Facilities Managers Training Programs and Schools

Jan 15, 2024

13 Min Read

1. What is the role of a facilities manager?

The role of a facilities manager is to oversee and manage the physical assets and operations of a building or facility. This includes managing and maintaining building systems, equipment, and services, ensuring compliance with regulations and safety standards, overseeing maintenance and repairs, managing security and emergency preparedness protocols, and coordinating with external vendors and contractors. Facilities managers also handle budgeting, procurement, and space planning for the facility. They may also be responsible for managing personnel within the facility, such as custodial staff or maintenance technicians. Ultimately, the goal of a facilities manager is to ensure that the facility operates smoothly and efficiently, creating a safe and productive environment for occupants.

2. What types of facilities are typically managed by a facilities manager?

Facilities managers are responsible for managing a wide range of physical assets and services in various types of buildings, such as commercial and office spaces, residential complexes, schools and universities, hospitals and healthcare facilities, hotels and resorts, shopping centers and malls, transportation hubs (airports, train stations), sports arenas and stadiums. They are also involved in managing industrial or manufacturing facilities, government buildings, and military installations. Essentially any type of building or facility that requires maintenance, repairs, cleaning, security, safety protocols, space planning/design or environmental sustainability initiatives can be managed by a facilities manager.

3. What skills are necessary to be a successful facilities manager?

Facilities management requires a combination of technical, interpersonal, and leadership skills to be successful. Some essential skills for a facilities manager include:

1. Technical Skills: A strong understanding of building systems and operations is crucial for a facilities manager. This includes knowledge of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and other building systems. They should also have knowledge of safety regulations, maintenance protocols, and budgeting processes.

2. Communication Skills: Facilities managers oversee a team of employees and often work with external contractors and vendors. Good communication skills are necessary to effectively coordinate with all parties involved and clearly convey expectations and objectives.

3. Organizational Skills: With numerous tasks to manage at once, it’s crucial for facilities managers to have excellent organizational skills. This includes prioritizing tasks, creating schedules, managing budgets, and keeping track of maintenance logs.

4. Problem-Solving Skills: Inevitably, unexpected issues will arise in facility management, from equipment malfunctions to staffing shortages. A successful facilities manager needs to be able to think quickly on their feet and find solutions that minimize disruption while staying within the allotted budget.

5. Leadership Skills: As leaders of their facility management team, these professionals must possess strong leadership qualities such as the ability to motivate employees, delegate tasks efficiently, provide feedback constructively and make critical decisions in times of need.

6. Financial Management Skills: Facilities managers are responsible for managing budgets for supplies, equipment repairs/replacement costs and staff salaries/expenses while ensuring cost-effectiveness without reducing quality levels.

7. Knowledge of Technology: Modern buildings rely heavily on technology-based systems such as HVAC controls or building management software applications receivers from the records database access control biometrics system headphones video surveillance they need someone who can understand the complexities associated with them.

In summary, successful facilities managers require a diverse set of skills including technical prowess coupled with communication abilities that allow workable relationships between external stakeholders (e.g., vendors) maintains order amid chaos and leverages powerful data tools to efficiently monitor, evaluate and optimize their assets.

4. Can anyone become a facilities manager or is specific education/training required?

Technically, anyone can become a facilities manager as there are no specific educational requirements for the job. Many facilities managers have backgrounds in engineering, construction management, business administration or related fields. However, it is highly beneficial to have relevant training or certifications in areas such as facility management, project management, and building codes and regulations. Additionally, experience in a related field or in a facility management role can also be helpful in pursuing a career as a facilities manager.

5. What kind of training programs and schools offer courses in facilities management?

There are several types of training programs and schools that offer courses in facilities management. These include:

1. Colleges and universities: Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in facilities management, as well as individual courses in the field.

2. Technical and vocational schools: Some technical or vocational schools may also offer certificate or diploma programs in facilities management.

3. Professional associations: Organizations such as the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) offer professional certification programs and continuing education courses for facilities managers.

4. Online courses: There are also many online courses and webinars available from various organizations, both for introductory and more advanced topics in facilities management.

5. Industry-specific training providers: Some industries, such as healthcare or hospitality, may offer specialized training programs or courses in facilities management tailored to their specific needs.

It is important to research and compare different training options to find a program that best fits your needs and career goals.

6. How long does it take to complete a facilities management training program?

The length of a facilities management training program can vary depending on the specific program and its format. Some programs may be completed in a few weeks, while others may take several months or even years to complete. The duration may also depend on the level of education or certification being pursued. For example, a certificate program may take less time to complete compared to a degree program. It is important to research the specific training program you are interested in to determine its length and requirements for completion.

7. Are there any certification programs for facilities managers?

Yes, there are several certification programs available for facilities managers. Some popular ones include:

1) Certified Facility Manager (CFM) from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA)
2) Facility Management Professional (FMP) from IFMA
3) Certified Plant Maintenance Manager (CPMM) from the Association for Facilities Engineering (AFE)
4) Certified Manager of Facilities (CMF) from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
5) Building Owners and Managers Institute Designation (BOMI)

Each program has its own specific requirements and focuses, but all provide education, training, and recognition to professionals in the facilities management field.

8. How does on-the-job training factor into becoming a successful facilities manager?

On-the-job training plays a significant role in the success of a facilities manager. It provides practical experience and knowledge that cannot be obtained through academic education alone. Here are some ways on-the-job training can contribute to becoming a successful facilities manager:

1. Learning the ins and outs of the facility: On-the-job training allows new managers to understand the unique operations, processes, and intricacies of the specific facility they are managing. This knowledge is essential for making informed decisions and effectively managing the facility.

2. Experiencing real-world scenarios: Facilities managers encounter various situations in their day-to-day work that require quick thinking and problem-solving skills. On-the-job training exposes them to practical scenarios, teaching them how to handle different situations effectively.

3. Developing technical skills: On-the-job training familiarizes managers with equipment, machinery, and technology used in their facility. They can learn how to operate, troubleshoot, and maintain these systems through hands-on experience under the guidance of experienced professionals.

4. Understanding safety procedures: Managing a facility also means ensuring its safety for all occupants. Through on-the-job training, managers can familiarize themselves with safety protocols, emergency procedures, and risk assessment techniques specific to their facility.

5. Building relationships with colleagues: Facilities managers need to work collaboratively with other team members, such as maintenance staff, contractors, vendors, and department heads. On-the-job training provides opportunities for managers to build relationships with their colleagues and understand their roles better.

6. Gaining leadership skills: As facilities managers progress in their careers, they may be responsible for supervising a team of maintenance workers or technicians. On-the-job training allows them to develop leadership skills by learning from experienced leaders within the organization.

7. Continuous learning: The field of facilities management is constantly evolving with new technologies, regulations, and best practices emerging regularly. On-the-job training provides an excellent platform for continuous learning by exposing managers to new techniques and methods.

In conclusion, on-the-job training is a critical element of becoming a successful facilities manager. It provides hands-on experience, exposure to real-world scenarios, and opportunities for continuous learning, all of which are essential for effective facility management.

9. Is there a difference between on-site and off-site facilities management training programs?

Yes, there are some key differences between on-site and off-site facilities management training programs.

On-site training programs are conducted at the actual facility where the employee works, which allows for a more specific and customized learning experience. The training can be tailored to the specific needs and challenges of the organization, and employees can learn within their familiar work environment.

Off-site training programs, on the other hand, take place in a different location away from the employee’s daily work setting. These training programs often have a broader focus and cover general industry practices rather than specific company procedures. Off-site programs may also offer a wider range of resources and networking opportunities with professionals from other organizations.

Another significant difference is the level of convenience and cost-effectiveness. On-site training eliminates travel costs for employees and can be scheduled to fit around work schedules. Off-site training may require travel expenses, as well as time away from work duties.

Overall, both on-site and off-site facilities management training programs can provide valuable knowledge and skills to facility managers. The choice between the two options will depend on factors such as budget, goals, and available resources for each individual or organization.

10. Are there any online options for completing a facilities management training program?

Yes, there are several online options for completing a facilities management training program. Some accredited universities offer online certificate or degree programs in facilities management. Additionally, there are online courses and workshops available from professional organizations and training companies that specialize in facilities management. These options allow individuals to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for a career in facilities management while also offering flexibility for those who may not be able to attend traditional campus-based programs.

11. Is there a particular industry focus in facility management training programs?

There is not a particular industry focus in facility management training programs as the field of facility management applies to a wide range of industries and facilities, including healthcare, education, government, hospitality, retail, services and more. However, some training programs may offer specialized courses or workshops for specific industries such as healthcare or manufacturing.

12. What kinds of courses can one expect to take in a facility management training program?

The specific courses will vary depending on the institution offering the training program and the level of the program (i.e. basic, intermediate, advanced). However, some common courses that one can expect to take in a facility management training program include:

1. Introduction to Facility Management – This course will cover the basic principles and concepts of facility management, including its role in business operations and strategies for achieving effective facility management.

2. Building Systems and Operations – This course will provide an overview of different building systems such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and security systems. Students will learn how to operate and maintain these systems effectively.

3. Space Planning and Design – This course covers the fundamentals of space planning, design principles, ergonomic considerations, and sustainability in relation to facility management.

4. Project Management – Facility managers are responsible for overseeing various projects related to building maintenance, renovation or construction. A project management course will teach students how to plan, execute and manage projects within a facility setting.

5. Safety and Security Management – As facilities deal with potential risks like fire hazards or security breaches, it is important for facility managers to have knowledge about safety regulations and protocols to ensure a safe working environment. This course will cover safety procedures in case of emergency or disaster.

6. Vendor Management – Facility managers often work with vendors for services such as cleaning, landscaping or repairs/maintenance. In this course, students will learn how to select vendors based on needs assessment criteria to achieve cost-effective value from service providers.

7. Budgeting and Financial Management – This course teaches students budgeting techniques for different facilities as well as effective methods of managing costs while ensuring quality standards are met.

8. Sustainability in Facilities Management – With increased focus on sustainable practices globally including reducing energy consumption in buildings–sustainability now plays an important role in facility managements’ responsibilities In this course students can expect topics related techniques aimed at conserving natural resources while not compromising building operations and its functionality together with risk management of ecosystem, etc.

9. Human Resource Management – A course in human resource management is important for facility managers as they are responsible for the well-being and motivation of their facility’s employees. This course will cover topics such as hiring, training, retention, performance evaluation and conflict resolution.

10. Technology in Facility Management – As technology continues to play a significant role in facility management operations, students will learn about the latest tools and trends used to manage buildings more efficiently and effectively.

11. Legal and Regulatory Compliance – This course will provide an overview of relevant laws and regulations related to facility management including workplace safety, environmental regulations, accessibility standards and building codes.

12. Communication Skills – Effective communication is essential for success in any field, including facility management. Students will learn techniques for communicating with different stakeholders, such as building owners, vendors, employees and occupants.

13. How important is hands-on experience in becoming a successful facilities manager?

Hands-on experience is extremely important in becoming a successful facilities manager. While knowledge and education are essential, having practical experience allows you to apply that knowledge in real-world situations and gain a deeper understanding of how to effectively manage a facility.

Hands-on experience also helps develop important skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and effective communication with stakeholders. It allows you to learn from mistakes and challenges, providing valuable insight into the day-to-day responsibilities of a facilities manager. Additionally, through hands-on experience, you can build relationships with contractors, vendors, and facilities staff, which are crucial for successful management.

In summary, while having a strong educational background is important for becoming a successful facilities manager, it is the hands-on experience that ultimately prepares an individual for the challenges of this role.

14. Do reputable companies require their facility managers to have completed specific training programs?

Yes, many reputable companies require their facility managers to have completed specific training programs or hold relevant certifications. This demonstrates that the facility manager has the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage and maintain the company’s facilities.

Companies may also require ongoing professional development for their facility managers to stay updated on new technologies, regulations, and best practices in the field. A well-trained and knowledgeable facility manager can help save the company time and money by efficiently managing its facilities and ensuring they are safe and compliant with industry standards.

15. Are there any ongoing education requirements for maintaining certification as a facility manager?

Yes, many certification programs have ongoing education requirements for maintaining certification as a facility manager. These requirements may include attending continuing education courses or conferences, completing a certain number of professional development hours, or participating in relevant industry activities. The specific requirements vary based on the organization issuing the certification and may need to be fulfilled on an annual or biennial basis to maintain active certification status. Failure to meet these requirements may result in the revocation of certification.

16. Is it beneficial to have previous work experience in maintenance or construction before pursuing facility management?

Having previous work experience in maintenance or construction can certainly be beneficial for pursuing facility management. This experience will give you a strong foundation of technical knowledge and skills that are necessary for maintaining and managing facilities. It can also help you to better understand the challenges and day-to-day operations of a facility, which is important when managing a team of maintenance and other staff.

Furthermore, having previous work experience in these fields can provide valuable industry contacts and networks that may be beneficial in securing job opportunities in facility management. You may also have the opportunity to develop specialized skills in specific areas, such as HVAC or plumbing, which can make you a more competitive job candidate.

However, it is not necessarily required to have previous work experience in maintenance or construction before pursuing facility management. Many employers value transferable skills such as project planning, budgeting, communication, and problem-solving abilities over specific technical knowledge. In addition, many organizations offer training programs for new hires in facility management roles to fill any knowledge gaps.

In summary, while previous experience in maintenance or construction can certainly be beneficial for pursuing facility management, it is not essential. Transferable skills and on-the-job training can also prepare individuals for successful careers in this field.

17. Are there opportunities for advancement within the field of facilities management?

Yes, there are numerous opportunities for advancement within the field of facilities management. Some potential opportunities include:

1. Senior Facilities Management Roles: As a facilities manager gains experience and knowledge in the field, they can move into more senior positions such as Assistant Facilities Manager, Regional Facilities Manager, or Director of Facilities.

2. Specialized Roles: Many facilities managers may choose to specialize in a particular area such as sustainability, energy management, or space planning. This can lead to higher paying and more specialized roles within facilities management.

3. Project Management: With their understanding of building systems and maintenance processes, facilities managers are well-equipped for project management roles within organizations.

4. Consulting/Contracting: Experienced facilities managers may choose to become independent consultants or start their own facilities management contracting businesses.

5. Higher Education: Pursuing advanced degrees such as a Master’s in Business Administration can open up opportunities for leadership roles within the field of facilities management.

6. International Opportunities: Some organizations have global operations and may offer international opportunities for advancement within the field of facilities management.

7. Corporate Sustainability Roles: As organizations place increased emphasis on sustainability practices, there is a growing demand for professionals with expertise in this area. Facilities managers with sustainability experience and knowledge can pursue roles focused on corporate sustainability initiatives.

Overall, the field of facilities management offers many opportunities for career growth and advancement both within an organization and beyond.

18.Are internships or apprenticeships encouraged as part of facility management training programs?

It depends on the specific program and the organization offering it. In some cases, internships or apprenticeships may be part of the curriculum, providing hands-on experience and practical skills to students. However, in other cases, facility management training programs may focus more on theoretical knowledge and classroom instruction. It is always recommended for individuals interested in pursuing a career in facility management to seek out internships or apprenticeships to gain practical experience and enhance their skillset.

19.Is there an association or union for certified facility managers where they can network and further develop their skills and knowledge?

Yes, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is a professional association for certified facility managers that provides networking opportunities, educational resources, and professional development opportunities. Other relevant associations include the National Facility Management Association (NFMA), the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

20.What sets apart top-performing facility managers from those who may not be as successful in the industry?



Stay Connected with the Latest