Facilities Management

Facilities Management

Industry Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 7 percent growth through 2028 for administrative services managers, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The combination of job growth and turnover should create many job openings per year. The BLS cites several reasons for this growth, including the needs for routine management, disaster preparedness, and efficient operations.

Concern for environmental impact and energy efficiency will be additional reasons for growth. Energy-efficient means not only cheaper operating costs but, in some cases, meeting new regulations, such as the green building codes being imposed in many jurisdictions. These codes can affect decisions about new heating systems, roof designs, and other upgrades that a facilities manager might consider. Facilities also gain prestige and perhaps attract tenants by meeting voluntary standards, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Under the LEED rating system, buildings are certified as meeting a certain level based on the number of points they earn for features such as efficient consumption of energy and water, use of sustainable building materials, and location in a walkable neighborhood. A thorough knowledge of green building codes and LEED standards can improve a job candidate's employment options.

Contract administration is another specialization that is expected to grow. Facilities management businesses, like many others, are often finding it more convenient and economical to contract out for services such as food, cleaning, and many kinds of maintenance rather than hire and supervise staff. However, job-seekers who can manage a wide range of responsibilities are expected to have better prospects than those who specialize in particular functions. Competition at the highest levels will be severe because of the limited number of jobs, but less so at lower levels.

Job growth will be especially strong through 2028 in the field of health care. The Department of Labor expects 1.6 percent annual employment growth for health care and social service professions—the highest of any industry sector—which in turn will lead to more facilities requiring management and administrative services. In 2018, nearly 13,500 administrative services managers worked for general medical and surgical hospitals. Other top employers include local governments; companies and enterprises; architectural, engineering, and related services; nonresidential building construction; and scientific research and development services.

Unlike many managerial jobs with a comparable level of pay, administrative services management does not typically require a bachelor's degree, and many workers have learned their skills by working their way up from a position in one of the work areas that come under a facility manager's supervision, such as security, maintenance, or energy use. Nevertheless, a bachelor's degree in business, engineering, or facilities management can be an advantage with employers.

Certification by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) can also be a valuable credential. Several levels of certification are available, Facilities Management Professional (FMP) for newcomers to the profession, and Certified Facility Manager (CFM) or Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) after meeting some educational and experience requirements.

Other occupations within facilities support services will continue to offer employment opportunities in the coming years. Some fast-growing occupations within this industry are security guards, janitors and cleaners, maids and housekeeping cleaners, general maintenance and repair workers, engineers, engineering technicians, and general and operations managers.

The outlook for facility management professionals during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic offered good news and bad news. For those who worked at essential facilities, such as hospitals, nursing care homes, grocery stores and distributors, and in other such businesses, work continued largely as it had, but with greater health precautions. Some workers may also have found their hours limited or some positions eliminated as the economic slump created by the pandemic caused changes in demand. Workers in schools, office buildings, event arenas and venues, and travel facilities may have experienced a harsher scenario. With remote learning and working replacing in-person activity, many buildings went empty and required less maintenance and attention. Some, such as theaters, closed altogether, and airports and train stations experience severely reduced demand, creating an uncertain employment market.

Moving forward, the forecast is looking brighter for the facilities management industry. Vaccines for COVID-19 rolled out in 2021 and the economy is expected to gain strength. The research group Markets and Markets predicts that the facility management market will grow from $39.5 billion in 2020 to $65.5 billion, at an annual growth rate of 10.6 percent. Post pandemic, there will be continued growth in demand for cloud-based facility management solutions and integrated facility management and intelligent software. Other factors contributing to growth in this industry include changes in office environments and workplaces that have come about to adapt to pandemic protocols, compliance requirements for economic and regulatory regulations, and increased adoption of analytics and artificial intelligence. According to the Markets and Markets report: "North America is projected to lead the facility management market during the forecast period. The presence of economically and technologically advanced countries such as the U.S. and Canada, the adoption of new and emerging technologies, and strong financial position are some of the major factors that help organizations in North America have a competitive edge over others."

Another aspect of facility management that will continue in the coming years is the focus on green buildings and energy efficiency. Sustainability is not a new trend but more attention was paid to it during the pandemic, and this attention is expected to grow in the facility management industry in the coming years. According to an article in Entrepreneur, in 2021 and going forward, there is expected to be a rise in companies that want to partner with facilities management companies for sustainable building practices.