Working as a Facilities Engineer

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As per the assessment of the Information Technology Consortium of America (ITCA), every month more than 40 hours of labor hours are spent in simple maintenance of a house. You have to face lots of strains while managing your own home. Everybody is having a busy schedule to earn maximum amount of money and is left with no spare time for activities like maintenance of the building, managing lawn facilities, garbage collection, gardening, and security services. There are facility managers or home managers who solve this problem and relieve you of these responsibilities. There are various facility management companies which provide services of these facility/home managers. In general terms facility management includes management of utilities, waste services, maintenance operations, security, services and upkeep of buildings. Broadly facility management services can be divided into the hard and the soft services. Under hard services come all maintenance jobs while under soft services cleanliness can be covered.

Facilities management encompasses all buildings, industries, professions, commercial and personal affairs and business activities, including the government sector, education sector and organization, commercial, and personal sector. It provides career opportunities to heterogeneous professionals having specialization in electrical, mechanical, civil, and various other fields.

Here we will elaborate on the example of a Facilities Engineer in broader perspective. A facilities engineer coordinates and supervises the facilities engineering program, performs the work of specialized and complex facilities engineering in support of maintenance activities and water utility operations and other related works. Its area of responsibility includes, besides various other responsibilities, maintenance activities, repair and modification of equipment communications controls, mechanical equipments, or electronic/electrical systems.



A facilities engineer is responsible for all services related to maintenance, administration, and space management strategy of building a communication infrastructure. The job of a facilities engineer is of a continuous nature, therefore, he is required to maintain consistency and uniformity in the workplace. To keep staff satisfied in an organization and to keep them motivated also comes under the responsibility of a facilities engineer. A facilities engineer is required to be skillful and knowledgeable. He must be able to accomplish the tasks quickly and efficiently in view of the heavy load of work that is associated with this profession. The involvement and support of the top ranks of management is very significant.

Some of the typical tasks under the responsibility of a facilities engineer broadly include maintenance programs in a predictive, preventive and reliable manner, advisory and consulting works regarding facilities engineering matters, coordination of activities of facilities engineering projects with other departments/divisions, preparation, negotiation, and administration of contracts for maintenance work for specialized facilities like sealing sludge pits and oil sampling, supervising the modification and maintenance of computerized process control systems, inspection of equipment and facilities and/or supervise activities, and assist in the development and implementation of annual shutdown for the purpose of maintenance of the facilities. Preparation of budget estimates for staffing, capital equipments etc., participation in interviewing process for hiring staff, and various other related jobs.

Qualifications desirable for becoming a facilities engineer include a Baccalaureate degree from a university or an accredited college with specialization in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering besides five year's full time experience in mechanical or electrical engineering. A combination of experience and education that could provide required abilities, skills and knowledge also serves the purpose at times. A facilities engineer is required to possess a valid Class-C California driver's License besides having a satisfactory driving record.

A facilities engineer is required to possess knowledge of engineering principles, technologies, theories and practices of equipment controls, processes, and systems of electrical/electronic machineries, engineering project management techniques, and procedures. He is also required to possess knowledge of regulations of federal and state laws related to the maintenance of equipment at water utility besides being deft in handling human resource matters, supervision, and budgeting. Knowledge of using a computer is also an essential requirement.

On average, currently a facilities engineer is earning an annual salary of $71,253 in Pasadena, CA, against the US National average salary of $65,045. The lowest paid salary to a facilities engineer is $56,217 as against the highest of $100,345. The US national average salary to a facilities engineer is $65,045 with the highest and the lowest range being $91,603 and $51,319 respectively. The facilities management sector is presently a billion dollar industry. This is a large and complex sector having a blend of in-house departments, multi service large companies, specialist contractors and various other management functions.

The scope of a facilities engineer is not confined to the state and federal government departments. A typical commission agent is an engineer having additional certification who works with mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as facilities engineer, contractor, and designer according to the National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB). As per recent estimates, there are about 5 million commercial buildings in the United States. Increasing awareness towards environmental pollution and making houses green, adopting energy saving technologies, and new tax credits for businesses are bound to increase job opportunities to facilities engineer in the coming future.
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