A field representative is an employee who represents a company's or organization's interests outside of its headquarters. As this is a fairly broad career description, there are many jobs that fall within the category of field representative. Because of this, the training and specific job tasks vary from one field representative to another.
The job of a field representative, though different from one organization to another in specifics, generally involves the same basic function: representing the organization in the "field," or the world outside of the central offices. Typically, field representatives spend most of their time traveling to wherever their employer needs work done. Because of this, field representatives are often considered both the hands and the face of the company, being the person whom the customers, or others who deal with the company, actually meet and deal with.
Common Types of Field Representatives
The three most common types of field representatives are those that work for the government, those who work for non-profit organizations and those who work for corporations or other for-profit organizations. Government field representatives work for such agencies as the United States Census Bureau, and their work typically involves data gathering for use by the government. Field representatives that work for non-profit organizations, such as the National Rifle Association or the Human Rights Committee, have duties such as building satellite chapters of their organizations, fundraising, disseminating information, mobilizing support for the interests of the organization and generally keeping the organization in the public eye. Corporate field representative types are more varied, but some common types include those in the fields of insurance, construction, television ratings, telecommunications companies, those who work for educational institutions and those employed by any other corporation or business with the need for an employee in the field. Typical duties include fact-verifying, making sales, checking up on satellite offices and generally representing the interests of the company.
Training and Salary
As each field representative position is unique, training for positions is specific to the particular employer's needs. For instance, the U.S. Census Bureau does not require a degree for their representatives and trains potential representatives to gather data for three to five days at its offices, whereas the non-profit organization Paws With A Cause requires six years of experience and two weeks of intensive training for even their contract field representatives. Salaries for field representatives vary depending on the particular employer and the nature of the responsibilities. The U.S. Census Bureau offered around $11.00 to $13.00 an hour in 2009 to representatives in the Dallas region and about $14 an hour in Los Angeles. On the other hand, the College National Republican Committee pays $1200 to $1500 a month for three-month periods of work in 2011, as well as reimbursing up to $3200 a month in expenses.
Becoming a Field Representative
Those seeking to become field representatives should be willing to spend time traveling and should have good interpersonal communication skills. You should choose a field you wish to work within and further your education in that field. The final step in becoming a field representative is to seek employment within a company or organization in your chosen field, either as a field representative or in another position with the option to be promoted to field representative.