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Government Facilities Engineer: Job Description & Requirements

Government facilities engineer requires significant formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and certification requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Government facilities engineers are engineers who specialize in public buildings. Facilities may include courthouses, town halls, and schools and libraries. Government facilities engineers typically need a bachelor's degree and a license.

Essential Information

Government facilities engineers design, construct, and improve government buildings and facilities. They can work at the federal, state, or local government level. Government facilities engineers are familiar with building codes, zoning laws, and the production of blueprints and other foundational diagrams. Most employers require a government facilities engineer to have a bachelor's degree in engineering. It is required that they become licensed professional engineers in order to have this career.

Required Education Bachelor's in engineering
Other Requirements License in professional engineering
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% (as fast as average) for civil engineers*
Median Salary (2016) $54,421 (entry) and $105,093 (senior)**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **Salary.com

Job Description of a Government Facilities Engineer

Facilities engineers are responsible for the design of buildings and building systems; in this case, for use by a government client. It is a career that incorporates elements of civil, structural, mechanical, and electric engineering, as well as construction and energy management. As a result, facilities engineers may come from a wide range of engineering backgrounds and are responsible for a wide variety of duties.

Duties

One of the most important responsibilities of a government facilities engineer is to plan and design the building and supervise its construction. This entails drawing blueprints and foundational diagrams, usually with the assistance of computer-aided drafting (CAD) programs. The facilities engineer must be familiar with the relevant building codes, zoning restrictions, and other such litigious matters. They must also be able to plan the functionality of the building, ensuring proper design and installation of mechanical and electrical systems. Additionally, the facilities engineer is responsible for working with the government client with the goal of maximizing the building's efficiency through design, as well as including any specifications that help the building serve its eventual purpose. Calculating costs, acquiring materials, and evaluating data also fall under the purview of the facilities engineer.

Facilities engineers may work on already constructed buildings as well. They may be asked to locate and plan repairs for problems in a current government building.

Requirements

Given the nature of the facilities engineering field, there are many different paths available. A prospective facilities engineer must typically have at least a bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline. An engineering field that shares traits with facilities engineering, such as mechanical, electrical, or structural engineering, may be preferred. Some low-level facilities engineering jobs may accept a candidate who has an associate's degree along with previous engineering experience, but in general, many engineering employers require a bachelor's degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition to courses in the student's chosen engineering specialty, classes usually include extensive mathematics, physical sciences, and life sciences.

Licensing and Certification

All engineers seeking to work in the public sphere are required to pass the two-part Fundamentals of Engineering examination and become a licensed professional engineer. The first part may be taken immediately after graduating from college; the second part requires four years of experience before candidates can take the exam. In addition, certain organizations also offer professional certification in this field, which can add greatly to a facilities engineer's employment opportunities, particularly in government. For example, the Association for Facilities Engineering offers Certified Plant Engineer, Certified Plant Supervisor, and Certified Plant Maintenance Manager certification programs.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the Salary.com, the majority of facilities engineers earn between $54,421 and $105,093 a year, as of 2016. Although the BLS does not provide information specific to the field of facilities engineering, it did project that the employment of civil engineers will likely grow by about 8% between 2014 and 2024, as fast as the rate predicted for all occupations.

Government facilities engineers design new public buildings and supervise their construction, as well as work on existing buildings. To enter the field, one typically needs a bachelor's degree in engineering and must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam.

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