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Interested in a Facilities Management Job? Start Here.

One of the predominant emerging trends in facility management is a multigenerational gap between veteran facility professionals close to retirement, and the young professionals entering the realm of facilities. Many might not be familiar with the process involved with being introduced to facility management and maintenance. Is it something provided in a formal higher educational setting, or is it an old school apprenticeship?

Facility management is an interesting phenomenon of sorts. It's one of the truest "back bones" to keeping everything in life functioning properly 24/7, 7 days a week and 365 days a year no matter where you go. Every day millions of men and women across the globe go to work to maintain and care for our facilities. Some of them are facility managers, some technicians, some custodians and much more.

So, if there really are millions of people around the world working in facilities, why don't we hear more about facility management courses when shadowing at a local university or researching programs to get involved with? Unlike many career paths, facility management jobs fit a large number of job titles under one very big umbrella, and sometimes the "technicalities" get in the way of the actual work being done. So where does someone start?

Start with the Facilities Manager Job Description

"Facilities managers maintain the buildings and grounds of an organization, directing staff and overseeing the upkeep of equipment and supplies. Facilities managers make sure the buildings and grounds are maintained, which entails daily and weekly cleaning schedules as well as determining and scheduling repairs, renovation projects, waste reduction improvements and safety inspections." (SnagAJob)

A jack-of-all-trades role: facility management professionals can be repairing the HVAC system one day and cutting the grass the next. More than likely there's some outsourcing or third parties to help juggle those tasks in larger buildings, but there's always a couple diamonds in the rough out there going the extra mile. 

If you're looking to hire a facility management professional or just simply learn more about the role, download our Maintenance Technician Job Posting Template.

Download - Facility Maintenance Technician Job Description Template

Consider an Apprenticeship in Facilities Management 

One of the best parts of working for a facility management team is the possibility of a good old fashioned apprenticeship. Much like the world of blacksmithing, electrician work and even elevator installers; facility maintenance involves hands-on experience, tricks of the trade and wholesome camaraderie. When someone who has been working in facilities for a few years starts making their way to a leadership position, they demonstrate these traits:

  • Analytical Skills: making decisions based on needs and budgetary concerns

  • Communication: Talks to their employees, work with management to make sure the job gets done in a timely manner and able to articulate concerns to management

  • Attention to Detail:  Ensures quality control, adheres to cleaning and safety standards, and improves efficiencies

  • Leadership Skills: Motivates and coordinates employees, provides guidance and demands accountability

Courses And Degrees in Facilities Management

Facility management programs are another great way to get a solid knowledge and understanding of the facility management industry, from technical colleges to some of the largest private institutions there are plenty of options to choose from.

The majority of professional facility management certification programs require applicants to have at least two years' worth of college credits and some experience working in the field. Certificate and degree programs are available at some 2 and 4-year institutions.

Here's a few facility management degree programs:

  1. Brigham Young University-Provo: 4-year, Private, Bachelor's

  2. Butler County Community College: 2-year, Public, Associate's

  3. CUNY New York City College of Technology: 4-year, Public, Bachelor's

  4. Ecotech Institute: 2-year, Private, Associate's

  5. Fitchburg State University: 4-year, Public, Bachelor's

  6. Madison Area Technical College: 4-year, Public, Associate's

  7. Missouri State University-Springfield: 4-year, Public, Backelor's

  8. Rochester Institute of Technology: 4-year, Private, Master's

  9. Sinclair Community College: 2-year, Public, Certificate

  10. Southern Methodist University: 4-year, Private, Master's

Before you choose a program, you should always remember to check for these important factors:

  • Is the program recognized by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) (the professional organization responsible for administering the CFM examination)?

  • Do they allow you to receive hands-on experience, maybe managing a local business' facility?

  • Does the program permit you to concentrate your studies in a specific aspect of facilities management, i.e. construction or design aspects of facility management?

  • Is the program an undergraduate certification or graduate level degree? 

Review the program courses and make sure you select a program that is suited to your long-term career goals.

No matter which path is chosen, those interested in a career in facilities have plenty of choices that can cater to their own specificities. For those of you already in the facilities industry, what tips do you have for newcomers?

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