Facilities managers essentially look after all of the services that helps a business or other organisation do its work. Responsibilities can include:
- overseeing and agreeing contracts and providers for services including security, parking, cleaning, catering, technology and so on
- supervising multi-disciplinary teams of staff including cleaning, maintenance, grounds and security
- ensuring that basic facilities, such as water and heating, are well-maintained
- managing budgets and ensuring cost-effectiveness
- allocating and managing space between buildings
- ensuring that facilities meet government regulations and environmental, health and security standards
- advising businesses on increasing energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness
- overseeing building projects, renovations or refurbishments
- helping businesses to relocate to new offices and to make decisions about leasing
- drafting reports and making written recommendations
If they work for a construction company, they may also have some input into the design of a new office building to ensure that facilities are able to be delivered in the most effective way.
While many facilities managers take on a varied range of responsibilities, it is also possible to specialise in ‘hard’ facilities management services or ‘soft’. Hard services includes anything to do with the physical building, such as electrical systems, while soft is more people-related.
Work is office-based, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm, although extra hours are sometimes required for emergencies or to meet deadlines.
Facilities managers may work in-house – that is directly for the organisation for which they are managing services – or for a company that provides those services to individual businesses. Typical employers include:
- specialist facilities management companies
- property firms and property management companies
- construction companies
- large public and private sector organisations, including schools, colleges, universities and the NHS
Vacancies are advertised via TARGETjobs, via the British Institute of Facilities Management, by university careers services and specialist recruitment agencies, in newspapers and in construction and property-related publications (and on their online equivalents).
There are routes into a career in facilities management for both university graduates and school leavers.
Many facilities management graduate schemes or graduate-level entry roles are open to all degree disciplines – but some employers will require, or prefer, a degree related to the built environment (particularly building services engineering) or business studies. Find out more about getting into facilities management as a graduate.
As a school leaver, you can get into facilities management via an apprenticeship overseen by the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM). Alternatively, it’s also possible to gain an entry-level job in facilities management, particularly after gaining a HND or other higher education qualification accredited by the BIFM. However, you can work your way up into a facilities management career, too: many move into the role after previously working in office administration or engineering, either at their current employer or a different one. Find out more about apprenticeships on targetcareers.co.uk
- Communication and influencing skills, in person and in writing
- Analytical and problem-solving skills
- The ability to lead and manage teams and projects
- Attention to detail but also the ability to see the implications for the bigger picture
- Commercial awareness
- Customer service
- Organisation, time management, prioritising and the ability to handle a complex, varied workload
- A good knowledge of IT packages