A facilities manager is responsible for the regular maintenance of the systems and services of a building or group of buildings. These include cleaning, lighting, heating, decorating and repair.
You could be:
putting out to tender contracts for outside companies servicing the building: cleaning companies, waste recycling companies, electrical companies, interior decorating companies
negotiating contracts for repairing, extending and renovating buildings
assessing all risks: business, operational, environmental and health and safety
taking responsibility for the actions of building workers within the premises
keeping up to date with changing regulations in health and safety
giving presentations to senior management and others on structural or environmental issues
balancing the budget for building maintenance
supervising the rest of the regular staff in the facilities department: office services and technical staff, janitors, cleaners
planning for developments to meet the future needs of the business.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries for assistant facilities co-ordinators are around £18,000 a year. If you gain direct entry as a facilities manager you might expect to earn around £24,000 a year. With further experience you can expect between £30,000 and £45,000 a year. Project directors can earn over £60,000 a year. There may be extra bonuses and a company car on top of the salary.
If you are responsible for only one building you will work in an office within the building.
If you work for a company managing a group of buildings you will travel a lot.
Facilities departments often operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, therefore you will work shifts including weekends and public holidays, and even when at home you may be on call.
Entry is usually with an HND (SCQF Level 8) or degree (SCQF Level 9) in facilities management or other relevant subject such as management or business studies.
Entry requirements are usually 1-2 Highers for an HND and 4-5 Highers for a degree.
A postgraduate qualification would be useful but is not essential. Edinburgh Napier University offers an MSc in Facilities Management via distance learning.
You could enter through a Modern Apprenticeship in Facilities Management at SCQF Level 7. For entry English and Maths at National 5 is preferred.
Entry without these qualifications is also possible, but you would start at a lower level and work your way up by studying part time for a professional qualification. The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) offers Level 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma in Facilities Management.
A driving licence may be essential.
Your first post might be as a facilities co-ordinator, reporting to the facilities manager. Jobs are available with specialist facilities management companies and real estate firms, but also with big commercial or public employers such as local authorities, government departments, hospitals, hotel chains, universities and colleges.
What Does it Take?
You should have:
an extensive technical knowledge
IT, business and financial skills
good listening and communication skills
the ability to get on with a wide range of people
the ability to prioritise your workload
the ability to multitask.
You should be:
good at solving problems
willing to take responsibility
able to plan and organise your workload.
The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) offer a career pathway of qualifications in facilities management from Level 2 to 7 (see IWFM website for details).
After gaining some experience, you could do a part time postgraduate course whilst in employment.
After experience, you can move on to senior management posts such as operations manager or project director.
You can also set up in business as a consultant.
There are specialist in-service courses which may help you to progress.