A field tester is a person who tests a product or a piece of equipment under the actual conditions in which it is intended for us. Field testers are responsible for assessing and reporting on the performance of a product. They are also often asked to make suggestions to improve the products that they work with. For example, a company that makes fishing rods might hire a field tester to use the rods while fishing for a specific period of time and then report back about the performance of each model that is being tested. The field tester in this instance would have to be a person who had spent a great deal of time fishing and knew the related product lines well.
In order to conduct a thorough field test, the product should be used in all of the conditions for which it is intended. If a sleeping bag is designed for use in a specific range of temperatures, a field tester will report on the performance of the product at numerous points within that range, especially the most extreme points in the range. By doing this kind of work, a field tester helps a company back up claims about its products with data. This work also helps to identify weaknesses and malfunctions in a product before it goes to market.
In order to become a field tester, one must have thorough knowledge of a certain kind of product. This knowledge can come from years of working with a specific kind of product and understanding the construction and manufacturing processes that go into the creation of the product. Someone who has never gone on a single hunting trip, for example, could not do an adequate job as a field tester for hunting gear. A field tester must also be observant and be able to compile detailed reports as per the needs of his or her employer.
Sometimes a manufacturing company will use members of their research and development teams to run field tests on specific products. This means that this sort of testing may be rolled into a larger job description that encompasses other responsibilities as well. This is quite common in smaller companies where employees have to wear a number of different hats. Other large companies have an entire staff to be completely focused on completing field tests and reporting back to the development sector with advice on improving the products.