How To Become A Facilities Manager (With Duties And Skills)
Updated 26 January 2023
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Facility managers perform the important task of maintaining commercial properties, such as offices, schools and hospitals. They make sure the property and all its resources, including electricity and water, are safe and functional. If you have a suitable degree or a few years of experience in property maintenance, this role may appeal to you. In this article, we discuss how to become a facilities manager and share important details about their duties, skills, work conditions and salary.
How to become a facilities manager
If you are not sure how to become a facilities manager, follow these steps:
1. Complete higher secondary education
While most companies look for candidates with a relevant undergraduate degree, some organisations may hire facilities managers with as little as a higher secondary school diploma (10+2) or equivalent, especially if the candidate has some experience with building maintenance. Whichever path you choose, complete class XII. Following your schooling, an engineering degree opens up options for further study. If you want to earn a BE (Bachelor of Engineering) degree, consider studying subjects like mathematics, physics and chemistry in your 10+2 and try to secure a 50% or higher score.
2. Earn an undergraduate degree
Most entry-level positions require candidates to have an undergraduate degree in facilities management or a related field. To improve your chances of getting a job, pick a degree that covers subjects related to construction, property, surveying or engineering or management studies. For instance, you can pursue a BE in civil engineering. One of the most valued courses in this sector is RICS School of Built Environment's BBA in Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) sets international standards in this industry and accredits this course.
3. Consider pursuing a postgraduate degree
Once you graduate with a relevant degree, you can choose to pursue higher education. Having an MBA, ME or PG diploma can help you in your facilities management career. For example, RICS SBE offers MBAs in real estate and urban infrastructure and construction project management and a PG diploma in facilities management.
Related: How To Share Your Education Background
4. Develop your skills
A facilities manager uses certain basic skills to do their job well. These include general maintenance, time management, budgeting, communication and problem-solving skills. They may also be knowledgeable about safety precautions and the government's environmental regulations. You can gain these skills through practical experience. Apply for an entry-level role like assistant manager, where you focus on a single area of facilities management, such as maintenance or cleaning. Once you gain some experience in this role, your employer may promote you to a leadership position within the company.
Related: How To Develop Your Skill Set: A Complete Guide
5. Apply for a facility manager role
Once you have the necessary educational qualification and skills, start applying for facilities management positions in your area. Some related job roles include facilities director, maintenance director, facilities coordinator and facilities supervisor. You can use those terms when searching online for open positions. If you started your career at a smaller organisation, use that experience to apply to a bigger institution. Alternatively, you can use your experience and understanding of this sector to work as a consultant or launch your own facility management business.
Duties of a facilities manager
Here are a few of the most common duties of a facilities manager:
handling staff from various disciplines such as maintenance, sanitisation, cleaning and security
maintaining basic facilities infrastructures such as sumps, overhead tanks, centralised AC systems and circuit boards
ensuring that the internet has no outage because of issues at the premises
checking to make sure all safety and health regulations and policies are being followed throughout the facility
managing third-party vendors such as lift maintenance staff, broadband connection maintenance workers and window cleaners
inspecting buildings and other infrastructure to check where repairs are necessary
doing renovations and repairs wherever necessary
managing and renewing service contracts
taking care of financial functions like budgeting, reports and cost optimisation
administrating activities like parking space allocation
allocating office space
overseeing all renovation, construction and repair projects within the premises
making decisions on leasing
assisting businesses with activities like relocation
Hard and soft facilities management services
A facilities manager often performs both hard and soft services. Hard services are connected to the physical building itself and are unavoidable. These services directly affect the safety and wellbeing of every person visiting the facility. These include:
fire safety systems
maintenance and repair work
mechanical and lighting work
Soft facilities management services include those tasks that are typically optional and not required by law. These help occupants feel more comfortable and secure. Unlike hard services, you can choose which soft services to provide based on the requirements of occupants and other factors, such as budget. Examples of soft services include:
groundskeeping: tending lawns, mowing grass, trimming hedges and planting flowers
workspace allocation and management
Skills required for successful facilities management
Facility managers use a diverse set of skills to perform their responsibilities. Here are a few examples of important skills for a facility manager:
Although facility managers do not perform project management, they may work with various teams to successfully complete a project. They may develop project ideas, set goals, lead teams and analyse results. That is why having basic project management skills can benefit facilities managers.
Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master
Facilities managers usually have a basic understanding of business finance. Their role involves financial duties like budgeting and cost optimisation. That is why they can benefit from having strong mathematical skills.
Facilities managers are often responsible for ensuring compliance with central and state government laws regarding fire safety, construction and waste disposal. In larger facilities, they often enforce government guidelines on critical aspects of the facility, like safety. Knowledge of laws can also help them protect employees from workplace hazards.
Facility managers use both written and verbal communication skills to perform their job well. Strong written communication skills help them create reports on employee productivity, business expenditures and potential safety hazards. They use their verbal communication skills to collaborate with internal team members and third-party vendors.
Since facilities management involves so many departments, tasks and staff, you may have to deal with unexpected emergencies. In such situations, remaining calm is an asset. This lets you respond effectively. A way to prepare your team for crises is to run drills where you simulate a typical emergency, such as a fire. This way, you can educate your team on their duties and find areas where they can improve and handle the crisis better.
Where facilities managers can find jobs
Most facilities managers work in-house, taking care of the facilities belonging to the institution that employs them. Others may work for a company that provides these services for other organisations. Employers and customers of facilities managers come from multiple industry sectors. Typically, facilities managers can find work:
within facilities management companies
in-house at the facilities of an organisation
in construction companies
in real estate firms and property management businesses
in government agencies
In educational institutions like schools, colleges and universities
Typical work conditions for facilities managers
Facilities management professionals can find work in various industries. Their work environment may depend on various factors, such as their employer, level of seniority and job location. A t most jobs, you work out of an office. Working hours are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Once you have a few years of experience, you can apply for opportunities overseas. T here is occasional work pressure, especially because of tight budgets or during emergencies. Your work may take you to different premises and therefore involve hectic commutes. Occasionally, you stay on-site overnight. You may even relocate for long-term projects.
How much do facilities managers get paid?
The average pay of a facilities manager is ₹29,774 per month. Many factors influence how much you can earn. This includes your location and specific job title. For example, the average pay of a facilities manager in Gurgaon is ₹50,669 per month. With experience, you can win senior positions and earn a higher salary. For instance, the average pay of a director of facilities is ₹13,42,886 per year.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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