A major part of the responsibility in facilities management jobs is the maintenance of a building or facility for daily operations.
As a facility manager, it helps to be mechanically inclined and have a good eye for detail, good blueprint reading skills and good communication skills. Facilities management jobs offer a good salary with benefits, especially if these are in large manufacturing or property management firms. It is important for these types of firms to have skilled staff who are able to troubleshoot the different systems required for the operation of a facility.
Maintenance for electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems in facilities is usually scheduled regularly. Some facilities are very large and some machinery is extremely complex so it is necessary that specialized service firms are called in to deal with these, while in smaller facilities equipment is simple enough that maintaining these is done by the facility manager himself.
People with the greatest satisfaction with facilities management jobs like to work independently and enjoy solving problems. The responsibility level widely varies and depends on the size of the company or the building. In larger operations, facility managers have several staff members assigned to different sections or departments.
There is very limited career advancement opportunity in facilities management jobs, especially in cases where the activity is limited to a specific set of tasks, and in order to increase their salary levels, many facility managers move to different companies, however, workers in this filed should take time to build different skills and talk to their managers before making any decision on moving to another company.
Facilities management employment opportunities are growing and as the role of facility management professionals has developed, it has become more important to gain qualifications. Before, experience was the sole measure in facilities management, now qualifications are the key to advancement in this profession. A vast majority of current facility managers have formal training in various skilled trades coupled with work experience in building maintenance.
If you have plans of entering this type of job, it is good to start by taking up the right course of study. There are only a few community colleges offering two year programs in facility management so it is not widely available. For current facility managers, distance learning programs provide flexibility for busy workers, but this option also requires some discipline and self motivation, and could be expensive.
There are also institutes that offer certification programs. There are eight levels of qualification. At the 3rd level, students learn about different areas of service like catering, cleaning and security and this is where most new entrants into the profession begin. The 7th and 8th levels are post - graduate and doctorate level respectively. This range in level of qualification gives facilities management professionals a chance to develop their skills and move from operational to supervisory positions.
There are some employers who include financing the education of their facility management staff as part of their incentive, but increasingly, facility managers are funding there own education due to the increasingly competitive nature of the market. Self funding also has the advantage of allowing students to learn only the topics which they wish to study. This could also attract employers as they see this as taking responsibility for personal development. Applicants for facility management jobs should ask prospective employers if they offer training support.
To enhance chances of being hired for facility management jobs, applicants should be familiar in dealing with sustainability, environmental and energy issues as the role of facility managers is expanding into these areas as renewable energy consultants or sustainability advisors, etc.... Facility management professionals will find themselves much sought after and have an advantage in applying for new jobs if they have skills in these areas.
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