By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
Chances are, you didn’t write “I want to be a facilities manager when I grow up” for your fourth-grade career essay. In fact, it’s probably not something you considered until well into college career or a first profession. Nevertheless, it’s a career worth considering—especially right now. Is facility management a good career? Turns out, it might be the best one you’ve never thought about.
The reason you might be thinking about a career in facilities management today is evident in the changing nature of work. Due to the rise in trends like flex work, hoteling, agile workplaces, smart buildings, and distributed teams, there’s growing demand for professionals who can put all the pieces of a workplace together—and make them function.
If you’re pondering a career in facilities management, it’s worth understanding what makes it such a great option. Get the scoop on this profession and everything that accompanies it below.
What is a facility manager?
The first and most obvious question to ask is, what is a facility manager? To understand whether a career in facilities management is worth it, you need to set expectations. According to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA):
Facility managers (FMs) can have many different titles and arrive in their profession through a variety of career paths. They’re responsible for making sure systems of the built environment, or facility, work harmoniously. They are important because they make sure the places in which people work, play, learn and live are safe, comfortable, productive and sustainable.
The roles of a facility manager vary across organization. For a small company with limited facilities, the bulk of an FM’s duties might be optimizing that space for frictionless work across different groups. Conversely, larger companies may need facilities managers to coordinate the many vendors, craftspeople, and maintenance teams that keep facilities running. This gamut of duties is part of what makes facilities management such an intriguing and fulfilling profession.
Why is facilities management important?
As the way we work changes and the commercial real estate landscape becomes more complex, companies need facilities managers to help generate positive return on investment from facilities. The workplace—whatever it looks like—occupies significant space on the balance sheet. Good facilities management helps recoup some of that cost as value.
Beyond maximizing the return on investment of facilities, businesses also rely on FMs to streamline operations. Facilities (and the workplace) connect every part of business operations. A well-run facility can boost productivity, reduce workplace friction, improve employee experience, lower total operational costs, and enhance employee safety, among other benefits.
Average salary for a facilities manager
What can you expect to earn as a facility manager? There’s a significant salary range depending on factors like company size, years of experience, and certification. According to Salary.com, annual salaries range from roughly $72,200 to as high as $126,600, with the average salary for a facilities manager coming in at $99,200. Compared to national salary averages for similar business- and management-related professions, facility management is a good career.
What kinds of businesses need facilities managers?
Facility management is commonly associated with white-collar businesses—everything from finance to marketing to tech and similar. It’s because these businesses typically utilize a traditional office setting, whether they occupy some or all of a building. These aren’t the only sectors that value facilities management. Healthcare, finance, and education are all fields that rely heavily on facilities. These sectors and more are taking proven facility management concepts and deploying them to a high level of success.
The great thing about facilities management as a career is that it’s important in organizations of all sizes and types. Opportunities abound for professionals entering the field right now.
Facility management is a good career
“Good” is a subjective term. Nevertheless, it’s easy to call facilities management a good career based on the positive tailwinds pushing it right now. It’s a career that’s up-and-coming, growing in importance. There are opportunities across all sectors and business types. The pay is above average and competitive across the spectrum. The future is bright for facilities management.
As a kid, you might’ve seen yourself becoming a doctor, astronaut, or a superhero when you grew up. Now, you might be thinking about facilities management as a career. Is facility management a good career? In a world where being a superhero is a little harder than you thought it would be, facility management is a fine second choice. You might actually feel sort of like a superhero after coordinating the complex demands of an evolving workplace.
Keep Reading: Four Main Functions of Facilities Management.