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Housing manager/officer: Entry requirements

Although this area of work is open to all graduates, a degree in the following subjects may increase your chances:

  • housing;
  • facilities management;
  • land, estate or property management;
  • urban studies;
  • planning;
  • business or management studies;
  • politics, government, or public and social administration;
  • economics;
  • sociology or social policy;
  • law.

Relevant HND subjects include property, and social, economic or business studies. In particular, the following subjects may increase your chances:

  • housing;
  • estate management;
  • urban studies;
  • public administration;
  • business management.

Some housing organisations offer graduate trainee schemes. These schemes generally provide the opportunity to gain experience in a range of departments and sometimes the possibility of gaining a professional qualification. They may also offer internships for graduates to work on specific projects. Contact housing organisations direct for details of opportunities.

Entry without a degree or HND is possible. Personal qualities and experience tend to be more important than academic qualifications, although larger housing associations are more likely than other housing employers to recruit graduates.

Relevant postgraduate courses may facilitate entry, but you can also take courses while working. Graduates with a non-housing degree may want to do the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH)  Level 4 Certificate for the Housing Profession. It is also possible to study for an MSc Housing Studies or other postgraduate diplomas or Masters qualifications recognised by the CIH. Courses are run through CIH accredited centres and via distance learning.

Pre-entry experience in housing or a related customer service field is essential for some posts. Experience in tenants' associations, housing association committees or in similar community roles is also useful, as is vacation or voluntary work with local authority housing departments or housing associations.

Candidates will need to show evidence of the following:

  • strong teamwork, interpersonal and organisational skills;
  • sensitivity and empathy;
  • an interest in working with diverse social groups;
  • excellent communication skills (verbal and written);
  • a customer first approach to work;
  • negotiation and influencing skills;
  • leadership skills;
  • the ability to adapt to different situations;
  • self-motivation and tenacity;
  • problem-solving skills;
  • common sense and the ability to use initiative when making decisions;
  • the ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines;
  • numeracy skills - for calculating rent arrears and service charges;
  • IT skills.

Knowledge of housing management legislation, basic building construction and relevant government policy, as well as an understanding of current housing issues, is also important.

A driving licence and access to a car is often necessary.

Temping as a housing assistant or in a customer service role can provide useful experience and a way to find out more about working in the housing sector. Public sector recruitment consultancies advertise vacancies.

For more information, see work experience and internships and search postgraduate courses.

There are 27 jobs available in property and construction

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Written by AGCAS editors
November 2013

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