What to include in a Field Engineer Toolkit

If you are a new field engineer either starting your first job, or switching into field engineering from another role or industry, you may be wondering:
What should I include in my toolkit?
Is there anything really useful that I may not have considered?
How can I carry everything?
Following our other articles:

Starting as a Field Engineer – what’s in your toolkit
We have had more advice from experienced and veteran Field Engineers for part 7.
This time the advice includes gauze and bleach, and a Cat5 Lan cable which is the envy of IT people.

Toolkit for starting as a Field Engineer – 7

Michael Morales Field Service Engineer in Puerto Rico

Michael Morales with scanner

Michael Morales has a background in electrical and electronic engineering as well as biomedical technology.
He works for Medical Outfitters Inc and is based in Puerto Rico. Michael is fluent in English and Spanish.

The tools to include in a field engineer toolkit

What is in your tool kit/bag which is nonstandard but really useful?

Everything I use is pretty standard and nothing nobody has not seen before.
However, I do have a quirky fully retractable Cat5 Lan cable that always catches people’s eyes. Trust me, this always blows the IT guys heads off.

 Cat5 Lan Cable to include in a field engineer toolkit

Which tool (or tools) could you not work without?

I can’t work without my “red box”.
This is especially true if I’m doing Nuclear Medicine or PET/CT stuff where there are a lot of Allen and Torx screws involved.
It’s versatile, compact and the bits are grade 8 so it’s very strong.
I call it the LeBron James of tools.

What to include in a field engineer toolkit - group of tools
contents of what to include in a field engineer toolkit

Carrying tools

What’s the best bag, box or case you have ever used?

For years I’ve done the traditional backpack. Mine is filled with pouches and all my essential tools and laptop on the go type of thing.
OGIO backpacks have always been my go-to and last many years.

 ruck sack for field engineer

Advice

What is the best piece of field engineer advice you have ever been given?

Learn to listen is the first key piece of advice. Our line of work is very important, and any piece of information extracted or given is key for troubleshooting purposes and overall success in the field.

Another piece of knowledge I’ve come to learn is that:

attention to detail is what separates a good FSE from a great one.

Never cut corners and always trust the process. It’s always worth it in the end.

Michael Morales working on equipment

Rock Muthoka a Field Engineer based in Kenya

Rock Muthoka trained as a biomedical engineer and also works as a videographer and Kamba Music Manager. She is based in Kenya in East Africa.

Rock muthoka, field engineer

The tools to include in a field engineer toolkit

What is in your tool kit which is non-standard but really useful?
Always a pen – I am never without one.
Which tool could you not work without?
The tool I can’t do without is a multimeter.

Carrying tools

What’s the best bag, box of case you have ever used for your tools?
The best toolbox I have ever used is a 599 piece tool set from Tectake. I’m using it at the moment.

example of what to include in a field engineer toolkit

Advice

What advice would you give to new engineers?
For new engineers who are looking for jobs, I have three pieces of advice:
Never give up
Don’t be too choosy in terms of jobs
first get a job, then keep looking for what really suits you while you are earning something.
What do you do when something is not working but the issue is not obvious?
If something is not working: I always consult my seniors and fellow engineers.
If that doesn’t work, I take a break and come back to handle it later when my mind is clear (if it’s not an emergency).

Rock Muthoka field engineer working

Nakato Shadia a Biomedical Engineer in Uganda

Nakato Shadia is a Biomedical Engineer who has worked within hospitals and as a Researcher for the World Health Organization – WHO and now works for ElsMed Healthcare Solutions. She is based in Uganda in East Central Africa.

Nakato Shadia field engineer off duty

The tools to include in a field engineer toolkit

What is in your tool kit/bag which is nonstandard but really useful?
The following are the items in my tool kit which are not standard:
A roll of gauze
50ml syringe
Gloves
A bottle of bleach
Which tool could you not work without?
I can’t work without the following tools:
Multimeter
Star (Torx) screwdriver
Plus/Minus screwdriver

Nakato Shadia with open equipment

Carrying tools

What’s the best bag, box or case you have ever used?
The Makita tool bag is my favourite.

 tool bag to include in a field engineer toolkit

Advice

What is the best piece of field engineer advice you have ever been given?
There are two main pieces of advice:
Always do your troubleshooting in a good way and things will progress well for you.
Secondly, always do your PPM (Planned Preventative Maintenance) in a timely manner.

Nakato Shadia field enigneer

Further Reading on what to include in a field engineer toolkit

Starting as a Field Engineer – what’s in your toolkit

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