Employment numbers are slowly — repeat: slowly — beginning to tick back up, but with the national unemployment rate still close to 9 percent, the issue of looking for work remains front and center for many.

With that in mind, we’re introducing a new weekly feature, in which we’ll highlight a few of the more interesting field service jobs culled from our very own SmartVan Job Board. Repairing drones in Afghanistan? Check. Running tests on fighter jets? We have that too. Field service is a huge field with tentacles in many different areas and this is a chance to highlight some of them and shine a spotlight on what people do in the field every day. Check back here each week for a sample of some of the more eye-catching jobs available.

Repair drones in Afghanistan

Doing What: Maintenance and repair of unmanned aircraft for U.S. military.

Where: Hunt Valley, Maryland; and Afghanistan.

For How Much: $60,000 in base pay.

The Skinny: Textron, the parent company of Bell Helicopters and a host of other aircraft manufacturers, is looking for a field-service engineer who will deploy to Afghanistan and be embedded with U.S. military forces in the region to help perform maintenance on the Textron unmanned aircraft vehicles that the army uses.

The job requires a one-year commitment, which includes eight weeks of training in Utah before deployment. (Company headquarters are in Maryland.) Lisa Corbett, a recruiter for Textron Systems, says the ideal candidate would have a background in repair — preferably on aircraft, and specifically on the “Shadow “ aircraft. The employee will live on a U.S. military base as part of the hundred-or-so-person team of Textron engineers in the Middle East.

The base pay starts at $60,000 per year, although Corbett says the company offers “lucrative” incentives for employees after they’ve deployed.

“[The ideal candidate needs to] be willing to be away from home for that period of time, and obviously work well under duress,” Corbett says. “They need to be able to handle tense situations, maintaining [the aircraft] and providing logistical support.”

A few other jobs

Diagnostic work on fighter jets

Another military-contractor position, this listing is for a mechanic to maintain and diagnose malfunctions for Lockheed Martin on F-16 fighter jets at Edwards Air Force Base near Antelope Valley in Southern California. No word in the listing on the pay. The advertisement says the job requires a background with the “Egress” system, precision measuring instruments and propulsion system ground support, among others. It’s a regular, eight-hour shift, although it’s hardly what you’d call your average 9-to-5 job.

Repair heavy-duty trucks

Atlantic Detroit Diesel-Allison (ADDA) is a New York-area distributor of diesel and alternative-fuel engines, transmissions, and propulsion devices for mostly medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Their Lathan, N.Y. branch (just outside Albany) is advertising for a mechanic to do maintenance and repairs on diesel engines both in the shop and in the field. Three years’ experience as a mechanic required.

Maintain, repair soda fountains

Coke (Coca-Cola Refreshments, that is) is looking for an entry-level person to help install, remove, and relocate fountain soda equipment in the field out of its Sandston, Virginia office. A refrigeration or HVAC certificate is preferred, but not required (they’re listing zero to three years of plumbing/technical experience). No word on whether employees get a discount on the product.

Install, repair commercial kitchen equipment

Service Solutions Group, a Cincinnati-based company, is hiring for a San Francisco field tech to “troubleshoot, diagnose and repair commercial kitchen equipment and/or refrigeration food equipment” in the Bay Area. The job also involves kitchen equipment installation, giving estimates on repairs, ordering parts, etc. The company offers health and dental benefits, optional vision and short-term disability, and training on electric, gas, steam, refrigeration, HVAC and other specialized-equipment.

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