Facilities maintenance degree programs train individuals to oversee small and large plant maintenance, construction, repair, renovation, and redecorating projects. Facilities maintenance professionals often have varied degrees. Many individuals pursue degree programs in industrial or mechanical engineering technology, architecture, construction management, or facilities management. However, the most common degree program pursued is mechanical engineering technology.
Degree programs in facilities maintenance prepare professionals to handle day-to-day plant management operations for commercial office buildings, hospitals, apartment complexes, and schools. Facilities maintenance professionals may be required to do shift work or other odd hours as needed. Some professionals may rotate on-call duties to handle any mechanical problems that occur during non-working hours.
An associate's degree program for facility managers lays a solid foundation in basic plant management processes. It prepares students for entry-level positions. A bachelor's degree program advances these same principles with more comprehensive study of mechanical systems, engineering technology, and facilities management. Bachelor's degree programs in facilities maintenance groom professionals for senior-level directorial and management positions.
- Program Levels in Facilities Maintenance: Associate's or bachelor's degree
- Program Length: About two to four years
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs in facilities maintenance or mechanical engineering technology introduce basic drafting, engineering, and machine system processes. The coursework teaches students how to troubleshoot and repair various mechanical systems. Possible courses might include:
- Fundamentals of electricity
- Blueprint reading
- HVAC systems
- Computers in industry
- DC and AC circuit analysis
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Students in a bachelor's degree program for facilities maintenance professionals learn how to supervise grounds, maintenance and custodial staff, manage large budgets, and maintain well-groomed facilities. Many degree programs also emphasize energy-efficient mechanical systems that reduce waste and incorporate governmental and environmental compliance regulations. Students also take courses centered in finance, communication, and human resource management. Coursework might include:
- Business law
- Engineering technology
- Information technology
- Property development
- Space planning
Popular Career Options
Practical, hands-on experience is necessary when seeking employment, especially at the managerial level, and many facilities maintenance professionals work part-time in this industry while pursuing related degrees. Depending on level of education and experience, graduates of these programs may find work as:
- Administrative services manager
- Maintenance technicians
- Maintenance supervisors
- Quality maintenance technicians
- Building and grounds directors
- Plant managers
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The general field of administrative services managers is projected to grow by 8% from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median annual wage of administrative services managers, according to the BLS in 2015, was $86,110.
The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) offers professional certification for facilities maintenance professionals. This certification is voluntary but establishes professional credentials for those seeking employment.
Entry-level professionals may obtain the Facility Management Professional (FMP) designation. More experienced professionals with formal degrees may choose the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) certification. Professionals seeking FMP certifications complete IFMA's knowledge-based program, while those seeking CFM designation complete both educational requirements and competency-based examinations. Certified Facility Managers must re-certify every three years.
Facilities maintenance professionals may attend associate's or bachelor's degree programs to gain the skills and knowledge necessary.