A facilities manager is the ultimate organiser, making sure that a workplace meets the needs of employees by managing all of the required services
In this job, you will be responsible for the management of services and processes that support the core business of an organisation. Facilities managers make sure that an organisation has the most suitable working environment for its employees and their activities.
This is a diverse field with a range of responsibilities, which are dependent on the structure and size of the organisation.
Facilities managers are involved in both strategic planning and day-to-day operations, particularly in relation to buildings and premises. Likely areas of responsibility include:
Your duties will probably vary depending on the nature of the organisation, but will generally focus on using best business practice to improve efficiency, by reducing operating costs while increasing productivity.
A facilities manager can be employed in all sectors and industries and the diversity of the work is reflected in the range of job titles, for example operations, estates, technical services, asset or property manager.
Responsibilities often cover several departments, as well as central services that link to all the teams in the organisation. In smaller companies, duties may include more practical and hands-on tasks.
Many facilities managers are responsible for either one or many sites. Some organisations outsource their facilities management services and use specialist facilities management providers. In these cases, facilities managers may work for a firm offering all services or one that offers specific services such as catering.
Typical tasks may include:
Salaries vary depending on the sector, function and location and are highest in London and the South East.
The increase in public-private partnership funding has increased opportunities in facilities management and these projects are more likely to offer financial bonuses and better salary increases.
Additional benefits often include a pension scheme, private healthcare, performance related bonuses, company car or car allowance and profit share or share-save schemes.
Income figures are intended as a guide only.
You will generally work a 40 hour week, but longer hours may be required on occasion to meet project deadlines or to cover emergencies.
Some facilities management roles require shift work in order to cover 24-hour operations.
You don't need to have a specific degree to enter this role but the following subjects may improve your chances:
Entry with an HND or foundation degree is also possible, particularly with subjects such as facilities management, business studies or management.
Entry without a degree or HND is possible for those with the right combination of skills and experience.
Facilities management apprenticeships at levels 2 and 3, and higher-level apprenticeships at levels 4 and 5, are also available.
For qualifications in facilities management ranging from level 2 to 7, with levels 2 and 3 being suitable for new entrants, see the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM).
For those considering a move into facilities management the level 3 Facilities Management qualification is offered by the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Postgraduate diplomas and Masters are available and may be particularly useful if you have an unrelated first degree and are looking to change career and move into facilities management. Search for postgraduate courses in facilities management.
It is also possible to move into facilities management from related roles such as:
It is common for those with building services and engineering, office management and administration backgrounds to enter facilities management.
There are some graduate development programmes available with larger organisations. These typically provide a combination of work placements and training, providing graduates with the opportunity to get direct experience at the same time as acquiring professional qualifications.
If you manage to get on one of these schemes you may have the opportunity to specialise in a particular field, such as security or retail, or may rotate around different departments to get a breadth of experience. Competition is keen and most firms ask for a minimum 2:1 degree in business or engineering, while some may also require a BIFM qualification.
You will need to demonstrate:
A full driving licence is usually required for travel between sites.
Pre-entry experience is desirable and a placement year in industry from a relevant degree can be particularly useful for gaining skills and building a network of contacts. Experience can be particularly useful in areas such as:
Having some previous experience in the hospitality sector is also valuable as you will need to have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to get on with a range of people.
Facilities managers are found in virtually every kind of business in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Job titles vary to suit particular portfolios of responsibilities.
Larger organisations are more likely to require a facilities manager with a strategic overview of a range of functions and supporting services. Typical employers include:
Look for job vacancies at:
Recruitment agencies handle vacancies.
On-the-job training is provided by most organisations and graduates can supplement this training by taking professional qualifications.
For example, a full suite of professional qualifications in facilities management (levels 2 to 7) ranging from operational and support level through to senior management level are offered by the BIFM. The BIFM also has a number of special interest groups (SIGs) and regional groups who help support facilities managers through networking and career development.
Masters degrees are an increasingly popular qualification for the sector. In addition, Sheffield Hallam University and Liverpool John Moores University both deliver the BIFM Level 7, which forms an integral pathway towards a Masters in facilities management.
Facilities managers are also expected to undertake continuing professional development (CPD), usually made up of external short courses and in-house training. Common areas of training include health and safety, legislation and regulation, as well as practical and business skills training.
For some roles, it is necessary to gain qualifications offered by the:
If you have an undergraduate or postgraduate degree accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) you can become a chartered surveyor within the RICS Facilities Management (FM) Faculty. To do so you must successfully complete the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), which is a structured training programme lasting two years.
Membership of the BIFM and other organisations relevant to your area of expertise can be useful for networking, training and CPD opportunities, see the
You can start your career in assistant manager roles focused on one operation, such as cleaning, catering or maintenance. You may then progress to manager of the department and subsequently move into general management where you would be in charge of all the operations.
There may be area, regional and sector management roles to follow before achieving director level.
It is also possible to specialise in consultancy and some facilities managers go on to set up their own consultancy business.
If you work in a small organisation, career progression may be dependent on moving to a larger company which has more managerial roles to offer.
Seeking opportunities to work with different operations and functions is a useful way to secure career progression and gain further experience.
Facilities managers are also well placed to take up other general management jobs within their organisations or in different sectors.