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Facility supervisors oversee buildings in a range of settings, including schools, government agencies and industrial plants. They approve facility use requests, ensure that users adhere to building policies, supervise maintenance personnel and file records of maintenance activities. Most employers prefer candidates with a postsecondary degree in a relevant field.
Skills and Duties
Facility supervisors need to know how to inspect buildings for potential problems and defects. When a building is being remodeled, for example, the supervisor must monitor the work progress and verify it complies with building safety standards. Supervisors use problem-solving skills to address emergencies such as power disruptions. They use recordkeeping skills to ensure they accurately document maintenance records and facility use requests. When an organization wants to budget for facility maintenance and repair activities, the supervisor prepares a budget that meets the organization’s financial objectives. Project management skills are also essential, since facility supervisors often oversee facility construction or repair work.
Authorizing Facility Usage
Facility supervisors have the final say on whether a facility can be used for certain activities. In a university, for example, the supervisor might approve student requests to use halls for extracurricular activities such as talent shows. Before the facility is put into use, the supervisor conducts inspections to check whether electrical, surveillance and music or public address systems are functioning properly. If a piece of equipment is defective, the facility supervisor coordinates its repair or replacement. When the facility is in use, the supervisor ensures proper use and care of the equipment.
Cleaners, maintenance technicians and electricians are among the staff that work under facility supervisors. This means supervisors have a duty to allocate tasks and evaluate the performances of staff members. When the company hires new maintenance workers, the facility supervisor will typically conduct training sessions to help improve their knowledge of the company’s safety programs and policies.
Become a Facility Supervisor
Many facility supervisors land the job after earning at least an associate degree in facilities management, building or civil engineering, or business administration. Others begin as maintenance technicians and work their way up as they gain more experience. The International Facility Management Association offers the Certified Facility Manager credential, which facility supervisors can combine with a bachelor’s degree in facilities management to become facility managers. Aspiring CFM's must meet education and experience requirements and pass a certification exam. According to Indeed.com, an occupational resources website, facility supervisors earned an average annual salary of $43,000 in 2014.
Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.