On college campuses, apartment complexes, shopping malls and hospital grounds, there is a trained manager who takes care of the grounds and is responsible for its upkeep and security. Called a facilities manager, this position can be an interesting career choice for the right candidate. In order to become a facilities manager working in any one of a dozen different industries, you will almost always first need to have a degree in a related field.
Use this guide to get a clear picture on what facilities management really is, how you can prepare for a career in the field and what types of employment opportunities are available.
What Do Facilities Managers Do?
The first thing to understand about facility managers is what the job description entails. In a nutshell, a facilities managers is responsible for a certain area or building.
This means that some of the most typical tasks performed by facilities managers include buying supplies as needed and then storing them in the appropriate spot, checking and troubleshooting things like electricity, heating and plumbing, looking out for any problems or inefficiencies that could be addressed to save the company money and even repairing equipment onsite that is broken or malfunctioning.
Of course, the specifics of a what a facility managers does will depend substantially on what the actual facility is. Keep in mind that a facility manager could be responsible for a factory, a series of college dormitories or a hospital, so the jobs required at each location will vary substantially.
Where Can Facility Managers Find Work?
One of the best things about the position of facilities manager is that it is incredibly versatile. Facility managers are required in just about every industry, and there is no end to the potential places where you could seek out employment. One of the most popular options is in the medical field. A medical facilities manager oversees entire blocks of private practices as well as medical clinics, nursing homes or hospitals.
A medical facilities manager needs to do all of the same kind of tasks as a general facilities manager, including ordering supplies like toilet paper and printer paper, ensuring that the electrical systems are working properly and making sure each room is heated or cooled correctly. In addition to these tasks, medical facilities managers should also be versed in healthcare and even be able to troubleshoot some of the most common medical appliances.
Another common industry for a facilities manager to be employed in is manufacturing. Large factories are often running 24 hours a day on a nonstop cycle, so there are countless things that have to be monitored. Many of the most successful manufacturing facilities managers can fix and maintain big machinery including those items used on the production line. A few of additional places where a facilities manager might be employed could be schools, college campuses, summer camps, shopping centers, large financial buildings, malls or any other retail facilities.
What Kind of Education is Required for this Position?
There is no licensing or registration requirement in place that forces facilities managers to have a degree. However, finding work can be exceptionally challenging in this field without some kind of formal education. In fact, many facility manager job applications clearly state that the only applicants that will even be considered for an interview are those that already hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
Before you can earn a bachelor’s degree, you should have graduated from high school and have either a diploma or an equivalency degree like the GED. Some college programs will also expect you to have things like a certain grade point average or SAT scores in order to be accepted. To become a facilities manager, you can choose from several different types of associate and bachelor’s degrees.
The top majors for this line of work include facility management, business management and medical facilities management. Some of the core courses that make up your facilities management degree will typically include things like project management, heating, ventilation and air control systems, property development, planning techniques and developing managerial skills.
What Traits are Found Among Successful Facility Managers?
If a job as a facilities manager sounds appealing to you, be sure to think about whether you have the natural skills and abilities to enjoy and succeed in this career choice. Along with a degree, the best facilities managers are very detail oriented. If you’re more of a big-picture person, you might miss the small details that show when something is broken or something is not going according to plan. In addition, most facility managers are very handy and comfortable using a range of tools.
In many cases, facilities managers will call someone to handle the major repairs, but having the skills needed to tackle smaller repairs can be a wonderful attribute in this line of work. Finally, if you are interested in working as a facilities manager you should be confident in your own abilities and ready to act on your own as needed. While there may be a boss or owner that you report to on an occasional basis, most facilities managers work independently and need to make quick decisions on their own without guidance or direction from others.
What is the Job and Salary Outlook for this Career?
There are several factors that come into play when choosing a new career. Aspiring facility managers should consider whether they have the time and desire to commit to a bachelor’ degree and whether their skills match up with those of other facilities managers. However, it is also vital to give some thought to the future of this particular career. Recent predictions show that over the next decade, there will be a 12 percent increase in the employment of facilities managers in the United States.
This is a significant climb that is more than just keeping pace with rising population. Instead, it shows that demand for facility managers is growing, which can mean greater job security in the future and a better chance of getting hired at your next interview. Salary, too, should play a role in determining whether this particular career lines up with your future goals and ambitions.
On average, a facilities manager can expect to earn approximately $78,000 per year. Those with a master’s degree or a specialty area in managing medical facilities may be able to earn even more with several years of experience.
Working as a facilities manager can be ideal for the right candidate. If you consider yourself to be handy, you are focused on details and you have the desire to complete a related bachelor’s degree, then this might be the perfect path for your future.