The qualifications necessary to become a facilities manager depend largely on the type and complexity of the facility that you may be managing. In many cases, an employer will set its own criteria for hiring someone to assume facilities manager duties. If you are considering employment at a facility that is managed by a government institution, there may be less flexibility in job qualifications. Typically, to become a facilities manager, you will need to demonstrate experience and education in building management, regulatory compliance, and the structure of buildings and their systems. You should also expect employers to want to see evidence of your ability to lead a team and effectively manage subordinates.
In order to maximize your chances of being hired as a facilities manager, you may want to pursue a higher education degree. Typically, good majors for those who wish to become a facilities manager include engineering and construction management, though some schools now actually offer a major in facilities management. You may also want to consider a degree in business administration or at the very least completing a number of business courses, as part of your role as a facilities manager will involve working with business professionals and ensuring that your facility stays on budget.
While you prepare to become a facilities manager, it may be a good idea to take jobs in landscaping, construction, or even building maintenance. By working in these industries, you can develop practical knowledge of the type of work that is necessary to maintain a safe building and grounds. Often this sort of work is available on a part-time or seasonal basis, which can make it compatible with going to school. As a facilities manager typically takes on responsibility for the total operations of the property, taking on different types of work while earning educational credentials may provide you with a well-rounded background that can help equip you for your future career goals.
After graduating from school or when you are ready to take on full-time employment, you may want to seek work in a construction business, real estate, or property management. If you go to work for a real estate or property management company, you may want to seek employment in a firm that specializes in commercial as well as residential building so that you can develop an understanding of different types of property management. During this time, you may also want to pursue additional education in facilities management areas outside your current work responsibilities so as to enhance your employability as a facilities manager.