The FM Professional

FM Education: Learning Best Practices in Facilities Management

David Spence
July 21st, 2014

Educational Opportunities for FMs

From construction to design to communication, many areas of knowledge are required of a facilities professional.

To gain skills in all of these areas, many FMs seek certifications such as the IFMA’s Facilities Management Professional (FMP) credential and the advanced Certified Facilities Manager (CFM) credential; or BOMI’s Facilities Management Administrator designation.

If any of these are part of your career plan, here’s a list of institutions that offer the FM education you’ll need.


The organization that offers the FMP and CFM credentials provides several online courses that count toward the CFM credential, such as:

  • an intro course giving an overview of facilities management
  • six courses that explore different in-depth topics, such as real estate, technology and human and environmental factors
  • a specialized course on sustainability

The organization also offers on-demand recordings of talks given at past conferences, webinars and a CFM virtual study group covering the essentials for the exam.

You can also earn credits from other schools associated with IFMA. These schools include:

George Mason University

If you’re just beginning your FM career or you know someone interested in becoming an FM, GMU’s online course might be a good fit.

Students new to the field can receive the FMP credential through the school’s online curriculum; however, those with more experience can benefit from the program’s continuing education credits.

Courses offered include the four main topics required to earn the credential: Operations and Maintenance, Project Management, Finance and Business Essentials and Leadership and Strategy.

Other schools that also offer the FMP curriculum on site include Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts, Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania and Valencia College in Orlando, Florida.

University of Washington

University of Washington offers a certificate in facilities management program that’s also suitable for new professionals and veterans alike: Those who’ve already earned their CFM can earn certification maintenance points.

The online curriculum is divided into three cycles.

Planning covers ethics, finances and life cycle cost analyses.

Design and Construction discusses building systems, project management and interior planning and design.

Relocation and Operational Issues covers disaster planning and recovery, business strategy and sustainability.

Rice University

FMs interested in earning a CFM can take courses through Rice’s online program—the only one approved by the IFMA for this advanced credential.

Seasoned professionals wanting to advance in their careers will learn about current industry trends and best practices.

The courses are taught by Chris Hodges, a facilities professional whose experience includes updating IFMA curriculum and working in the organization’s teacher training program.

BOMI International

The Building Owners and Managers Institute offers a Facilities Management Administrator designation.

Its courses include Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities Planning and Management and Real Estate Investment and Finance.

BOMI’s courses are offered in a variety of formats, and some may also be counted toward CFM recertification. For more information and questions about specific courses, you can contact the organization here.

Online vs. classroom, FMA vs. FMP…you have several choices when it comes to expanding your knowledge of FM. Whatever route you choose, it’s a given that keeping up with the rapid changes in the industry will keep you sharp and competitive.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc