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Facilities Manager

Facilities Manager - Jack AND Master of All Trades!

Facilities Managers work in private industry and government and have a wide range of responsibilities, experience, earnings, and education. Applicants face keen competition due to the substantial supply of competent, experienced workers seeking managerial jobs.

Facilities Managers perform a broad range of duties in virtually every sector of the economy. They coordinate and direct support services to organizations as diverse as insurance companies, computer manufacturers, and government offices. These workers manage the many services that allow organizations to operate efficiently, such as secretarial and reception, administration, payroll, conference planning and travel, information and data processing, mail, materials scheduling and distribution, printing and reproduction, records management, telecommunications management, security, parking, and personal property procurement, supply, and disposal.

Specific duties for these diverse pool of managers (different skill level, age, gender, background, specialty and expertise, industry, etc.), vary by degree of responsibility and authority. First-line administrative services managers directly supervise a staff that performs various support services. Mid-level managers, on the other hand, develop departmental plans, set goals and deadlines, implement procedures to improve productivity and customer service, and define the responsibilities of supervisory-level managers. Some mid-level administrative services managers oversee first-line supervisors from various departments, including the clerical staff. Mid-level managers also may be involved in the hiring and dismissal of employees, but they generally have no role in the formulation of personnel policy. Some of these managers advance to upper level positions, such as vice president of administrative services.

They typically plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the operations of commercial, transportation and recreational facilities. A wide range of establishments, such as airports, harbors, canals, shopping centers, convention centers, warehouses and recreation facilities, employs facility operation managers. Maintenance managers, plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the maintenance department within commercial, industrial, institutional, recreational and other facilities. Maintenance managers are employed by a wide range of establishments, such as office buildings, shopping centers, airports, harbors, warehouses, grain terminals, universities, schools and sports facilities, and by the maintenance and mechanical engineering departments of manufacturing and other industrial establishments. They oversee the preparation, analysis, negotiation, and review of contracts related to the purchase or sale of equipment, materials, supplies, products, or services. In addition, some administrative services managers acquire, distribute, and store supplies, while others dispose of surplus property or oversee the disposal of unclaimed property.

Often the facilities managers plan, design, and manage buildings and grounds in addition to people. They are responsible for coordinating the physical workplace with the people and work of an organization. This task requires integrating the principles of business administration, architecture, and behavioral and engineering science. Although the specific tasks assigned to facility managers vary substantially depending on the organization, the duties fall into several categories, relating to operations and maintenance, real estate, project planning and management, communication, finance, quality assessment, facility function, technology integration, and management of human and environmental factors. Tasks within these broad categories may include space and workplace planning, budgeting, purchase and sale of real estate, lease management, renovations, or architectural planning and design. Facility managers may suggest and oversee renovation projects for a variety of reasons, ranging from improving efficiency to ensuring that facilities meet government regulations and environmental, health, and security standards. Additionally, facility managers continually monitor the facility to ensure that it remains safe, secure, and well maintained. Often, the facility manager is responsible for directing staff, including maintenance, grounds, and custodial workers.

Applicants face keen competition because there are more competent, experienced workers seeking jobs than there are positions available. However, demand should be strong for facility managers because businesses increasingly are realizing the importance of maintaining, securing, and efficiently operating their facilities, which are very large investments for most organizations. Administrative services managers employed in management services and management consulting also should be in demand, as public and private organizations continue to streamline and, in some cases, contract out administrative services functions in an effort to cut costs.

Focused study (certificate/degree) in facilities management and related services is available

Visit the International Facility Management Association website for more information and links to providers

Some facility managers transfer from other departments within the organization or work their way up from technical positions. Others advance through a progression of facility management positions that offer additional responsibilities. Completion of the competency-based professional certification program offered by the International Facility Management Association can give prospective candidates an advantage. In order to qualify for this Certified Facility Manager (CFM) designation, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements.

facilities manager, maintenance manager, director of operations, administrative services manager


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