Facilities Management Career Path?

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corysold
Posts: 740
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Facilities Management Career Path?

Post by corysold » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:14 am

I'm looking into the necessary steps to get into a career in Facilities Management.

My path would start at a very entry level, Groundcrew/maintenance, etc. While working at that level, I'd like to get whatever additional education would be necessary to be able to move up the ladder into a Facilities Management role.

I currently have a Bachelors in Geography, for whatever help that might be.

Looking around online, it seems I can get anywhere from certifications from colleges, bachelors degrees, masters and certifications from IFMA, such as a Facility Management Professional (FMP) Credential.

I've set up a meeting with a local advisor, but it'd be nice to have some real world experience of just what is required to have the needed background to move into this field.

I'm happy to provide any other needed information.

bmsuter
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:48 pm

Re: Facilities Management Career Path?

Post by bmsuter » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:18 am

Most of the people in upper management in corporate real estate have either engineering degrees or MBAs. Working your way up from the bottom, you would likely want to start with classes at your local technical center or community college at night. I would suggest electrical or hvac. Most of the individuals who work their way into the lower tier of facility management like lead engineers, chief engineers, and facility managers have journeyman or master certifications in those two trades. I would get an EPA certification to handle refrigerant as part of that. Electricians and HVAC mechanics make very good money and it is sad so many people are encouraged that the only way to make a decent living is by going to college. The best scenario would be to get a position at a company where you can learn from someone with experience, and they pay for your classes at night. Career progression would be something like Facilities Technician -> Facilities Engineer -> Lead Engineer -> Engineering Manager -> Facility Manager. It can be done with a lot of hard work.

Topic Author
corysold
Posts: 740
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Re: Facilities Management Career Path?

Post by corysold » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:57 am

Thanks for the reply.

So you would build up the technical skills first? I have some trades experience, but not directly in HVAC or Electrical. So obtaining an entry level grounds job during they day, while taking a year to get HVAC certs/classes at night. Try to learn as much as possible during the day.

At that point perhaps take some night electrical classes and move into a more defined HVAC role somewhere to gain real world experience. Look into getting a journeyman certification in HVAC. Learn as much as possible along the way and perhaps look into some courses for the management/operations portion of the job at that point. Take all of that in 4-8 years and see where it takes me?

shunkman
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:59 pm

Re: Facilities Management Career Path?

Post by shunkman » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:48 pm

Before retiring, I spent 25 years working for MegaGov in facilities management. Most of the upper managers now have engineering degrees. I had some previous facilities management experience but no college degree. I still achieved much more than I had hoped to when I first started working for MegaGov. I held many positions including Facilities Specialist, Facility Engineer, Facility Requirements Specialist, Facilities Operations Analyst, Facility Planning Specialist, etc.

One career path might be to get your foot in the door as a Federal employee and then seek a position with the GSA or other large federal agency. This is similar to what worked for me.

malbecman
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:49 pm
Location: CA

Re: Facilities Management Career Path?

Post by malbecman » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:40 pm

Here's a recent posting for the Director of Facilities at our Vet School (UC Davis). This would be the top position but you
can see it pays well and get an idea of the skills needed.

https://www.employment.ucdavis.edu/appl ... gId=392775

bmsuter
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:48 pm

Re: Facilities Management Career Path?

Post by bmsuter » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:27 pm

In the current job market, there is a major shortage of tradespeople. I'm sure wherever you are taking classes will have many companies looking for entry-level employees. You could go at this a number of different ways, but you need to get your foot in the door somewhere. Just the fact that you are enrolled or are planning to enroll in classes would be a good selling point in a job interview. It's difficult to find good employees right now, so you need to sell yourself as a hard worker and even though you are new to the field, you are willing to learn and put in the effort. Apprenticeship is also an option.

Hanuman
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:50 am

Re: Facilities Management Career Path?

Post by Hanuman » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:23 am

35 year Facilities veteran here; Go for It! Some thoughts and whatnot for you: Do not even consider residential facilities. That is a hell on earth. Stay commercial / industrial. I started mowing lawns with a 3 hp mower, moved up to operating big lawn tractors. Moved up at same school to running the maintenance section. Side benefit of working for a college was free classes - all i had to pay for was books, plus i got free food at the cafeteria. This free education benefit extended to your children, if you elect to procreate ( I am child free). Left e college environment to work commmercial real estate, think skyscrapers and mega-structures. I earned good salary, and at Christmas time I got a lot of thank you envelopes of cash. I kept learning about the phyical plant; boilers, chillers, generators, elevators, energy management, lighting. I stayed on the mechanical / engineering side of the house. Leasing and the Property Management side was always cut throat, where I find the site engineerig fraternity to be one of respect and appreciation for the many diferent and complicated skills we need to have. I earned electrical and HVAC licenses, and am a triple master in BOMA, holding all three of the BOMA certificates. I suggest you consider earning your SMA cert now, while learning all you can about how a building lives and breathes. You also must enjoy the tenants in your buildings. Get to know them, and learn from them. There will always be a yahoo or two, but in generL the folks in your buildings are good hard working people. Treat your maintenance team with respect. Make certain they have the tools, training they need, and a well appointed shop. I can tell you IMMEDIATELY the overall health of a site simply by visiting the Chief Engineers office and the shop. If it is clean and the tools are respected, you will find the building in good shape. When the office has topless photos and ber cans, the building is usually in poor maintenance.You will learn all the regs required to omply with thw state and federal regs. Long post, last thoughts; my Facilities career has opened a lot of doors; a healthy income, paid travel to 74 countries and 12 years living abroad. Facilities Engineering has been a fantastic career move for me, and although my BS degree is in Commercial Aviation I am living a much more comfortable life than my pilot friends. Good luck and be proud!

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