Salary and conditions
- Graduate facilities managers at entry level can expect to earn £18,000 – £22,000. The highest salaries are in London and the South East and in graduate training schemes.
- Salaries rise with experience and vary according to sector, function and location. Achieving chartered status will result in higher pay. Senior facilities managers may earn £26,000 – £38,000 or up to £60,000 if they have UK-wide responsibilities.
- The increase in public-private partnership funding has increased opportunities in facilities management and these projects are more likely to offer financial bonuses and better salary increases.
- Working hours are generally 40 per week, though longer hours may be required on occasion to meet project deadlines or to cover emergencies. Some facilities management roles may require shift work in order to cover 24-hour operations. Meetings and visits may sometimes necessitate out-of-hours working.
- Additional benefits often include a pension scheme, private health care, performance-related bonuses, company car or car allowance and profit share or share save schemes.
- Women are slightly under represented in facilities management, but the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) does have a ‘Women in FM’ special interest group, which helps with networking and development.
- Opportunities exist all over the UK in both the public and the private sectors.
- Travel during the working day may be required in order to visit different premises and absence from home overnight is sometimes necessary.
- Long-term projects may demand flexibility or relocation.
- There may be opportunities for overseas travel.
Facilities managers are responsible for the management of services and processes that support the core business of an organisation. They ensure that an organisation has the most suitable working environment for its employees and their activities. Duties vary with the nature of the organisation, but facilities managers generally focus on using best business practice to improve efficiency, by reducing operating costs while increasing productivity.
This is a wide field with a diverse range of responsibilities, which are dependant on the structure of the organisation. Facilities managers are involved in both strategic planning and day-to-day operations, particularly in relation to buildings and premises. Likely areas of responsibility include:
- procurement and contract management;
- building and grounds maintenance;
- catering and vending;
- health and safety;
- utilities and communications infrastructure;
- space management.
Typical work activities
Facilities managers are employed in all sectors and industries and the diversity of the work may be reflected in different job titles such as operations, estates, technical services, asset or property manager. Responsibilities often cover several departments, as well as central services that link to all the teams in the organisation. In smaller companies, duties may include more practical and hands-on tasks. Many facilities management professionals are employed on a consultancy basis, contracted to manage some or all of these activities by a client organisation.
Typical tasks may include:
- preparing documents to put out tenders for contractors;
- project management and supervising and coordinating work of contractors;
- investigating availability and suitability of options for new premises;
- calculating and comparing costs for required goods or services to achieve maximum value for money;
- planning for future development in line with strategic business objectives;
- managing and leading change to ensure minimum disruption to core activities;
- liaising with tenants of commercial properties;
- directing and planning essential central services such as reception, security, maintenance, mail, archiving, cleaning, catering, waste disposal and recycling;
- ensuring the building meets health and safety requirements;
- planning best allocation and utilisation of space and resources for new buildings, or re-organising current premises;
- checking that agreed work by staff or contractors has been completed satisfactorily and following up on any deficiencies;
- coordinating and leading one or more teams to cover various areas of responsibility;
- using performance management techniques to monitor and demonstrate achievement of agreed service levels and to lead on improvement;
- responding appropriately to emergencies or urgent issues as they arise.
Entry is open to graduates of all disciplines although certain subjects are particularly useful. The University of Central Lancashire offers a degree in facilities management, but other relevant subjects include:
- building management;
- business studies;
Entry can be made with just an HND/foundation degree and it is helpful if the qualification is in a relevant subject such as facilities management, business studies or management.
Entry without a degree/HND is possible although this will usually be at a lower level. Once a job is obtained, relevant qualifications are usually then studied for. This includes level 3 qualifications from the Institute of Leadership and Management which consist of an award, certificate and diploma in facilities management.
Postgraduate qualifications are useful and may improve your chances of securing a job, but they are not essential. Postgraduate diplomas and Masters are available in facilities management and the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) has a list of accredited courses. These qualifications are sometimes taken while working to aid career progression.
It is also possible to move into this job from another related role, especially if relevant professional qualifications, such as those in surveying, accountancy and estate management, have been obtained. It is common for those with some sort of building services/engineering or office management/administration background to enter facilities management.
Candidates need to show evidence of the following skills and abilities:
- organisation and systematic thinking;
- strong numeracy and the ability to understand financial data;
- research skills and the ability to draw information from various sources, including people;
- IT skills;
- clear and concise writing skills and the ability to handle long and complex documents;
- interpersonal, relationship-building and negotiation skills;
- spatial awareness and the ability to work with diagrams;
- flexibility and the ability to work on more than one task at a time.
Pre-entry experience is desirable and a placement year in industry from a relevant degree can prove to be particularly useful. Any experience in related areas such as management, building or construction will also be a help, so consider any part-time or vacation work in relation to this.