If you are the type of person who thrives when the pressure is on, and relishes the tasks of planning and coordination, a career in facilities management could be right for you. However before we get ahead of ourselves let’s address the question: what does a facilities manager do?
What is Facility Management?
Before we go any further let’s quickly nail down a rough definition of the profession:
If you’re looking for the complete and final technical description then let me direct you towards IFMA:
Facility management (FM) is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality, comfort, safety and efficiency of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology. (ifma.org)
It is a challenging but in demand profession which offers excellent conditions and career progression within both the private, public and non-profit sectors. That’s why you’ll find these opportunities exist at both old school premises and at some of Silicon Valley’s most high profile European HQs.
Facilities management, referred to in some circles as “buildings management” is a wide field and depending upon the size of the company, and the size of facility, your area of focus may be wider or narrower. Regardless the scope of your responsibilities you will be expected to ensure that best practices are always followed and a working environment is set and maintained at a level suitable for all the employees their activities and deliverables.
What Can You Earn as a Facilities Manager?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer? By necessity the figures which follow are to be considered very much approximate rather than exact.
If you are starting off, your first role might be as an assistant facilities manager, so you can expect to earn something in the region of €38,000 to €45,000.
If you’re ready to take the leap and dive into a new job you can read more on our Facilities Management Jobs page.
With some more experience, and professional development, you will be well placed for a more senior role. More senior positions typically offer salaries in the bandwidth between €50,000 – €100,000+.
Overall benefits packages often include non-salary remuneration. At the upper end of the salary scale you are moving into operations director territory. So it won’t happen overnight. Your mileage will vary and your average salary will depend on experience. Remember: treat these as estimates only.
Routinely you will work a 40 hour week however, on occasion, – to cover emergencies, hit project deadlines, cover contingencies – you might be required to work longer. Depending upon the nature of the facility some roles will require shift work to cover 24-hour operations.
There is little agreement as to whether any one specific degree is especially sought after for these roles. Nevertheless it is our experience that candidates with demonstrable competency in one, or more, of the following subjects tend to be successful:
- Building management
- Facilities management
- Business studies
- Property management
- Building services engineering
Facilities management qualifications, at a range of levels, are offered by a variety of third level institutions. We advise you, depending on your prior experience, to conduct a search for ‘postgraduate courses and facilities management’ courses appropriate to your career goals and the business objectives of prospective employers. The International Facilities Management Association is an excellent source of information.
In our experience as recruiters the talent we found comes from a wide variety of backgrounds. However some career backgrounds tend to be represented particularly more frequently than others. Here are some of the top ones:
As recruiters to the global workplace solutions sector we are often asked what are the personal traits and skills of a top-class facilities manager. Here are just a few of the top traits and skills which we have found to be present in the top performing professionals we have placed over the years:
- A decisive and confident personality
- Precise and punctual
- Relishes taking on projects
- Possessing strong IT skills
- Strong on task prioritisation
- Able to multitask
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Able to improvise as the occasion demands
- A concise communicator
- Innovative and flexible in their approach to work
Some of the most exciting opportunities in this field will require your presence at more than one site so having a valid driving licence is close to being a prerequisite.
Facilities Management Scope
To give an accurate, and reasonably broad, definition the facilities manager is responsible for the operation of all professional services and systems in the built environment. The job scope typically includes some, or all of the following:
- cleaning and hygiene
- health and safety
- site security
- grounds management
- facility space management
- communications infrastructure
- catering and vending services
- building maintenance
- facility maintenance
- grounds maintenance
- access control
- utilities infrastructure
- project management
Responsibilities & Tasks
The following list of tasks and responsibilities is simply a guideline as to what you might expect to be responsible for as a facilities manager. These vary greatly according to employer and site.
- Ensure the built environment meets all safety codes
- Using agreed metrics and measurement techniques be able to demonstrate delivery of agreed service levels
- Using agreed metrics and measurement techniques demonstrate opportunities for improvement
- Manage all services essential to the smooth running of the business e.g. waste disposal, cleaning, security, mail, reception, catering, archive facilities, recycling
- Optimise and manage space and resources allocation for current or new buildings
- Align plans for future development with the strategic business objectives of the company
- Establish and maintain proper site records in accordance with best practice rules
- Respond and plan for all contingencies and emergencies
- Organise and co-ordinate fire evacuation and bomb drills
- manage document flow for all contractor tenders
- Prepare site regulations and issue permits to work for all contractor activities on site
- Ensure the built environment meets all safety codes
- Prepare and manage tender documents for contractors
- Assist & liaise with building surveyors/architects/consultants on major works
- Project manage all change activities to disrupt core activities minimally
- Manage and coordinate one or several teams
- Oversee work by both contractors and staff ensuring it has been completed to specification, follow-up on any shortcomings
Facility managers or, if you want to be fancy, ‘facility management professionals’ work across virtually all industries and workplaces in both the private and the public sector.
This diversity of industries, and workplaces, is reflected in the fact that facilities managers are to be found hiding in plain sight under any of, to rattle off just a few, the following job titles: ‘workplace manager’, ‘assets manager’, ‘technical services managers,’ ‘property manager,’ ‘estates manager’.
Some typical employers include:
- Pharmaceutical facilities
- Business parks
- County Councils
- Public Buildings i.e. galleries, archives, museums
- facilities management providers
- Long term storage facilities
- Server farms
- Shopping centres
- Industrial facilities
Our team of recruitment consultants offer industry insight and timely advice on designing a recruitment strategy for your next facilities hire. No detail is too small. Check out our primer on creating your next Facilities Manager Job Description.
If, having waded through all this information, your enthusiasm levels remain high you might like to give some reconsideration to the type of career path you might pursue. Much of your progress will depend upon the opportunities in your area, or your willingness to relocate to the areas with the most promising employment environment.
Starting off taking a position in a larger company would allow you to begin one or two rungs down from the executive position. In this type of scenario you would take on responsibility for one location, or one speciality, such as cleaning, equipment maintenance, catering, before seeking to progress to become manager of the Department and from there into general management.
Jobs Within The Sector
- Facilities Management soft services jobs
- Facilities assistants positions
- FM Technical Supervisor roles
- Maintenance technician jobs
- Engineering specialists positions
- HVAC Technician roles
- Facilities management hard services jobs
- Electrical jobs
- Team Leader jobs
- Post Room Operative positions
- Contract management positions
Facilities management can often be a springboard to even more senior roles within large companies or consultancies. Perhaps we’ll get into that with you another day but for now that’s beyond the scope of this post.
Top tip: be sure to keep up to date by signing up for our job alerts on our top rated Irish Recruiters Job Board.
Everyone here at Hall Recruitment would like to wish you every success with your career and to remind you that when it comes to facilities management recruitment in Ireland we are the first recruiters to call.