Is FM For You?
- If you want a job with lots of variety, where no two days are the same, FM is for you.
- If you’re a good communicator and like helping others, FM is for you.
- If you like problem-solving and thinking on your feet, FM is for you.
- If you care about the environment and want to make a difference, FM is for you.
- If you’re interested in buildings and creating great spaces, FM is for you.
- If you’re looking for a career with good job prospects, FM is for you.
- If you want to learn and grow in your role, FM is for you.
- If you’re interested in new technology, FM is for you.
- If you want a job that pays well, FM is for you.
- Curious? FM is for you!
Put simply, facilities managers look after buildings once they’re built. They make sure our public spaces and workplaces are safe, healthy, sustainable, productive, and fit-for-purpose.
Airports, hospitals, banks, large offices, theatres, museums, film studios, universities, libraries, laboratories, shopping malls, urban parks, the Beehive, Scott Base, zoos … pretty much every facility you can think of has facilities managers working behind the scenes to ensure everything is running as it should be for the enjoyment, productivity and wellbeing of everyone using that space.
The Ultimate Enablers
Facilities managers contribute significantly to the success of an organisation by ensuring everyone is able to perform their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible. Just imagine how hard it would be to do your job well if your office was freezing, there was no running water, rubbish bins were overflowing, or you couldn’t charge your laptop.
FMs look after the health, safety and wellbeing of occupants. They’re the people who ensure smoke alarms and fire exit doors are regularly checked, that the building is compliant with the latest regulations, that air quality is good, and there is a plan in place for emergencies such as earthquakes and pandemics.
FM is a great industry to get into if you want to make a real difference in the world. In the built environment, FMs lead the way in climate change initiatives, sustainability and the management of water, waste and energy.
Facilities management is incredibly diverse. Some of the areas FMs need to be skilled in include project management, commercial acumen, teamwork and communication, and property management. For a full list of the skills you can acquire working in FM, see here.
No two roles are the same, but here are some of the things a facilities manager might do:
- Oversee building projects and renovations
- Ensure the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are maintained and running well
- Manage the use of energy and water resources, and the disposal of waste
- Negotiate the purchase and leasing of buildings
- Keep occupants safe by ensuring fire safety systems, building codes etc. are up to date
- Plan for emergencies and natural disasters
- Oversee cleaning and maintenance contracts
- Plan how office space, furniture and technology are used, now and in the future
- Oversee security, catering and vehicle fleets
- Create strategic plans for future growth and new ways of working (where will everyone fit and what services will they need?)
- Work with architects and design teams to ensure buildings not only look good, but work well too
- Keep facilities up-to-date with societal changes e.g. provide charging stations for electric vehicles, compost bins for food scraps, standing desks and activity-based work areas
To keep things simple, we talk about ‘facilities managers’ but not everyone who works in FM has that title. They might be called operations manager, estates operations manager, facilities officer, property manager, asset manager, facility services manager, project manager, head of facilities, building manager, tenancy coordinator, contract manager, procurement manager, property officer, facilities coordinator, manager of facilities, business delivery manager, manager – asset planning and maintenance, property and resilience manager … and more.
There is strong demand for facilities managers in New Zealand, with many employers saying it’s difficult to find the right person for the job. This is good news for facilities managers looking for work as it (hopefully) means it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a job. In a member survey we conducted in 2018, 62% of respondents said they have been headhunted/offered a job directly by another company.
General Manager Facilities, Transport & Technology, Wellington International Airport
Wellington International Airport
Senior Aquatics Facilities Specialist, Auckland Council
Head of Facilities, SkyCity
Manager of Facilities, Christchurch City Council
Design and Construction Interface Manager, Programmed Facility Management
There are a number of ways you can get into FM. Some facilities managers learn on the job, working their way up from an entry level administration position or through one of the trades. Others enter the industry via a degree, either in facilities management or a related field, like property, building science or engineering. And others start working in FM straight from school, via a cadetship programme.
Combining practical on-the-job work experience with part-time study, our new cadetship programme is great news for young people interested in gaining a real understanding of FM.
There has never been a better time to study facilities management in New Zealand. Massey University has four FM courses awaiting academic approval – a Certificate, Graduate Certificate, Diploma and Graduate Diploma.
Become a Student Member
If you’re a full-time secondary or tertiary student with an interest in facilities management, you can join FMANZ for free!
Join Us On Social Media
By keeping an eye on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages, you’ll get a feel for what we do here at FMANZ.
Our LinkedIn Group is a forum for FMs to participate in discussions. This is their space to ask questions, offer advice, exchange ideas and insights, recount success stories and failures, and offer support to fellow FMs.
If you’re on LinkedIn, come join us to keep up to date with events, job opportunities, industry news, behind the scenes photos, and interesting links.