How to “Go Pro” as a Facility Manager



You’ve thought for quite a while on what you want to do to make a living. It’s a thinking process made by young people fresh out of school, or working professionals that want to broaden their horizons. You’re either sure, or interested in the field of facility management. Maybe you are already a working facility manager, but want to sharpen your skills as well? If you fall into any of the characteristics above, then you found a great guide to start, and build, your facilities management career.


First thing you need is a proper education. Since 2012, 30% of the United States population holds a bachelor’s degree, with that number constantly increasing.  That’s 90,000,000 with collegiate level education, making the competition insanely tough in the job market. However, there are ways to give yourself a professional edge in the world of FM.


In order to become a “Certified Facility Manager, (CFM)” you need the required amount of work/education experience before taking a proficiency exam. With a Master’s Degree, you only need three years of work experience to take the CFM exam. A bachelor’s degree, or any post-secondary education calls for a longer amount of work experience, but can be shorted by attaining the “Facility Management Professional” Credential (FMP.)


But why attain the CFM? What does it actually do? Well, it is an internationally recognized certification, which qualifies a Facility Manager to operate in other parts of world.


The exam itself covers a list of competencies, in which the applicant has to identify ways in which they (or can) account for the many responsibilities a Facility Manager has to undertake.


While the exam seems dense, you can make a comfortable salary as a facility manager, as the average salary based on 544 respondents on Glassdoor equates to $77,419/yr.


Now that you know the requirements, let’s list the professional practices and skills a Facility Manager needs to breed success.


  • Keep Learning, Keep Conferencing!: There is no better way to keep sharp in your field, and learn the newest trends in your field, with “supplemental education.” Major FM organizations such as IFMA offer conferences throughout the United States that educate professionals, and offer networking opportunities. You never know when a like-minded professional, or workshop, will boost your knowledge of the field.


  • A broad understanding of real-estate, financing, and management: a majority of Facility Managers will cater to businesses and companies, so understanding your expenditures, and how to limit them based on your building’s properties is critical. You have to understand how to make buildings as productive as possible based on it’s square-footage, and occupant needs; tying into the next skill set…


  • Interpersonal skills: Nothing goes perfect in day-to-day operations. Every once in awhile you’ll have an occupant that makes a complaint, or airs a grievance, about the building’s conditions. While it is easy to stick to the “my way or the highway” mindset, think about what that does: you not only disregard what could be a major building issue, but you just outright disrespected that person’s concern. What may be a non-issue to you, the Facility Manager, could be a sincere problem with that person. Understand, respect, and validate the needs of your occupants to keep your job and your building ecosystem running smooth.


  • Computer and Tech Literacy: With several SaaS platforms available, it has been easier than ever to streamline the process of addressing maintenance, safety, comfort, and temperature concerns in buildings. Having the know-how on using these platforms and technologies can alleviate several on the job pressures all at once. Our CrowdComfort platform not only allows you to see peak periods of energy consumption to help save operating costs, but it allows the occupants to self-report with mobile devices such as smartphones. Professionals use our tech to improve occupant morale, working conditions, and their overall career.

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