What is the job of a facilities manager?

Role of a Facilities Manager
Updated on July 12th, 2022
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Facilities management has evolved considerably in recent years, both in form and in substance. What was once a low-key function with blurred boundaries has gradually taken on a strategic dimension, helping to address a number of key issues for companies, such as well-being at work, attractiveness on the job market and sustainable development. In this job description, find out more about every aspect of a facilities manager’s role: their responsibilities, the skills they need to demonstrate, their salary and the training required.

What are the responsibilities of a facilities manager?

The main role of a facilities manager, also known as a general services manager, is to coordinate operations to ensure the smooth running of the company.

The facilities manager is responsible for ensuring the comfort, well-being and security of employees. Their top 5 responsibilities are:

  1. Managing general services: organising their team’s work and providing training;
  2. Running the site and its equipment: ensuring upkeep and routine maintenance, suggesting improvements to facilities, monitoring costs and the budget;
  3. Enforcing regulations: advising management on preventive actions, enforcing health, safety and environmental legislation;
  4. Managing service providers: preparing specifications for services, managing calls for tenders, monitoring contracts, etc. ;
  5. Managing employees: identifying their needs regarding the working environment, equipping work spaces and raising awareness about environmentally responsible practices.

What are the skills of a facilities manager?

To become a facilities manager, it is necessary to demonstrate certain skills, both technical and interpersonal.

The general profile of a good facilities manager

Above all, a facilities manager must have excellent interpersonal skills, as they are in constant contact with suppliers, service providers, subcontractors and other company departments. They must also be versatile, responsive, flexible and thorough.

Moreover, they must have certain technical skills such as the ability to negotiate with various stakeholders, as well as having a sound knowledge of building maintenance and upkeep, safety and environmental regulations, to name but a few.

Technical skills

A facilities manager must:

  • Be proficient in office automation software as well as project management and monitoring software;
  • Have a good knowledge of public procurement;
  • Be well informed about HSQE (Health, Safety, Quality and Environment) standards and procedures;
  • Have management expertise;
  • Have a broad view of the company’s business lines.

In large companies, a good command of English may be essential for communicating with teams in other countries.

Soft skills

The essential qualities of a facilities manager also include soft skills.

In addition to the above-mentioned interpersonal skills, good negotiating skills, leadership and a strong capacity to adapt are also necessary. The facilities manager should also be something of an educator.

What is the salary of a facilities manager?

In Europe, the average annual salary of a facilities manager is around €69,000 (£59,000), with variations from country to country. At the start of their career, they can expect to earn an average of €47,000 a year (£40,000), but a senior manager can be paid up to €85,000 a year (£73,000) or more.

The salary will depend, among other things, on the size and number of sites they manage, the number of people they manage and the various degrees of subcontracting.

Who employs a facilities manager?

Any company looking for versatile employees may hire a facilities manager, including:

  • Private companies;
  • Public bodies;
  • SMEs;
  • Major groups;
  • Multinational corporations.

The duties of a facilities manager vary depending on the size of the company. In smaller organisations, their role is similar to that of the director of administration: their field of operations is wide-ranging and they are required to work mainly with external partners. In larger companies, their role is more specialised and they manage larger teams.

There are many possibilities and the sectors are varied. If you are interested in becoming a facilities manager and you have the right skills, you can apply for a wide range of job offers.

What training is required to become a facilities manager?

A few years of experience in this field or a similar area (such as procurement or assistant management) is generally needed to become a facilities manager.

Several training courses are available to reach this position:

  • Master’s degree from a business school, specialising in procurement or facilities management;
  • Degree in management or construction;
  • Engineering or architecture schools.

A facilities manager may subsequently move into a role as a multi-site manager, service buyer or property manager. Given the broad scope of their work, it is common for them to specialise in a particular field or function during their career.

Responsibilities that change over time for a facilities manager

Companies are faced with new challenges every day. Environmental issues are a case in point. To meet these major challenges, the facilities manager must be able to enforce legislation, anticipate needs, come up with new ideas and take a long-term view. Optimising the supply chain, for example, falls directly within their remit.

While the facilities manager is responsible for ensuring the well-being of employees and good supplier management, they are also involved in customer relations. Indeed, in the face of ever-increasing competition, developing customer commitment is now essential to ensure the long-term survival of companies.

In doing so, the customer’s needs must be taken into account, as well as internal or legal requirements. Some actions are aligned with everyone’s interests, such as:

  • Adopting an environmentally responsible approach;
  • Avoiding waste;
  • Optimising the production chain, etc.

The facilities manager is therefore responsible for challenging existing processes in order to improve them and boost the company’s customer service efficiency.