Facility Management: Career Development and Opportunities

Contrary to general belief, facility management is not just about managing a facility efficiently. It is defined as the integration of business administration, office architecture, the behavioral psychology and engineering sciences.

Career Development and Opportunities

This guide is an attempt to educate you about the opportunities of facility management. What are the top jobs in facility management? What are the job titles? What salaries do facility management jobs offer? What are their job profiles? Who can apply? This guide attempts to answer all these questions.

Understanding the Diverse Role of Facility Managers

Facility management is comprehensive business planning, developing a strategy and managing operations of a business so that the people in the business and organization work at optimal level and over productivity of resources and cost is maintained.

Facility Management operates in two levels.

  • Planning and Strategic: Let’s take an example. A hospitality unit is seeking to trim long-term operational costs of staff. This challenge will go to facilities department to see how they can cut costs without affecting efficiency of services.
  • Operational:In the same hospitality unit there are facility coordinators. They work on predefined processes to ensure that the defined standards of maintenance are adhered to.

Needless to say, the planning and strategic position is an executive level and they enjoy the benefits and perks of C-Suite employees. However, one of the best features of this job is that you can work your way from the bottom to the top within a few years of experience. So, facility managers are responsible for the management of services and processes that support the core business of an organization. Duties vary with the nature of the organization. They focus on using best businesses practice to improve efficiency, by reducing operating costs while increasing productivity

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This is a wide field with a diverse range of responsibilities, which are dependent on the structure and size of the organization. Likely areas of responsibility include:

  • Lease and contract management
  • Space management
  • Utilities and communications infrastructure
  • Building, grounds and cleaning maintenance
  • Catering, canteen and vending
  • Health, security and safety
  • Procurement of infrastructure

Facilities managers are employed in all sectors and industries and the diversity of the work is reflected in the wide range of job titles, for example operations, estates, technical services, and asset or property manager. And, they could also be responsible for fire and life safety issues, indoor air quality (IAQ), sustainable operations, energy metering, HVAC system maintenance, lighting upgrades, reducing maintenance costs, or retrofits and renovation.

Whatever might be the job title, but the core functionality is about giving a complete overview to the management so that they take informed decisions. Where, you’re responsible for general operations and maintenance, budget and business planning, and sometimes even life safety and security. Get a sneak peek of a typical facility manager’s job profile and his responsibilities.

facility-management-officers

Top Jobs in Facility Management

Facilities Management (FM) on large sites, such as universities or manufacturing sites, like oil & gas refinement depots, car/vehicle manufacturing plants or nuclear energy sites will have a facilities management team. These teams can include up to 10 departments; bid management, contract management, estate management, cleaning management or building management with Heads of Department for each. According to BUILDINGS jobs advertised below is a percentage wise distribution of the vacancies in important segments of facility management.

  • 67% — construction/project management;
  • 65% — facility management;
  • 51% — energy management;
  • 47% — design/space planning;
  • 31% — staff engineering;
  • 26% — staff architecture.

Job Titles & Salaries

Facility manager salaries differ depending on the amount of square footage managed, the size of the organization’s facility budget, and the building type, which includes manufacturing, healthcare, education, office, or retail. Nevertheless, the salary of a career in facility management can range from $56,689 at the 10th percentile to $105,056 at the 90th percentile with a median of $80,780, according to salary.com. Some could be specialized jobs and other jobs require most of the above rolled into one. It majorly depends upon the business.

PositionMedian SalaryRoleEmployer Industry
VP/director of facilities, real estate, design and construction, engineering and maintenance, and building and grounds$113,529Executives lead an organization’s facilities department, direct the work of a staff, and typically report to top management.Construction
Hospitality
Healthcare
MNC
Facility/ Building/ Property Manager or Facilities Coordinator/ Supervisor. This occupation could be the sole manager of a facility or the leader of a facilities team.$80,780FMs ensure optimal functioning of building systems and typically report to the head of a unit or department.Buildings
Education
Business
Facility
Management
Companies
Maintenance manager, engineer, supervisor or technician$91,327This occupation is responsible for managing service and repairs in the areas of plumbing, carpentry, painting, plastering, and machine and electrical servicing.Building
Construction
Asset/ Energy/ Construction/ Space Planner$62,513- $97,568Specialists are part of the facilities team that have a honed focus. Energy managers monitor the energy usage of building systems, implement energy cutting practices. Facilities planners oversee construction projects and renovation or redesignBusiness
Recreation
Hospitality
Business
Healthcare
Operations manager or facility/building engineer$57,820Researching equipment or fixtures for purchase and ensuring that efficiency and safety targets are metManufacturing
Construction
Hospitality
Recreation
Healthcare

Facilities Managers have a varied and wide range of responsibilities and even job titles which include:

  • Facilities Manager
  • Bid Manager/Writer
  • Facilities Co-ordinator
  • Contracts Manager
  • Estate Manager
  • Cleaning Manager
  • Security Manager
  • Building Manager
  • Head of Services

Regardless of you’re the one managing a team or the person with his or her hands on the knobs and buttons, pursuing a career in facilities management is a fruitful move.

Education & Qualifications

These depend upon who is hiring and at what level are they hiring. For businesses and organizations serious about facility management graduates of all disciplines can apply. Some preferred subjects may be:

  • Building or property management
  • Construction or civil engineering
  • Business studies
  • Facilities management
  • Hospitality
  • Engineering and building services engineering
  • Management studies or accountancy
  • Sometimes you can apply if you have work experience or the right skills.

Skills Required

Jobs in facility management generally require working across different departments and with lots of people. The Facility Management Handbook Third Edition notes “A medium-sized, major headquarters can have 50,000 requests for service annually and four times that number of preventive maintenance items corrected. That can be overwhelming to some”. Therefore, before applying you should assess whether you have the aptitude for the job.

  • You need to have the friendly guy attitude, unfazed in any situation with a pleasing smile.
  • At the same time you need to be skilled at negotiation, bargaining and adept at drawing up beneficial contracts for your organization.
  • You will also be required to do research for the best options, multitask the jobs and manage multiple projects at the same time.
  • You should be a great communicator, tactful and with inter personal skills.
  • You should have an idea of finance, project management and time management.

In short, you should be good at a lot of things but not an expert.

facility-manager-role

A screenshot taken from an ad for Facility Manager. This sets expectations of skills required.

Tips for Directing Your Interview

It’s not enough to work as a workplace manager even if you love the job and its possibilities. You are supposed to roll several roles into one and rock in each role because duties involved may include more practical and hands-on tasks. Therefore, take in charge of your interview. Here is how to start.

  • Understand your responsibilities: You may be supposed to convince the CEO about software and ROI. At the same time you may be leading or training a team. This us a wide range and can be intimidating for some. So understand and negotiate a better salary.

  • Communication is the key: This may sound clichéd but communication is the key to opening and closing doors. You be communicating with several departments- finances, sales and marketing and with C-level executives. Ask yourself, can I do this? Am I short tempered? Do I need to iron out behavioral issues?

  • Be a problem solver: Don’t take problems to your CEO. Take solutions to the problems because you are expected to coordinate across departments. In your interview you should steer the conversation to ensure that the interviewee knows you are a problem solver.

  • Learn to work flexible hours: There are times when you will have to work emergency hours. Be there. And be visible with your energy and attitude.

  • Link facility to productivity: In the words of Seth Godin – be a Linchpin. Any time there is a discussion on productivity, ensure that you are involved. Set the stage during the interview by linking productivity to facility.

  • Stress the importance of technology: Inquire if software is being used. It may be that the software used is not adequate for your plans. In that case you may have to justify the cost to ROI. Be prepared for that. But don’t use the interview to pitch for software. You still have to get a job.

There are plenty of facilities looking for people interested in jobs. All you have to do is look for them and apply your skills to get the job. Good hunting!

Amit Prasad is the founder and managing director of SatNav Technologies and has business interests in a wide range of IT products. SatNav Technologies is an IT products company focusing on cloud based map data products and a pioneer in GPS, FMS & LBS Technologies. The product suite includes SatTracx in-the-field location based solutions and A-mantra in-the-office facilities management solutions. QuickFMS from a-mantra is a cloud based facility management system which enhances organization’s efficiency.

One thought on “Facility Management: Career Development and Opportunities”

  1. Thɑnks foг finally writing about Career Development ɑnd Opportunities in the field of facility management. Loved it!

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