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How to Become a Certified Facilities Manager

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Sponsored by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the Certified Facilities Manager (CFM) credential was created to help set a higher standard of professional competency in the areas of operations, maintenance, technology and finance. If you meet the minimum professional and educational requirements, passing the CFM exam can start you down a path of greater job security and advancement.

Determine if you have the minimum education and work experience requirements to apply for certification. For example, if you have a master's degree in facilities management, you need at least three years of experience working as a facilities manager. If you have a bachelor's degree, you need at least four years of facilities manager experience. If you have an associates degree, you need five years of experience. And if you only have a high-school diploma or GED (plus at least two post-secondary education courses), you need eight years of facilities manager experience.

Study for the CFM exam. In the online-store section of IFMA's website, you can buy the CFM Exam Review Course Study Set, which offers a thorough review of all the topics that will appear on the exam.

Once you feel ready to take the exam, complete the online CFM application form, found at the IFMA website, and submit it. Note: there is a $775 certification and processing fee for the exam. You will be required to include credit card information on the application for automatic billing.

As soon as the IFMA sends you an email confirming the acceptance of your application, visit the website of Prometric to locate the testing facility nearest you.

On the Prometric welcome page, select "International Facility Management Association" from the Step 1 drop-down menu and select your current country or state in the Step 2 drop-down menus.

Click "Next."

Click "Search For Seat Availability."

Enter your current street address and ZIP code, and click "Search."

Click the "Seat Availability" link next to the testing facility closest to you.

Click one of the calendar dates with a blue square on top of it.

Click "Schedule an Exam."

Enter your Eligibility ID Number (found in your confirmation email), and click "OK" to reserve your seat at the examination.

Receive a score higher than 70 percent on the exam.

Wait until you receive an email confirming that you passed the exam. After this point, you are officially a Certified Facilities Manager.

Warning

The exam must be taken within 90 days of your receipt of the confirmation email.

About the Author

A Chicago-based copywriter, Andy Pasquesi has extensive experience writing for automotive (BMW, MINI Cooper, Harley-Davidson), financial services (Ivy Funds, William Blair, T. Rowe Price, CME Group), healthcare (Abbott) and consumer goods (Sony, Motorola, Knoll) clients. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Harvard University but does not care for the Oxford comma.

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