A facility manager is responsible for the efficient operation of commercial buildings. He ensures that all services and systems, such as HVAC and elevators, function properly and in compliance with legal codes. Other areas of oversight include housekeeping, print services, mail delivery and security. Although this person may manage a few people in a small facility, in large organizations a facility manager might direct a team of hundreds of employees.
A Day in the Life
The daily responsibilities of facility managers heavily depend on the size of the organization in which they are employed. In smaller operations, they may do everything from delivering mail to mopping floors and changing light bulbs. In large operations, they might spend their time in more of an administrative role, completing paperwork such as work orders and invoice payments, while their staff performs the more manual aspects of the job function. Some facility managers have additional corporate functions under their purview, such as information technology and payroll. In these instances, the facility manager must lead a team encompassing a myriad of professional and educational levels, and demonstrate expertise in areas ranging from proper facility maintenance procedures to developing and maintaining operating budgets.
Salary and Work-Life
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have a separate job category for building facilities managers. About the closest category is "administrative services manager," whose duties include monitoring a facility to ensure it stays safe, secure and well maintained. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $81,080 in May 2012, with the highest earners employed in the finance and insurance industries. About one-fourth of these professionals work more than 40 hours per week, often due to emergencies occurring at facilities during off hours.
A college degree is not necessarily a must-have to become a facility manager. Many employers simply require that applicants possess a high school diploma or its equivalent. That said, roles in larger organizations with a wider range of operational oversight typically require a bachelor’s degree in facility management, engineering or business administration. In addition, facility managers may opt to obtain professional certification from the International Facility Management Association, although this is not required to obtain employment.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have a separate category for projected the job outlook for administrative services managers between the years 2012 to 2022. The bureau expects employment in the occupation to increase at a rate of 12 percent, which is average when compared to all other professions. This growth is anticipated due to the increasing focus on making buildings as energy-efficient as possible. Facility managers will be needed to oversee those improvements.
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