Facility Manager: a career of the future?

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The economic situation of the past years has made many people wonder what professions will have higher demand in the future. As expected, many try to head for a cutting-edge job or the one that can offer the highest security for the future, but the labor market changes at the speed of light and it is difficult to predict future tendencies. Professionals that were considered as top ones in Spain now live uncertain days with unemployment or leaving the country as their only options. Some studies show that professions with the highest demand will be those that don’t exist yet. One of these studies is the one carried out by Fast Future, a British think tank, which predicts 110 new professions by 2030.

And what happens with Facility Management? Can anyone say that there will be no buildings in the future?

Due to the current economic situation, companies and organizations lay out new plans: their business lines, their investments and even their goals and targets, because they need to maximize resources. Teleworking, virtual offices and mobile technologies, which you’re probably using to read this article, facilitate working outside company premises. However, it is more difficult to picture companies with no headquarters, no industrial units to produce, no hospitals to take care of the ill or no schools where children can learn.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the sectors that will have higher demand will be those with strong technological content and those related to ‘green economy’. Oddly enough, all of this matches the prospective future of Facility Management showed on the report “Future Outlook for Facility Management” published by IFMA in 2011. This report shows the vision of the discipline for the next few years and identifies Sustainability as the most important trend followed by Technology as the next most important.

As a result, companies will demand specialized profiles to help them achieve their corporative goals based on sustainability and their triple bottom line, in order to create an environment that encourages productivity. Likewise, building systems are more and more complex every day and the continuous technology progresses attached to those systems will make organizations look for specialized Facility Managers.

The good news for FM and those looking for a career in the field is that it is rising.

According to IFMA and its report “Profiles 2011 Salary and Demographics Report“, the average salary for a Facility Manager in the U.S. was US$ 99.578, higher than the US$ 91.766 that a similar report showed in 2007. Graduates with limited experience in Facility management earn an average salary of US$ 65.000, as opposed to the US$ 56.000 of 2004.

In Spain, slowly but surely, companies have started to expand their “General Services” Departments and orient them towards Facility Management. Currently many professionals with technical background and experience in property management, service management, construction, maintenance, energy management, etc. see FM as a career opportunity.

Additionally, recruitment companies publish more and more offers with the words “Company X is looking for a Facility Manager who speaks English”. This demand of FMers comes from the need to improve service management and to achieve savings in order to increase productivity, improve their public image and get better market position.

For all this, we can say that Facility Management is a career that offers great opportunities and professional development for those searching for a career change choosing one to start after leaving college.

 

Photo by Simon Cunningham http://bit.ly/1wgiTzM

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