Facilities maintenance relates to non-manufacturing commercial buildings. The key members are facility managers and maintenance technicians.
The facility manager has two major types of duties, strategic and operational. Assisting clients and end-users on the impact of building and asset decisions on safety guidelines, facilities services, costs, and business risks falls under strategic duties. Ensuring a safe, useful, comfortable environment for the building occupants comes under operational duties.
The facilities manager and the technicians ensure that the building and all its assets are in optimal condition. They use preventive and predictive maintenance to maximize uptime, improve productivity, and increase profits.
It’s no wonder that the demand for trained facilities management professionals is going through the roof. Let’s find out the training you need to be a facilities management professional and your career options.
Training Needed for Facilities Maintenance
To enter the facilities management profession, you need both certification and experience. Certification should be recognized by the American National Standards Institute. The certification ensures that the worker is competent to carry out the tasks required in facilities maintenance.
Recognized certifications in the USA are the Certified Facility Manager or CFM and the Facility Management Professional or FMP. These courses are available through IFMA or International Facilities Management Association.
Training is also provided by the BOMI or Building Owners and Managers Institute offers a Facilities Management Certificate or FMC that ensures that workers can manage and maintain facilities in a cost-effective manner.
With the increasing adoption of green building norms, you can opt for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) course offered by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).
Education and Experience Requirements for these facility maintenance training courses would be as under:
The eligibility criteria for the Certified Facility Manager includes:
- A Bachelors or Masters Degree in Facilities Management would require three years of experience in facilities management
- Applicants without these qualifications would require five years of experience
- Ethics assessment needs to be completed before you earn the CFM
To apply for a Certified Energy Manager or CEM, you need to have:
- A Professional Engineer (PE) or a Registered Architect (RA) or a 4-year degree in Engineering
- Three to six years of relevant experience depending on the degree
- You need six years of experience if you have a 2-year Associate’s degree in energy management
- If you have an Associate Degree in any other field, then you need eight years of experience
- For those who don’t have a degree, the experience required is at least ten years
If you have a facilities management certificate or are a facilities management professional, then eligibility requirements don’t apply.
Course Completion Time:
You would require 50 to 100 hours to complete the FMP certification. The course includes:
- Operations and Management
- Project Management
- Finance and Business
- Leadership and Strategy
- Four final assessments
There is a self-study program of the IFMA that you can use. Other options include corporate or group training and instructor-led courses. To keep your certification active, certain requirements range from recertification to earning continuing education hours.
Skills Needed in Facilities Management
Apart from the above-mentioned educational qualifications and experience, the following skills must be part of your facility maintenance resume to improve your chances in the profession:
As a facilities manager, you should be able to communicate clearly with the top management, technicians, and heads of other departments.
You need to be competent in handling emergencies as these are a regular part of your job. You would need to implement preventive and predictive maintenance to make sure that emergencies are manageable.
You need to aware of the environmental regulations and best practices so that not only does your company avoid penalties but can also avail of any tax breaks offered.
Improve Returns For the Business:
You must ensure that not only do the building operations run smoothly and safely, but there are savings in terms of maintenance expenses.
You must have excellent people management skills. This would include genuinely caring about the safety of the occupants of the building, coordinating with employees of other departments, and delegate responsibilities.
You need to be familiar with computer hardware and facilities management software to streamline your work and improve your efficiency. You need to be aware of the latest technology in facilities maintenance.
As a facilities manager, you need to know about real estate rules and regulations.
You need to know how the tasks in a project are interlinked and how teams can perform simultaneously for higher productivity.
You should have leadership skills and spot and resolve micro-problems before they can affect the organization.
Career Options in Facility Maintenance
Here are some areas in facility maintenance that you can consider:
Facility management ensures that offices run smoothly without any downtime in terms of the breakdown of assets. Through predictive maintenance, assets are repaired and spare parts replaced on time so that work continues uninterrupted.
Environment, Health, and Safety
Keep yourself updated about the changes in local and federal regulations. This would help the organization avoid scandals, lawsuits, insurance claims, or a shutdown. Following EHS norms helps to reduce the carbon footprint and provide safe and healthy working conditions for workers.
As a facilities maintenance manager, you need to have an emergency plan for any situation. There could be natural calamities like an earthquake or other crises like a power outage or upgrading the current system.
You should coordinate with the other departments and prepare a training plan for the staff. It will help to maximize uptime when there is an emergency.
Security personnel is only a part of the security system of a building. Facilities maintenance managers need to ensure that the security cameras, central alarm systems, key cards are in proper working condition. Employees will have to follow the security norms set by the company.
You need to ensure that the organization has a well-synchronized logistics system. Whether staff is being transported or equipment, with proper logistics planning, there will reach their destinations on time. You need to provide organization-specific transport solutions.
A Perfect Career Choice
Commercial building operations need to run smoothly 24×7, and this is possible due to facilities maintenance. The profession is growing rapidly, and the demand for trained professionals is on the rise. If you have the skills, enroll in a recognized facilities management course, and watch your career soar.