While a few schools may offer partially online facilities management bachelor's degree or certificate programs, online programs in this field are more common at the master's degree level. Facilities management may be found as a stand-alone master's degree program or as a concentration or focus area within a property or construction management program.
All of these graduate programs require applicants to already have bachelor's degrees, and some may require that degree to be in construction, engineering, business or other related fields. Many programs are designed for professionals already working in the field of construction or facilities management, and they can be completed in about two year or less. A capstone or applied project is often required as well.
Overview of an Online Master's Degree Program in Facilities Management
An online facilities management master's degree program prepares graduates to manage the maintenance, planning and operations of various facilities. They should be able to work closely with employees, vendors, contractors, customers and others on facility issues, as well as supervise custodial, grounds and maintenance staff. Focus is placed on both the managerial and technical issues surrounding facility management.
Topics covered include energy management, supply chain logistics, labor relations, organizational behavior, architectural planning, construction management and workplace planning. Students may also be required to work under the guidance of a staff member - either remotely or on-campus - to complete a facilities management independent project.
Program Information and Requirements
Sometimes offered as a master's degree in technology with a facilities management concentration, an online facilities management master's degree program can be completed online, on-campus or in a hybrid format. Prospective students are typically required to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, satisfactory GRE scores and prior coursework in areas such as statistics. Students commonly have an undergraduate background in areas such as business, architecture, construction management or engineering technology. Programs are often developed using International Facility Management Association standards.
Students access course materials via streaming video, online reading materials, digital presentations and more. Technical requirements may include an updated operating system, webcam, DVD drive, photo scanner and a broadband or cable Internet connection.
Sample Master's-Level Facilities Management Coursework
A facilities management master's degree curriculum incorporates principles of engineering, architecture, business administration and more.
Facility Management Fundamentals
This course goes over the principles behind the overall facility management planning process. Topics covered include purchasing and procurement, risk management, preventative maintenance programs, regulatory issues, professional conduct and infrastructure management.
An online project management course covers topics such as project selection, total quality management, conflict resolution, community relations, resource allocation and consensus building. The course also looks at techniques used to plan and monitor projects.
Finance and Accounting
This course looks at the various financial aspects within facilities management, including financial statement analysis, accounting methods, profitability analysis, project evaluation, measurements of assets and budgeting.
Potential job opportunities for graduates of an online facilities management master's degree program include plant engineer, facility manager, plant manager and property manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which classifies facility managers as administrative service managers, employment for the profession was expected to increase by 8% from 2014-2024. The BLS also reports that administrative service managers had median annual earnings of over $86,110 in 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Training in facility management is offered at both the bachelor's and master's degree levels; however, while students may find fully online programs at the master's level, bachelor's programs are only offered partially online. These training programs prepare students for careers managing facility projects, finances and accounts.