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Facilities Manager Career Guide

Facility managers use their expertise to ensure the facility is inspected and maintained on a daily basis. This would include overseeing contracts and service providers in catering, parking, cleaning, security of the premises, and more. 

Facility managers also find ways to improve the efficiency and costs of the facility. They may also be responsible for managing budgets. If there is an emergency that arises, they will be the first point of contact. 

Facility managers take note of the facility’s upcoming needs and requirements. Drafting maintenance reports and helping with office locations are also the role of the facility manager. They are excellent multi-taskers who have great time management skills. Are you a proactive individual that takes pride in managing people and facilities? A position as a facilities manager might be the detail-oriented role that’s right for you. 

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] is looking for a dedicated facilities manager. The purpose of this position is to manage staff and vendors for facility improvements and maintenance activities for all buildings and facilities. This is accomplished by scheduling and managing our staff, developing cleaning standards, developing priorities and quality control programs. As well as implementing maintenance requests and preventive programs, coordinating contracts, vendors and the bidding process, investigating complaints and requests, and recommending budget expenditures. Other duties include completing special projects and activities. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Oversee building projects, renovations, or refurbishments 
  • Supervise teams of staff across multiple divisions
  • Ensure the facilities meet compliance standards and government regulations
  • Manage budgets
  • Ensure the facility is operating as it should on a daily basis
  • Identify areas that can make the building more efficient and cost effective
  • Ensure efficient and smooth business operations

Education and experience

  • High school diploma required
  • Associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field preferred
  • Five years of related experience

Required skills and qualifications

  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Impeccable attention to detail
  • Excellent time management skills 
  • Ability to think proactively 
  • Excellent multitasking and organization skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience working in a related position
  • Experience working with a wide variety of software programs
  • Professional Facilities Management certification

Typical work environment

Facility managers usually work on-site at the facility they are managing. They should plan to work closely with a wide range of suppliers, employees, managers, contractors, executives, and more. They are able to lift heavy equipment and are comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Most managers are full-time employees in a company.  

Facility managers usually keep regular office hours. They will occasionally need to work late or over weekends if there is a pressing issue, emergency, or maintenance needed.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for this position are 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.  

Available certifications

To stand out in today’s job market, you can get some extra certifications. These will help you secure a competitive position when applying for jobs. 

  • Certified Facility Manager (CFM). This certification is awarded by the International Facility Management Society (IFMA). This certification proves that a facility manager has the proper knowledge and training to deal with complex management issues. An exam must be passed to obtain certification. 
  • The Facility Management Professional (FMP). FMP certification is great for entry-level and transitioning facilities professionals and is designed to strengthen hard and soft skills in facility management. 
  • The Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP). The SFP is an assessment based program that focuses on sustainable building management practices. This certification is designed to increase efficiency, make you think strategically, and improve your company’s performance. It is a time tested credential.

Career path

The journey to becoming a facilities manager begins with obtaining a high school diploma. A bachelor’s degree is strongly preferred. 

Students who aspire to make this their career are encouraged to pursue a relevant bachelor’s degree in business administration, information systems management, operations management, or a related field. 

Facilities managers need to develop the skills and education that will make them successful.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-3013

2020 Employment322,000
Projected Employment in 2021335,000
Projected 2019-2029 Percentage Shift 9% increase
Projected 2019-2029 Numeric Shift28,600 increase

Facilities managers should focus some efforts towards creating an enjoyable workplace for their employees, as a positive environment will help retain top talent and retain current employees. Physical layout of the office, decor, the office mood, and many other things can be evaluated and improved by the facilities manager. 

Another upcoming trend for this position is a focus on flexible workplaces. Commercial real estate can be expensive, so flexible workspaces are attractive. Better utilization of workspace square footage can be evaluated and improved.

Also, data driven decisions are very important and will help save on overhead costs and smarter space utilization. Facilities managers are taking data and using those insights to affect changes.