Becoming a Facilities Coordinator: Job Description & Salary Info

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What are the pros and cons of a career in the facilities coordination field? Get employment prospects, job duties and salary information to see if becoming a facilities coordinator is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Career in Facilities Coordination

Facilities coordinators manage offices, warehouses, factories and other workplaces. Find out the pros and cons of being a facilities coordinator to decide if it's right for you.

Pros of a Facilities Coordination Career
In-demand career (due to a focus on building energy efficiency)*
Can work in many industries, such as education or insurance*
Wide variety of duties (like recommending policy changes and overseeing mechanical maintenance), which can help prevent boredom*
High school diploma and on-the-job training might be enough for many entry-level jobs*

Cons of a Facilities Coordination Career
May need to always remain on call in case of emergencies*
As of 2012, 25% of administrative and facilities managers worked more than 40 hours per week*
Consistent attention to detail is required in order to prevent emergencies*
Competitive field, especially for upper-level management positions*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Essential Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Depending on a company's size, facilities coordinators may be responsible for managing telecommunication lines, facility equipment and the office temperature. Self-starters who enjoy interacting with people and solving problems are well suited to this type of career. Professionals must design and put into place emergency plans of action in order to ensure the safety of co-workers and the security of the workplace.

Job duties can vary greatly, depending on the facility size and the industry being served. Although these professionals are expected to create response plans for natural disasters and other emergencies that may impact employees and their ability to work, most job functions revolve around taking preventative measures and following local regulations. Depending on the size of the company, these professionals may also hire, train, supervise and fire various employees.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Facilities coordinators who can perform a variety of managerial functions were expected to have the best job prospects. Those who can oversee improvements in energy efficiency were projected to see the most job opportunities in this field. According to BLS projections from 2012-2022, employment of administrative services managers - the umbrella grouping that includes facilities coordination professionals - was expected to grow 12%, which was average growth.

Almost 270,000 administrative services managers were employed as of May 2014, and these professionals took home a median annual wage of nearly $83,790. PayScale.com reported that most facilities coordinators in the United States earned a yearly salary of approximately $32,000-$59,000 as of September 2015.

What Are the Career Requirements?

The BLS stated that applicants with a high school diploma and experience could be qualified for employment as a facilities manager. According to job posts from April 2012, some companies request that employees be able to lift up to 45 lbs. People who choose this career path typically receive on-the-job training, but employers look for candidates who are:

  • Strong leaders
  • Good communicators
  • Detail-oriented
  • Analytical

Job Descriptions from Actual Employers

Due to the anticipated competition for facilities manager jobs, applicants with training beyond the high school level were expected to have better opportunities for advancement. Here are some excerpts from facilities coordinator job posts to give you an idea of the kind of experience and skills employers were looking for in April 2012:

  • A Pittsburgh, PA, customer service firm seeks applicants with two years of technical training in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, electrical or mechanical fields and at least three years of experience working with building operation and safety laws. Candidates must have a high school diploma, but a bachelor's degree is preferred.
  • A Maryland automotive company wants a facility coordinator to track workflow, order parts and maintain tools. Applicants must meet certain physical requirements and have a valid driver's license.
  • A Los Angeles, CA, corporate communications firm looks for a mature candidate with at least two years of experience, as well as proven budgeting and project management skills. The employee should be comfortable managing day-to-day office and property management duties like overseeing access to the site, managing facility-related vendors, supervising office aesthetics and managing the security system.

How to Stand Out in the Field

This field relies on detail-oriented people with an aptitude for fixing problems. According to a Monster.com job posting found in April of 2012, some employers prefer applicants with certificates in technical disciplines. Technical training can be found at a variety of universities, trade schools and community colleges. Depending on the level of training desired, programs can last anywhere between one semester and two years. Some tracks are specifically designed to prepare students for certification in subspecialties of the field, like heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

The International Facility Management Association has developed three different certification tracks for the facility management field: Certified Facility Manager (CFM), Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) and Facility Management Professional (FMP). Those new to the profession can earn the FMP credential in order to prepare for earning the CFM credential, since the CFM candidacy process requires that applicants meet certain experience requirements (www.ifma.org).

Other Career Paths

Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

If you'd rather work in a non-managerial career with a faster-than-average anticipated growth over the 2010-2020 period, then you may want to look at the HVAC field. These jobs were expected to grow 34% over the next decade. Positions in this field offer long-term, on-the-job training to individuals who have completed technical programs after finishing high school. The BLS reported that as of May 2011, the median annual income for these professionals was about $43,000.

Property, Real Estate and Community Association Managers

If you're looking to get involved in a less hands-on career, then you may wish to become a property, real estate and community association manager. These professionals maintain the resale value of homes by ensuring the smooth operation of shared residential areas. Employment from 2010-2020 was expected to grow only six percent, and these professionals took home a yearly median wage that was over $20,000 less than administrative services managers, according to the BLS. While high school graduates are qualified to apply for these jobs, employers tend to prefer applicants who have a degree in a business-related field.

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