What expertise do I need to become a facilities professional?

As most facility professionals can attest, this is not the field that they aspired toward when staring their professional journey. We all, including myself, starting on a different path, for the most part. There are more people entering our profession in today’s world that have that aspiration, due to expanding curriculums in Higher Ed, being mentored by a facilities person or have the benefit of having a conversation regarding the merits of our profession with an established individual that shows the wealth of challenges that awaits anyone that enters our chosen field of expertise.

A quote that speaks to this fact as well as the incredible evolution a person can aspire toward and accomplish reads:

“As an undergrad and even as a casual visitor to a number of campuses prior to my employment in the industry, I was completely unaware of the magnitude of a campus’ facilities operations. I took the lights, the heat, the manicured lawns, and the flower beds for granted; I think a lot of people did and do! But then I got into the field and very quickly came to realize just how many knowledgeable and skilled people it takes to run a college campus 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Over the last eleven years of my career, I have grown to recognize, understand, and appreciate the significance of what we do as facilities managers. Our expertise – while sometimes under-recognized and underappreciated – is vital not just in keeping campuses up and running day in and day out, but in facilitating education. That is where our expertise demonstrates its value.”

The many areas of expertise required to be a successful facilities professional are too numerous to list. The list would be inclusive of very trade, management qualitiy and administrative component. What we all do every day in our professional world connects with everything from the most mundane task to most specialized training known. That being said the simplest job is as important as the other extreme. All facets need to work in perfect harmony for our customers to be able to do what they need or want to do, without even realizing the work required for them to be able to do so.

Everyone has some form or level of expertise that relates to facilities management, we need to train, and/or better educate these individuals so they can improve their professional standing which ultimately helps us all. And they will be the next generation to help grow the facilities world we all work in and enjoy.