The FM Professional

4 Emerging Facilities Management Specialties

David Spence
November 28th, 2013

Maintenance Manager

Maintenance managers are responsible for overseeing a company’s assets. They arrange for routine and preventive maintenance, work with contractors, and field work orders. Well-familiar with different types of equipment, maintenance managers also brainstorm and implement cost-saving measures. According to facilities management talent agency Rudd Executive Search, companies’ neglect of maintenance over the past few years  has created today’s demand for maintenance managers, so it’s a great option for those with technical abilities and an interest in special systems like HVAC equipment.

Building Automation System Technician

Building automation technology combines hardware and software into a system that controls specific parts of the facility. This could include anything  from lighting to air conditioning to keycard access. As this technology advances, the need for technical masterminds will also increase. Successful building automation system technicians will possess skills in interpreting blueprints and schematics, understanding electronics, and working with Direct Digital Controls (DDC).

Sustainability Managers and Engineers

As the name suggests, sustainability managers and engineers specialize in the environmental side of business. They work with problems like “inefficient utilities and occupant consumption,” using numerical data  to cut down on energy expenses. They also have enough boardroom savvy to hold their own when presenting data to the C-suite. With sustainability becoming such an important topic in the business world, these individuals will be an important resource for green-minded companies.

Facilities Analyst

Facilities analysts look at factors ranging from energy to productivity to space usage. They work with numerical data to identify areas of potential improvement and help the company downsize on their expenses. They may see, for example, that the occupancy rate of a certain area in the office is only 45 percent at any given time, and designate alternative spaces for working. Analysts are skilled researchers, with an aptitude for performing calculations and working with key performance indicators. Because they must report their findings to superior employees, they also must have excellent communication skills.

A Promising Outlook

What specifically makes FM such a promising career choice? As I mentioned before, it’s currently dominated by an older demographic. According to the IFMA report, the average facilities manager is 49 years old. This makes the field a promising avenue for a younger workforce as the older FMs retire. The salary may also be an attractive selling point—FMs who have three years’ worth of experience or less make $65,000 a year. Meanwhile, the average FM makes around $99,578, and both of these salaries have increased from their previous reportings in 2004 and 2007, respectively. And with two-thirds of FMs having a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 20 percent having a Master’s degree or higher, those who pursue degrees in engineering or business can rest assured that the price of their education is well worth it.

 

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