Study Facilities Management: Bachelor's, Associate & Online Degree Info

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What kind of job can you get with a degree in facilities management? Find out degree program requirements, online options and info on facilities management courses.
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Facilities Management Bachelor's and Associate Degrees at a Glance

Facilities managers oversee buildings, grounds and equipment for residential, industrial and commercial buildings. While entry-level jobs may be available to those with a high-school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, workers with specialized training and education are better poised for employment opportunities, including management positions.

A facilities manager ensures that a facility meets safety and security standards, maintains equipment and systems, plans structural or operational improvements and supervises employees. Facilities managers may work in an office environment that requires site visits or outdoor grounds inspection. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most facilities service managers work 40 hours per week; however, they are often on call to address emergencies that occur outside of normal business hours.

The BLS predicted that the employment outlook for administrative services managers, including those who work in facilities management, would grow 15% from 2010 to 2020. Growth was expected because organizations increasingly implement energy-saving improvements and comply with environmental standards.

Associate Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? - People who are employed as facilities, housekeeping or janitorial support staff in medical, academic or commercial buildings and housing complexes
- Professionals who are new to facilities management or are seeking a career change
- Students or experienced professionals who want to become managers or advance within their organization
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Building/grounds maintenance workers ($29,000)*
- Housekeeping/janitorial supervisors ($38,000)*
- Administrative service/facilities managers ($87,000)*
Time to Completion Typically 2 years (full-time) Typically 4 years (full-time)
Common Graduation Requirements - Satisfy coursework requirements (approximately 60-70 credits)
- Maintain GPA standards
- Satisfy coursework requirements (approximately 120 credits)
- Complete internship requirements
- Maintain GPA standards
Prerequisites - Typically a high school diploma or GED certificate
- Placement exams
- Typically a high school diploma or undergraduate transcripts
- GPA requirements
- SAT/ACT test scores
Online Availability None found at this time Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Associate Degrees in Facilities Management

In an associate degree program, you will hone the skills required to manage and maintain commercial and industrial facilities. Programs are designed to encourage an understanding of basic electrical and mechanical systems, as well property management skills.

An Associate of Science, or A.S., degree typically requires 60 credits and may take two years to complete. In addition to your core facilities management courses, you will likely need to complete hard science and math courses. Some programs may also require a hands-on learning component, where you can practice equipment repair or technology skills.

Pros and Cons


  • If you think you might pursue a higher degree at some point, you may be able to transfer credits to a bachelor's program.
  • Entry-level careers have few barriers to entry and may offer opportunities to advance with additional education and work experience.
  • Associate degree programs can be more flexible than bachelor's degree programs, with daytime, evening or weekend courses.


  • Students that delay or depart the workforce to obtain a degree may have a harder time reentering the job market upon graduation.
  • You may have to work 'on call' or outside of normal business hours if/when emergencies arise.
  • Earning potential may increase with a bachelor's degree.

Common Courses and Requirements

Students in an associate degree program in facilities management can expect a variety of courses covering the principles of facilities management, blueprint reading, industrial maintenance, preventative maintenance, and building codes and inspections. Generally, associate degree programs are structured to include three components: lectures, lab work and independent coursework. Students may complete lab work in groups or independently.

Online Degree Options

Online associate degree programs in facilities management are structured similarly to on-campus programs; however, they are not widely available at this time - and the few programs that are available may not be accredited.

Traditional campus-based schools, particularly community colleges, may offer a mixture of distance and on-campus learning. Hybrid programs can afford students the best of both worlds: the flexibility of online courses and access to on-campus resources and networking opportunities.

Getting Ahead with This Degree

Students with facility management degrees can pursue careers in a variety of fields, such as architecture, construction, engineering, real estate or healthcare. Pursuing additional coursework in one of these areas may help your employment options in a niche market.

Bachelor's Degrees in Facilities Management

Students in a facilities management bachelor's degree program should possess critical thinking abilities, leadership qualities and strong communication skills. Curricula are typically structured into a 4-year program that provides students with an in-depth understanding of issues in the facilities management industry, including workplace safety and energy efficiency laws. As you evaluate schools, remember that programs may offer different specializations in technology or business. This is particularly important when considering internship opportunities that provide relevant on-the-job training.

Pros and Cons


  • Most programs include an internship component that provides relevant work experience.
  • A bachelor's degree may prepare experienced workers for advancement opportunities.
  • Employment growth is expected as organizations comply with environmental regulations and initiate their own efficiency efforts.*


  • Employers may prefer workplace experience over academic credentials for entry-level positions.
  • Some states may require additional certification/licensing standards, particularly for positions in healthcare facilities.
  • According to the BLS, competition is less severe in entry-level positions; applicants may face strong competition for a limited number of higher-level positions.*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Common Courses and Requirements

Facilities management bachelor's programs are structured similarly to associate programs, but they are more detailed and focused. Students in a facilities management program can expect coursework on the following topics: legal issues in buildings structure and maintenance, project management, mechanical systems, management and supervision, space planning, energy management and financial analysis.

In addition to coursework requirements, students will need to attend lectures and participate in labs. Lab experiences allow students to apply their academic knowledge in practical settings and applications, typically through the use of equipment and computer programs. Bachelor's programs may also require students to participate in internships. For example, students in a facilities management bachelor's program may complete a supervised internship through a local commercial property's management office.

Online Degree Options

Facilities management bachelor's degrees are sometimes offered online. Online bachelor's programs are reading- and writing-intensive, with a focus on independent coursework and online lectures. Some schools offer hybrid distance-learning options that may require students to participate in on-campus group assignments or participate in internships in their local area.

Stand Out with this Degree

You can stand out with your facilities management bachelor's degree by obtaining a professional certification. The International Facilities Management Association (IMFA), the largest and most prominent international association for facility managers, offers credentials such as the Facility Management Professional (FMP) credential, the Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) credential and the Certified Facility Manager (CFM) credential. IFMA credentials can be obtained through coursework and an examination.

Students can also set themselves apart by becoming proficient in relevant technology programs, including database and accounting software, which is particularly useful in jobs that require record management responsibilities.

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