Building Maintenance Certifications

Jan 28, 2024

13 Min Read

1. What are the most common certifications required for building maintenance professionals?

The most common certifications required for building maintenance professionals include:

1. HVAC Certification: This certification qualifies individuals to handle heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems within a building.

2. Electrical Certification: This certification allows individuals to work on electrical wiring, fixtures, and appliances within a building.

3. Plumbing Certification: This certification enables individuals to repair and maintain plumbing systems in a building.

4. Building Automation Systems (BAS) Certification: This certification is for professionals who specialize in the operation and maintenance of automated building systems.

5. Green Building Certifications: These certifications show proficiency in sustainable and energy-efficient building practices, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

6. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Certification: This certification proves knowledge of workplace safety regulations and procedures.

7. Fire Prevention and Life Safety Certification: These certifications are necessary for handling fire protection systems, emergency procedures, and hazardous materials within a building.

8. Universal EPA Refrigerant Handling License: This license is required for handling refrigerants used in HVAC systems.

9. Equipment-Specific Certifications: Depending on the type of equipment used in a building (e.g., elevators, generators), specific certifications may be necessary to operate and maintain them properly.

10. Facility Management Professional (FMP) or Certified Facility Manager (CFM) Designation: These credentials demonstrate expertise in overall facility management, including maintenance operations, as well as leadership skills.

2. How do you obtain a certification in building maintenance?

There are a few steps you can follow to obtain a certification in building maintenance:

1. Research and select a certification program: There are various organizations, such as the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), that offer building maintenance certifications. Research different programs and determine which one best fits your needs and goals.

2. Meet eligibility requirements: Each certification program may have its own eligibility requirements, such as education or work experience. Make sure you meet these requirements before applying.

3. Complete the required courses: Most certification programs will require you to complete a series of courses or modules related to building maintenance. These can often be completed online or through in-person workshops.

4. Prepare for the exam: Once you have completed the required courses, it’s time to prepare for the exam. The exam may cover topics such as building systems, maintenance strategies, safety procedures, and facility operations.

5. Take and pass the exam: After you feel prepared, schedule a date to take the certification exam. Make sure to review any study materials provided by the program beforehand.

6. Maintain your certification: Many certifications require ongoing education and training to maintain them. Keep track of any renewal deadlines and fulfill any requirements needed to keep your certification current.

Overall, obtaining a certification in building maintenance requires dedication, time, and effort but can provide valuable knowledge and skills for your career in this field.

3. Can certification in a specific trade, such as plumbing or electrical, also apply to building maintenance?

Yes, certification in a specific trade such as plumbing or electrical can also be applicable to building maintenance. Many building maintenance technicians are required to have knowledge and skills in various trades, including plumbing and electrical work, in order to properly maintain and repair the building’s systems. Holding a certification in these trades can demonstrate a technician’s proficiency and expertise in performing maintenance tasks related to those trades. However, additional training or certifications specific to building maintenance may also be necessary for a well-rounded understanding of the job duties.

4. Are there any nationally recognized building maintenance certification programs?

Yes, there are several nationally recognized certification programs for building maintenance professionals. Some of the most popular programs include:

1. International Maintenance Institute (IMI) Certifications
The IMI offers certifications in areas such as building maintenance management, facilities management, and healthcare facility management.

2. Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI) International Designations
BOMI offers designations for building operations professionals, including the Systems Maintenance Administrator (SMA) and the Facilities Management Administrator (FMA).

3. Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Certifications
IREM offers a range of credentials for property managers, including the Certified Property Manager (CPM).

4. National Apartment Association Education Institute (NAAEI) Credentials
The NAAEI offers credentials such as the Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician (CAMT) and the Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT).

5. National Center for Housing Management Certifications
The National Center for Housing Management offers certifications for property managers and maintenance technicians in affordable housing properties.

6. US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Certifications
Although not specifically focused on building maintenance, the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications demonstrate proficiency in sustainable building practices.

7. HVAC Excellence Certifications
HVAC Excellence offers various certifications for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration professionals.

It is important to research each program to determine which one best fits your specific needs and career goals.

5. What type of training is typically included in a building maintenance certification program?

A building maintenance certification program typically includes training in the following areas:

1. Basic construction and repair skills: This includes learning how to use various hand and power tools, as well as basic carpentry, plumbing, and electrical skills.

2. HVAC systems: Students are taught how to maintain and troubleshoot heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems commonly found in buildings.

3. Safety protocols: Training in safety procedures is a crucial part of building maintenance certification programs. This includes understanding OSHA regulations, proper handling of hazardous materials, fire safety precautions, and more.

4. Energy efficiency: Many building maintenance certification programs include training on how to identify energy-saving opportunities in buildings and implement energy-efficient practices.

5. Building codes and regulations: Students learn about local building codes and regulations that must be followed when performing maintenance tasks on a building.

6. Plumbing and electrical systems: In addition to basic plumbing and electrical skills, students may be trained in more advanced tasks such as troubleshooting wiring problems or repairing water lines.

7. Maintenance scheduling: Building maintenance professionals are responsible for creating schedules for routine maintenance tasks such as cleaning gutters, changing air filters, etc. Certification programs typically teach students how to prioritize and schedule these tasks efficiently.

8. Communication and customer service skills: Building maintenance professionals often interact with tenants or building owners; therefore, communication skills are an essential part of their job. Certification programs may include courses on effective communication techniques and customer service best practices.

9. Record-keeping: Maintenance professionals must keep detailed records of all work performed on a building; this helps track the lifespan of equipment and create maintenance plans for the future. Training in record-keeping is often included in certification programs.

10. Green cleaning methods: With a growing emphasis on environmentally friendly practices, some building maintenance certification programs also cover green cleaning methods that use eco-friendly products and techniques to reduce environmental impact.

6. How long does it take to complete a building maintenance certification program?

The length of time it takes to complete a building maintenance certification program depends on the specific program and your individual pace and schedule. Some programs may take a few weeks, while others may take several months or even longer. The best way to determine the exact timeline for completing a building maintenance certification program is to contact the institution offering the program for more information.

7. Are there any prerequisites for enrolling in a building maintenance certification program?

Prerequisites for enrolling in a building maintenance certification program may vary depending on the institution offering the program. However, some common prerequisites may include:

1. High School Diploma or GED: Most certification programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.

2. Work experience: Some programs may require applicants to have a certain amount of work experience in the field of building maintenance or related areas.

3. Basic computer skills: As building maintenance involves the use of technology and software, some programs may require applicants to have basic computer skills.

4. Physical requirements: Building maintenance can involve physical labor, so some programs may have certain physical requirements that applicants must meet.

5. Communication skills: Since building maintenance professionals need to interact with tenants and other team members, strong communication skills are usually required.

6. Background check: Depending on the nature of the job, some programs may require applicants to undergo a background check before enrolling in a program.

It is important to check with the specific institution offering the certification program for their specific prerequisites before applying.

8. Is it possible to earn multiple certifications in different areas of building maintenance?

Yes, it is possible to earn multiple certifications in different areas of building maintenance. Many organizations and institutions offer certification programs in various areas such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems, roofing, and more. By completing the required courses and passing the exams for these different certifications, you can demonstrate your knowledge and skills in multiple areas of building maintenance. Some programs may also offer dual or multi-certification options, allowing you to earn several certifications at once. It is important to research and choose accredited programs that align with your career goals and interests.

9. Which industries or buildings typically require certified building maintenance professionals?

Some industries or buildings that typically require certified building maintenance professionals include:

1. Hotels and Resorts
2. Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
3. Office Buildings
4. Shopping Malls
5. Schools and Universities
6. Government Buildings
7. Manufacturing Plants
8. Apartment Complexes and Condominiums
9. Retirement Communities
10. Entertainment Venues (theatres, stadiums, convention centers)

Certified building maintenance professionals may also be required for high-rise buildings, industrial facilities, commercial complexes, and other large-scale structures that require regular upkeep and repair to ensure safety, functionality, and compliance with regulations.

10. Do employers prefer candidates with specific certifications in addition to general ones?

It depends on the industry and the specific job role. Some employers may require or prefer specific certifications that are directly related to the job or industry, while others may value a broader set of knowledge and skills gained from more general certifications. It is always a good idea to research the specific employer and job requirements before pursuing additional certifications.

11. Does completing a certification program increase job opportunities and salary potential?

Completing a certification program can potentially increase job opportunities and salary potential, as it demonstrates to employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform specific tasks or roles within an industry. In some industries, having a certification may be a requirement for employment or may give candidates an advantage over those without a certification. Additionally, certifications can demonstrate a commitment to professional development and may lead to promotions or salary increases within your current position. However, the level of impact on job opportunities and salary potential will vary depending on the specific industry and certification program.

12. Are there any online options available for obtaining a building maintenance certification?

Yes, there are several online options available for obtaining a building maintenance certification. Some popular options include courses and certifications offered by professional organizations such as the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). Additionally, there are online courses and certifications available from educational institutions such as community colleges and trade schools. It is important to research different options and ensure that the program you choose is accredited and meets your specific needs and goals.

13. Is hands-on experience necessary to obtain a building maintenance certification?

It is not always necessary, but it can be beneficial. Many certification programs may require a certain level of hands-on experience in order to become certified. Additionally, having practical experience can help individuals better understand and apply the concepts learned in the certification program and prepare them for the real-world tasks they would encounter in a building maintenance role. However, some certification programs may offer additional training or on-the-job experience as part of their program curriculum.

14. How frequently are certifications required to be renewed or updated?

It depends on the specific certification and the policies of the certifying organization. Some certifications may require renewal every year, while others may have a longer renewal period of 2 or more years. Renewal may also involve completing additional training, passing an exam, or providing evidence of continued professional development in the field of certification. It is important to review the specific requirements for your certification to ensure that you maintain an active and valid status.

15. Are there any specialized certifications available, such as green building or LEED certifications?

Yes, there are specialized certifications available for green building and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. These certifications demonstrate a high level of knowledge and expertise in sustainable design and construction practices. Some examples include the LEED Green Associate and LEED Accredited Professional credentials, which are awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. Other organizations also offer certifications related to green building, such as the Green Globes Professional or Certified Passive House Designer credentials.

16. Do certain states or regions have specific requirements for building maintenance certifications?

Yes, some states or regions may have specific requirements for building maintenance certifications. These requirements may vary depending on the type of certification and the state or region’s regulations. For example, some states may require building maintenance professionals to hold a certain level of education or experience in order to obtain a certification. Others may require individuals to pass an exam or complete a training program before being able to obtain a certification. It is important for individuals seeking building maintenance certifications to research the specific requirements in their state or region.

17. How can someone use their building maintenance certifications for career advancement opportunities?

Building maintenance certifications can be used for career advancement opportunities in several ways:

1. Specialized Skills: Building maintenance certifications demonstrate specialized skills and knowledge in a particular area, such as plumbing, electrical work, or HVAC systems. These skills can make an employee more valuable and versatile in their current role, opening up the potential for promotion or salary increase.

2. Professional Development: Many building maintenance certifications require ongoing education and training to maintain them. This commitment to professional development shows employers that an individual is dedicated to staying up-to-date in their field and continuously improving their skills.

3. Diversify Your Resume: By obtaining several different building maintenance certifications, individuals can diversify their resume and increase their chances of being considered for a wider range of job opportunities.

4. Pursue Leadership Roles: Some advanced building maintenance certifications, such as Certified Maintenance Supervisor (CMS) or Facilities Management Professional (FMP), focus on leadership and management skills. These certifications can prepare individuals for supervisory or management roles within the building maintenance industry.

5. Be More Competitive: In competitive job markets, having building maintenance certifications can give individuals an edge over others without them. It demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and expertise that employers often look for when hiring for higher-level positions.

6. Network with Industry Professionals: Many building maintenance certification programs offer networking opportunities with other professionals in the industry. This allows individuals to build relationships with potential mentors, colleagues, and future employers who could help advance their career.

7. Expand Career Opportunities: With the rise of green buildings and sustainable practices, there is an increasing demand for employees with knowledge and experience in these areas. Building maintenance certifications related to sustainability or energy efficiency can open up new career opportunities in this growing sector.

Overall, having building maintenance certifications demonstrates a commitment to one’s profession and a dedication to continuous learning, making individuals more marketable for advancement within their current company or when seeking new job opportunities elsewhere.

18. Besides technical skills, what other areas of expertise are covered in a building maintenance certification program?

A building maintenance certification program may also cover areas such as:

1. Safety procedures and protocols: This could include training on how to handle hazardous materials, use personal protective equipment, ensure proper ventilation, and follow emergency protocols.

2. Compliance regulations: Certain industries may have specific regulations that building maintenance staff must adhere to, such as OSHA requirements for workplace safety or environmental regulations for handling and disposing of waste.

3. Communication skills: Building maintenance professionals must be able to effectively communicate with other team members and property managers to report issues and provide updates on repairs and maintenance tasks.

4. Time management and organization: With a wide range of duties, building maintenance staff must prioritize tasks efficiently and maintain organized records of completed work.

5. Customer service: In some cases, building maintenance staff may interact with tenants or clients in residential or commercial properties. Training in customer service can help them effectively address their needs and concerns.

6. Green building practices: As sustainability becomes increasingly important in the construction industry, building maintenance professionals may receive training on energy-efficient practices, recycling, and reducing waste.

7. Project management skills: Building maintenance staff may be responsible for overseeing larger projects such as renovations or new construction projects within the property. Training in project management can help them effectively plan, budget, and coordinate these projects.

8. Basic plumbing, electrical, and HVAC knowledge: While not as in-depth as a full certification program in these fields, a building maintenance certification program may provide basic training on how to address common issues with plumbing systems, electrical systems, and heating/cooling systems within a building.

9. Budgeting and financial management: Building maintenance professionals may be responsible for managing a budget for necessary supplies or repairs within the property. Training in budgeting can help them make informed decisions about expenses and allocate resources effectively.

10. Technology skills: Many buildings now have advanced technology systems that require specialized knowledge for troubleshooting and repair. A certification program may cover relevant technology skills to maintain these systems.

19.Given the diverse range of tasks involved in building maintenance, are there different levels of certifications based on skill level?

Yes, there are different levels of certifications for building maintenance professionals based on their skill level. These include:

1. Entry-level certifications: These certifications are designed for individuals who are new to the field of building maintenance and have little or no experience. They cover basic topics such as safety regulations, tools and equipment, and basic maintenance tasks.

2. Intermediate-level certifications: These certifications are for building maintenance professionals who have some experience in the field and want to advance their skills further. They may cover topics such as electrical systems, HVAC systems, plumbing, and carpentry.

3. Advanced-level certifications: These certifications are for experienced building maintenance professionals who want to specialize in a particular area of building maintenance. They may require previous experience and knowledge in specific areas, such as fire safety or energy efficiency.

The level of certification required may also depend on the type of building being maintained. For example, someone working in a commercial high-rise building may need more advanced certifications compared to someone maintaining a residential home.

In addition to technical skills, some certifications also require a certain amount of hands-on training and/or passing an exam to demonstrate proficiency in the subject matter. Building maintenance professionals can choose the level(s) of certification that best suit their goals and job requirements.

20.What is the average cost of obtaining a professional certification in building maintenance and are there financial aid options available?

The average cost of obtaining a professional certification in building maintenance can vary depending on the specific certification and location, but it can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Some programs may also require additional costs for books, materials, and exam fees.

Financial aid options may be available for some certification programs through scholarships, grants, or employer reimbursement programs. It is recommended to research and inquire about financial aid options directly with the organization or institution offering the certification.


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