Who do you run to when tap in the washroom won't stop running? The facilities manager. Who comes to your rescue when you're stranded in an elevator that suddenly stopped? The facilities manager. Who helps you get that annoying rodent out of the air conditioning vent? The facilities manager. And who do you think makes sure that every person gets enough parking space for his or her vehicle? Again, the facilities manager. Sounds like an interesting job, doesn't it? Being in charge of so many different things in a facility and making its functioning smooth and free of hiccups. But, how do you become a facilities manager? Let's answer that question for you with this CareerStint article.
Having the appropriate educational qualifications is required for any job profile. A facilities manager too requires the appropriate educational background which will aid him in doing his job better. For a person aspiring to be a facilities manager, he can pursue a Bachelor's degree in any of the following streams:
- Business Administration
- Real Estate
At least a Bachelor's degree in any of the above-mentioned disciplines is required. Even if he has an undergraduate degree in any other related field, it will help. A Master's degree in any of them is even better, but a Bachelor's degree will suffice to gain entry into the field of facilities management.
Experience plays a very important role in the job profile of a facilities manager. After getting the required educational qualifications, a person usually receives on the job training in managing the various facilities that he is supposed to. It is this on the job training at the entry level, which helps the person to further develop all the other skills and attributes required to go on to become a facilities manager. After gaining experience at the entry level from experienced professionals, the person climbs up the ladder slowly to become the manager.
One can also become a Certified Facilities Manager (CFM) through the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). This involves passing an exam conducted by the IFMA. A minimum of 3 years of experience is required along with a Master's degree, 4 years with a Bachelor's degree, and 5 years if you have neither or have an associates degree. If it's just a high school diploma that you have, then you need a minimum of 8 years experience in the field of facilities management to get certified as one.
The aforementioned were all the technical requirements to become a facilities manager. Apart from them, there are certain qualities that a facilities manager must possess in order that his job functions smoothly and he is well respected and fulfills his responsibilities as expected by him. These include:
- Systematic Disposition: Being disciplined is one of the major requirements for a facilities manager. He has a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders which can be addressed only if he has a properly chalked out and organized plan about how to go about them. A rigorous routine is the only way to make sure that the entire building that he is in charge of has everything in perfect working condition.
- Patience: As a facilities manager, he is bound to encounter a surge of problems in different domains and parts of the building. Every department will want him to solve their problem first. It is at such times that he needs to remain unfazed and be able to deal with the problems and the people in a suitable manner.
- Flexibility: Being a facilities manager, especially for a facility that works round the clock can be quite a demanding job. While these places generally function in shifts, there may be instances when he may be required to work long hours and forgo holidays to make sure that problems are resolved in the facility. Such a job requires immense flexibility on the part of the facilities manager, and he may need to be on call 24x7.
- Communication: As a facilities manager, he is the point of contact of the facility with numerous companies, contractors, employees, etc. He needs to visit contractors to get deals on the various equipment used to maintain the building. He needs to communicate with his team on a daily basis to delegate duties and make sure that nothing is overlooked. He also has to communicate with the people he is hired by to assure them that everything is under control at all times. All this requires excellent communication skills. He can't be rude and grumpy and expect people to function according to his whims and fancies. In case of emergencies, he needs to be of assistance, not by reprimanding them about, say, a leaking tap that explodes, but by assuring them that it will be taken care of. He signed up to take care of the place, so there's no point of being so grouchy about it, is there?
On an average, a facilities manager can earn something between the amounts of $40,000 to $60,000 annually, which can also reach somewhere around $90,000 annually, with the right education, experience and exposure. Becoming a facilities manager can be a very frustrating job at times, because one could be called for the simplest of things to some really outlandish ones. So, one needs to have a real passion for the job and constantly keep updating oneself about the improvements in technologies and equipment that he can use to make his job easier and better.