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How to Become a Facilities Administrator: Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a facilities administrator. Learn about the job description and read the step-by-step process to start a career in facilities administration. View article »

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  • 0:04 Should I Become a…
  • 0:37 Career Requirements
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Video Transcript

Should I Become a Facilities Administrator?

Facilities administrators ensure that equipment runs smoothly and manage buildings and grounds so that businesses can operate efficiently. The specific duties and responsibilities of the facility administrator vary according to the type and size of organization. Many hours may be spent working at a desk, and some facilities administrators are on call and might work overtime.

Career Requirements

Degree Level High school diploma for some entry-level positions; many employers prefer specialized training and additional education in facilities management; some employers require a bachelor's degree
Degree Field Business, engineering or facility management
Certification Voluntary certification is available
Experience Work-related experience is required
Key Skills Analytical, communication, and leadership skills; attention to detail
Salary $51,631 per year (2016 for facilities administrators)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Payscale.com

Let's look at the steps you'll need to take to become a facilities administrator.

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Steps to Become a Facilities Administrator

Step 1: Hone Required Skills

Having a high school diploma or GED and problem-solving skills may be sufficient to secure entry-level employment as a facility administrator in smaller organizations with only one location. High school classes with training in computers, architectural drafting or communication provide helpful preparation.

Since facilities administrators often have visible roles with a high degree of personal interaction, employers may seek those with a professional demeanor and advanced communication skills. Some jobs may have considerable physical demands, such as assembling and moving furniture; employees can be expected to lift up to 100 pounds. Many entry-level jobs also include running errands, so applicants may be required to have a valid driver's license, insurance and access to a vehicle.

Step 2: Gain Relevant Experience

Since the specific duties of a facilities administrator depend on the type of business, many different paths lead to this career. Experience as a receptionist, administrative assistant, facilities assistant, project manager or event planner can be parlayed into the role of facilities administrator. Concentrating on a type of business, such as health care or manufacturing, might also help an individual acquire industry-specific skills that define the career path.

Step 3: Consider Specialized Education

Although facility administrators can acquire skills on the job, formal training in certain areas could provide more employment opportunities. Pursuing an associate's degree in facilities management, taking business classes and learning about safety guidelines provide relevant training. Associate's degree programs may include coursework in electrical, mechanical and waste disposal systems, as well as strategies for property management. While experience can overcome the need for a formal education, advancement in larger organizations may require at least a bachelor's degree. Facility management bachelor's degree programs may cover business law and interior design planning to maximize use of space.

Certificate programs are also available in facilities management and sustainable facilities management practices. Graduate certificate programs may offer courses in implementing solar energy systems, green construction or energy consumption analysis. Students can also take courses in land development law, facilities management databases and theories of historic building preservation.

Aspiring facilities managers who are interested in working for the large, multi-site organizations might consider earning a graduate degree. A master's degree program in facilities management may provide in-depth coverage of strategies for space planning, introducing technologies or new operation systems, construction and renovation.

Success Tip:

  • Complete an internship. Students might participate in school-sponsored internships. These programs provide on-the-job training for students before entering the work force.

Step 4: Obtain Certification

Regardless of the path to employment as a facility administrator, voluntary certification demonstrating knowledge and abilities can lead to management opportunities and career advancement. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) awards a Facility Management Professional (FMP) credential, as well as a certification as a Certified Facility Manager. The FMP credential may be earned upon successful completion of IFMA credential courses. In order to be eligible for IFMA certification, individuals must have a combination of education (including some college-level courses) and a minimum of three years of experience. The Project Management Institute offers the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which requires the applicant to have a high school diploma or the equivalent and at least five years of work experience or a bachelor's degree and three years of experience.

Success Tip:

  • Continue education. Many certifying bodies require that certification be renewed every few years. One of the best ways to earn a renewed certification is by continuing education and keeping abreast of changes in the industry.

To become a facilities administrator, you need to meet employer requirements, such as having certain skills and experience.

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