A Career as a Facilities Manager
Facilities Managers cover a diverse range of tasks but are generally responsible for the maintenance of premises and the cost-effective management of services and resources. They can be based in either the public or private sectors and can be employed by independent facilities management companies who then outsource them to individual organisations.
On a daily basis, a Facilities Manager will be responsible for dealing with any maintenance or cleaning issues that may arise and for ensuring compliance with health, safety and environmental regulations. They can be involved in the project management of refurbishments and office moves, and also handle issues such as security. The management of IT and telephony systems may also come under their remit, ensuring that they are fully operational at all times.
Generally, hours worked will coincide with normal office opening hours although some Facilities Managers are required to respond to emergency situations that may arise out of hours. Although primarily office based, they may be required to travel to other premises utilised by their employer.
A good Facilities Manager is one who is well organised, flexible and capable of successfully managing conflicting priorities and demands. They should have a sound knowledge of building services, good problem-solving skills and knowledge of IT systems. Some universities now offer HND or degree level qualifications in Facilities Management although these are not at present considered essential for entry into the industry. Facilities Managers often enter the profession through careers in construction, building services or engineering and some have business backgrounds where they have acquired skills in budget management and cost control.
The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) offers professional training courses, and NEBOSH and IOSH health and safety qualifications are also useful in this profession. BIFM qualified status is also possible based on examination and the demonstration of professional competence with membership status available at student, associate and member grades.
Facilities Managers are employed in a wide range of industry sectors so there are good opportunities available for diversification. Some Facilities Managers are also employed within multi-service organisations that offer a range of services including design, build and management. The salary is relatively good and is generally dependent upon experience.
Author: James Innes