By Tamara Sheehan
Director of Business Management
One of the most important aspects of any job is the salary. How much you’re paid has a major impact on whether the job is worth taking. That said, there’s often a lot of variability in facility management salaries—especially in an up-and-coming job market like workplace management.
How much can you expect to earn as a facility manager? That depends on several factors. Your experience, the company you apply to, demand for the position, geographic market, and myriad other variables determine the minimum and maximum salary you can earn. Let’s take a look at some of the variables to keep in mind when evaluating facility management salaries.
Average facility management salary
It’s good to have a benchmark of the average salary or a full range of facility manager salaries. Not only does this give context to a position, it also helps determine potential for future salary growth.
The problem with “average” is that it varies. Salary.com puts the range of pay for facility managers between $83,142 and $110,950 each year. Meanwhile, employment analytics firm Glassdoor suggest the annual pay may be closer to $41,000 to $100,000. That’s quite a variance.
The best way to get an average is to find a website or service that factors in the chief variables affecting salary. Payscale.com is a good example of a service offering these tools. Given the right information, it’s possible to parse down the min/max range of a salary to a single average number for someone in your position.
Factors determining salary
There are some major factors at play when determining a fair salary. Facilities management jobs vary in and of themselves, which can affect how much a company is willing to pay. Getting a sense of what’s appropriate comes down to dissecting the variables:
- Geography: Cost of living varies greatly by state. In Salt Lake City, $1,000 is going to buy a lot more than it will in New York City. A facility manager in Utah may make great money at $65,000 a year. But that would be lackluster for someone in New York, where the same job may net $110,000 a year.
- Experience: The longer you work, the more you know and the more you bring to the table. Someone with 10 years’ experience in facility management is going to jump right in and instantly know how to do things—opposed to someone fresh out of college with no tenure. Companies pay more to shorten the learning curve.
- Company: A multinational company with a million-dollar facilities management budget can afford to pay a facility manager more than a small startup watching every penny. Moreover, the number of managed workspaces can change the role—and the pay—of a facility manager.
- Education: Institutional education bumps earning potential higher depending on the type of degree. Someone with a bachelor’s degree in business administration will earn more than a high school graduate. More education means more practical knowledge and high-level thinking that drives workplace growth.
- Certification: Specialized certifications and accreditations push the bar for salary higher because they indicate specialized knowledge. Companies will pay more to tap into that knowledge because it’s likely to generate a higher return on investment.
Other factors also influence salary, but are less impactful. Demand for the position can make the going salary more competitive. Similarly, the industry itself may drive salaries higher or lower. For example, an industrial plant facility manager may have more complex duties compared to someone managing an accounting office.
The potential to salary increases
Starting at one salary level doesn’t lock you into that salary. Like any position, upward mobility and tenure impact pay. An assistant facility manager salary isn’t the same as a facilities director salary. Recognizing opportunities to increase salary is important for professional growth. Some examples include:
- Obtaining new IFMA certifications
- Learning and mastering new facilities management software and applications
- Spearheading smart office initiatives that produce measurable workplace ROI
- Reaching certain periods of tenure with the company
- Assuming more responsibility as the company expands and evolves
These situations are jump-off points for revisiting salary demands. Each demonstrates the importance of facility management and shows you’re a valuable asset to the company.
Industry trends and salary
Final topic to add to the salary conversation: industry trends. Companies are willing to pay for the knowledge and skills necessary to help them streamline their workplace. The facility manager is key to business success. As demand for qualified professionals grows and more companies start to realize the value of space management, salaries will also grow.
Keep reading: The top facility management job titles.