How to Become a Facilities Manager

Facility management is an interdisciplinary field that is concerned with the operation and maintenance of many institutional and commercial buildings. Facilities managers are trained professionals that are responsible for supervising the operation and maintenance of many aspects of facilities from electricity to security.

What does a facilities manager do?

Facilities managers plan, develop, and manage buildings and their grounds, supplies, equipment, and people. They oversee the day-to-day operations of a variety of facilities such as schools, hotels, office complexes, and sports arenas. They supervise the operations and maintenance, renovation projects, workplace planning, and budgeting. They also regularly monitor the facility to make sure that is it maintained, secure, safe, and environmentally sound for all occupants. Facility managers also make sure facilities are meeting the needs of the occupants. They ensure facilities are operating in cost effective ways and they make the necessary changes to achieve this goal. Facility managers also direct a variety of staff such as custodial and maintenance workers.

What kind of training does a facilities manager need?

Facilities managers usually need at least a bachelor degree in facilities management, engineering, business administration, construction management, or other related field. Some have a master degree. Many also have experience in management, construction, real estate, or other area. Many facilities managers have started their careers in entry-level positions and advanced to management jobs. Most employers provide new facilities managers with on the job training to enable them to learn the procedures and policies of the company. Many facilities managers obtain the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) designation from the International Facility Management Association. Facilities managers must stay up to date on the current advancements in the field and often complete continuing education and additional training throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a facilities manager?

Employment of facilities managers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 12% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increased realization of the importance of facilities operation will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be good especially for facilities managers with advanced training and skills. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace facilities managers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do facilities managers make?

As of November 2009, the middle 50% of facilities managers earn annual salaries between $65,279 and $90,022. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $101,811 (2).

A career as a facilities manager is a great choice for people interested in the operation and maintenance of a variety of facilities. Facilities managers must have excellent leadership skills and be able to organize many activities at a given time. Detail orientation, analytical thinking, flexibility, good problem solving, and ability to make good decisions are desirable characteristics. Facility managers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to establish effective working connections with a variety of people.

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