Degree programs in facilities management offer courses useful to the owners or managers of commercial or residential properties. Students receive basic information in topics such as heating and cooling systems, plumbing and security systems. They also learn basic business principles of property management through courses in economics, human resources management and leadership.
Associate's programs require two years of study, while bachelor's degree programs take four. Graduates of these programs may pursue certification through professional organizations for facilities managers.
Associate of Science in Facilities Management
An associate's degree in facilities management provides college students with the specific skills and knowledge necessary to supervise the operations and maintenance of commercial and residential buildings.
Most community colleges and vocational schools offering 2-year degree programs in facilities management require incoming students to hold a strong GPA from a high school or GED program. Some schools provide advanced placement options for students who completed technical or workshop courses in high school.
In addition to completing core facilities management courses, students must also complete general education prerequisites in mathematics, science, communications and humanities. Core courses might include:
- Principles of management
- Introduction to facilities management
- Energy management
- HVAC technology and controls
- Applied technology
- Interpersonal communication
Bachelor of Science in Facilities Management
A 4-year bachelor's degree program in facilities management helps students hone their technical and management skills as well as acquire a full general education background. The curriculum often combines elements of business, administration and engineering and building sciences. The electives offered typically allow students to focus on a particular specialization of the field, such as sustainable facilities management or human resources management.
Many 4-year colleges and universities with degree programs in facilities management require incoming students to have a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher. Students should also complete general education prerequisites in communication, mathematics, physical science and English before beginning any core coursework.
Several schools either request or require students to complete a practical internship experience so that they might easily transition from college into an entry-level facilities management position. Core courses that might prepare students for such an internship experience include:
- Facility management
- Space planning
- Facility programming and design
- Planning and budgeting
- Property development
- HVAC building systems
Popular Career Options
Graduates may go on to take various supervisory roles within real estate companies, government agencies or private businesses. Some of these roles include:
- Facilities manager
- Administrative services manager
- On-site property manager
- Building operations manager
- Facilities coordinator
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Property, real estate and community association managers held more than 174,410 jobs in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projected that these managers could expect job growth of 8%, close to the average for all occupations, from 2014-2024. In 2015, these managers primarily worked for real estate organizations, professional organizations or local government agencies (www.bls.gov). They also earned a median salary of $55,380 per year as of May 2015 (BLS data).
One organization offering certification to facility managers is the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). The association provides the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) designation to applicants who meet educational and professional requirements and pass an examination.
Associate's and bachelor's degrees in facilities management prepare graduates for supervisory roles in the industry, such as facilities managers and coordinators, property managers or building operations managers. Courses combine technical maintenance knowledge, general education topics and classes in business and administration to prepare graduates for employment.