10 years of experience in the field has a salary range of €37,213 to €58,642, with the mean salary being €44,795.
A search using identical parameters for Germany indicates that a field service manager with 10 years of experience and a BA/BS degree earns, on average, between €40,806 and €64,305, with the mean salary being €49,121. In France, the salary range for a field service manager with identical qualifications is much larger, between €55,846 and €88,005 with a mean salary of €67,225.
We conducted identical searches to compare this data to the Asia-Pacific region. In Japan, a field service manager with 10 years of experience and a BA/BS earns between ¥7,670,471 and ¥12,087,484 with a mean salary of ¥9,233,335. In Australia, a field service manager with 10 years of experience and a BA/BS degree earns between 114,987 AUD and 181,202 AUD, with a mean salary of 138,416 AUD.
Factors Impacting Field Service Management Salaries
There are a number of contributing factors that can impact the salary of a field service manager. For instance, field service managers in their late careers can expect a salary approximately 24% higher than the national or regional average, while those with ample experience can expect a salary approximately 8% higher than the national or regional average. Entry-level and mid-career field service management professionals may make less than the national or regional average, between 6% and 17% lower, according to PayScale.
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A number of skills can also affect the salary a field service manager may be offered. For instance, people management skills are considered essential for the position and thus exceptional people management abilities could result in a salary up to 24% above the national or regional average. Likewise, great customer relationship management abilities can lead to an 8% boost in salary. Project management, operations management, and customer service skills can boost the salary of a field service manager by two to five percent.
When determining how much to pay a field service manager, the most important considerations include education, industry, the years of experience the candidate has, particularly with companies of a similar size to yours and in the same (or similar) industry, the number of responsibilities and field service technicians or teams managed by the field service manager, and, in some cases, regional influences on average salary. Ideally, the salary you offer a field service management professional should be commensurate with the individual’s background, skills, and experience, as well as the job responsibilities, and competitive with similar companies in your industry and geographic region.
For more information on field service management salaries, job responsibilities, and other field service management considerations, we recommend the following resources: