Special Report: You Can Take It To The Bank

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By Heather McLean Wiederhoeft
Published in the July 2006 issue of
Today’s Facility Manager

Nearly 1,000 facility management practitioners recently took the time to share some fascinating and useful information about their professional lives in the second annual Today’s Facility Manager salary survey. With averages up since the 2005 survey, and a notable percentage of respondents reporting that their companies plan to add staff in the next 12 months, the outlook appears rosy for members of the facility management profession.

How would the average facility manager be described? According to respondents of this survey who are paid facility professionals, the “average” practitioner (and this describes average in only the most general terms) works in the manufacturing industry, manages one million to three million square feet of space, has a bachelor’s degree, has a staff of one to five employees, and earns between $75,000 and $99,999. And, yes, this person is most often a male, with more than 82% of respondents indicating this gender classification.

A Facility Manager By Any Other Name…

As in the 2005 survey, a plurality of respondents (40.8%) identified themselves as facility managers. This is an increase of 7% over last year. Rounding out the top three titles were director (32.9%) and building manager (7.4%).

PROFILE OF THE FM WITH A DOCTORATE DEGREE:
  • Either owner of company or director (both had 28.6% response rate)
  • Works for K-12 educational institution (25%)
  • Employer has either more than 1,000 employees or fewer than 100 (both at 35.7%)
  • Manages one million to three million square feet of space (18.8%)
  • Has been in the profession five to 14 years (42.9%)
  • Has been with current employer five to 14 years (37.5%)
  • Does not have a professional designation (71.4%)
  • 55 to 64 years old (56.2%)
  • Makes $100K to $149K (35.7%)

Close to 30% of those respondents with the title of facility manager reported earning between $75,000 to $99,999, with 23.9% having an annual salary in the range of $50,000 to $64,999. A mere 4% reported earning less than $40,000 annually, and none of those with the title facility manager reported earning more than $200,000.

The annual salary for those at the director level was also in the $75,000 to $99,999 range (31.2%), but a close second at 30.9% were directors earning $100,000 to $149,999. Three percent of director-titled respondents have annual salaries of $200,000 or more.

Building managers also reported earnings in the $75,000 to $99,999 range (29.9%) with $50,000 to $64,999 coming in second place with a response rate of 27.6%. Like those with the facility manager title, no one with the building manager title reported earning $200,000 or more.

Slight Edge For Manufacturing

More than 12% of respondents reported they work in manufacturing, which included being employed in headquarters and operations, recycling facilities, and plants. Health care, medical, and long-term care was the second most popular industry at 11.9%, followed by banking, finance, accounting, and insurance (11.8%), government (9.8%), and higher education (9.3%).

PROFILE OF THE FM WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE:
  • Title is director (50%)
  • Works in manufacturing (13.5%), higher education (12.8%), or government (12.8%)
  • Employer has more than 1,000 employees (52.6%)
  • Manages one million to three million square feet of space (25.6%)
  • 15 to 24 years in profession (37.8%)
  • Does not have a professional designation (55%)
  • 55 to 64 years old (39.4%)
  • Makes $100K to $149K (35.3%)

Between 2005 and 2006, the amount of square footage of space managed by a facility manager increased. For the 2005 survey, a plurality of respondents (20.1%) reported they were directly involved with managing between 500,000 and 999,999 square feet of space; this year, it dropped slightly (19.9%).

The amount of space managed by facility practitioners appears to be dependent upon what industry they work in. Almost 30% of facility professionals working in the higher education arena found themselves managing one million to three million square feet of space, while 42.9% of facility managers in the legal industry (and 28% of those in research and development) were more likely to be managing spaces of less than 100,000 square feet.

PROFILE OF THE FM WITH AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE:
  • Title is facility manager (39.3%) followed closely by director (33.5%)
  • Works in banking/finance (14%) or manufacturing (13.7%)
  • Employer has more than 1,000 employees (45.9%)
  • Manages one million to three million square feet of space (21.7%)
  • Does not have a professional designation (67.9%)
  • 45 to 54 years old (45.9%)
  • Makes $75K to $99K (30.2%)

A facility professional’s annual income may also be impacted by the industry in which s/he works. Only the technology industry was found to have the majority of its respondents earning between $100,000 and $149,999 (26.2% response rate). Meanwhile, 43% of facility managers working in communications/media reported an annual salary of between $75,000 to $99,999, and 42% of those in the legal industry fell into this salary range.

Perhaps surprising was the group that fell at the lower end of the scale. Practitioners working in higher education had the largest sampling in this category (29.3%), earning $50,000 to $64,999. Not so surprising was the report from the non-profit sector: 26.2% of its responding facility managers earned this moderate annual compensation rate.

Also not surprisingly, many respondents (42.5%) said their businesses employed more than 1,000 people. Facility managers working for companies employing 100 to 499 people came in second (27.6%), followed by companies with fewer than 100 employees (15.2%) and 500 to 999 employees (14.6%).

PROFILE OF THE FM WITH SOME COLLEGE BUT NO DEGREE:
  • Title is facility manager (49.6%)
  • Works in health care (12.9%)
  • Employer has more than 1,000 employees (35.1%)
  • Manages 100,000 to 249,000 square feet of space (25%)
  • Does not have a professional designation (77.4%)
  • 45 to 54 years old (45.2%)
  • Makes $50K to $64K (25.8%)

Sheepskin Common In Facility Management

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2004, 28% of Americans had earned at least a bachelor’s degree, which set a new record high. Having earned at least a bachelor’s degree is more prevalent among facility managers responding to this survey than the general population, with 54.4% holding at least an undergraduate degree. The most common response when asked about level of education was 37% responding that they had earned a bachelor’s degree; this was followed by 25.2% with some college but no degree; 15.2% with a master’s degree; and 12.9% with a two-year degree.

Spending the time and money it took to earn a college degree appeared to pay off in terms of annual salary. Of those respondents with only a high school degree, the most common salary rate reported was between $50,000 and $64,999 (32%) while 35.3% of facility professionals with a master’s degree earned between $100,000 and $149,999.

PROFILE OF THE FM WITH A HIGH SCHOOL DEGREE:
  • Title is facility manager (45.3%)
  • Works in either health care or education (K-12 and preschool): 13.3%
  • Employer has 100 to 499 employees (41%)
  • Manages 100,000 to 249,000 square feet of space
  • Has been with current employer and in the profession for five to 14 years
  • Does not have a professional designation (92%)
  • 45 to 54 years old (44.4%)
  • Makes $50K to $64K (32%)

What’s That After Your Name?

No longer is it unusual for a facility professional to undertake the rigors of one of the many certification or professional designation programs that are available. The International Facility Management Association’s (IFMA) Certified Facility Manager (CFM) designation has been earned by 33.6% of the survey’s respondents. BOMI Institute’s Facilities Management Administrator (FMA) was awarded to 24% of participants, and 22% received the Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation.

Mary Reynolds, IFMA’s director of professional development, reported that interest in IFMA’s CFM program and its Facility Management Practitioner (FMP) designation continues to grow. “Currently, there are more than 3,900 CFMs, and we’ve experienced positive growth in this program every year,” says Reynolds. “This…is supported by findings in the HR industry that more and more, people do want to earn a professional designation.”

Having a professional designation also may help when it comes to salaries. While the average salary category for both facility managers who have earned professional designations and those without them is in the $75,000 to $99,999 range, the second place salary categories differ widely. For facility managers with a professional designation, the second most common salary range was $100,000 to $149,999 (27.3%), while facility professionals without a professional designation’s second most common reported salary category was $50,000 to $64,999 (24.2%).

Age, Rank, And Serial Number

More than 43% of respondents to this survey were in the 45 to 54 year range, followed by those in the 55 to 64 year range (27.3%) and the 35 to 44 year category (21.2%). Not surprisingly, older facility managers tended to earn more, with 30.7% of those in the 45 to 54 year range bringing in $75,000 to $99,999; 25% of respondents in the 25 to 34 year old category reported earning $40,000 to $49,999.

FEMALE FM
  • Most common title: facility manager (39.3%)
  • Works in Banking/Finance/Accounting/Insurance (19.1%)
  • Company has more than 1,000 employees (45.1%)
  • Manages 250,000 to 499,000 square feet of space (24.3%)
  • Has an undergraduate degree (43.4%)
  • Will be in the profession in five years (89.6%)
  • 45 to 54 years old (44.5%)
  • Salary: $75K to $99K (28.9%)

In terms of employment longevity, average respondents to this survey reported being with their employers between five and 14 years (39.5%). Of the six possible age categories, only facility managers under 25 years of age have worked for their employer for an average of two to four years.

For facility professionals who have been with their current employer for less than two years, the average salary reported was in the $50,000 to $64,999 range (25%). After two years on the job, length of employment did not seem to have an impact on salary, as the five other lengths of employment categories salary averages all were in the $75,000 to $99,999 range.

Positive Trends

For facility managers looking for new employment, they may be able to find that perfect job, as 46.2% of respondents said their company plans to add permanent staff in the next 12 months. Another 6.2% reported that their employer is going to outsource or add temporary staff within the next 12 months.

MALE FM
  • Most common title: facility manager (41%)
  • Works in manufacturing (13.3%)
  • Company has more than 1,000 employees (41.9%)
  • Manages one million to three million square feet of space (21%)
  • Undergraduate degree (35.6%)
  • Will be in the profession in five years (90.8%)
  • 45 to 54 years old (43.5%)
  • Salary: $75K to $99K (28.4%)

IFMA’s Reynolds was not surprised to learn these numbers, as the Association’s JOBnet program has experienced a strong increase in the number of open positions available to facility managers. “We really have more new job listings every month, and this trend has been in place since last fall,” says Reynolds.

Sixty-four percent of respondents working in the legal industry reported that their employers were planning to add new staff over the next year, followed by 60% of respondents in the religious organizations arena; 55.2% in the banking, finance, accounting, and insurance industry; 54.1% in the technology sector; and 52.4% in the non-profit area. Respondents in industries that did not have plans to hire included hospitality at 61.9%, transportation at 61.1%, and entertainment 60%.

A large majority (75.2%) of respondents to this survey answered that they had received additional compensation during the past 12 months in the form of a raise, bonus, education, health care, profit sharing, and/or other incentive. All (100%) facility managers working in the legal industry reported receiving additional compensation, followed by 96.7% of practitioners in the communications/media arena; 92.2% of those in the banking, finance, accounting, and insurance industry; 90.4% of professionals in business services; and 90% of facility managers working for religious organizations.

Who’s In Charge?

Though the vast majority of respondents to this study were employees of an organization, 2.4% of respondents said their title was owner and answered yes to the question, “Are you currently employed as an on staff facilities or operations professional?”

SALARIES RELATED TO DEGREES
  • High school: $50K to $64K (32%)
  • Some college but no degree: $50K to 64K (25.8%)
  • Two-year degree: $50K to $64K (31.5%)
  • Bachelor’s degree $75K to $99K (30.2%)
  • Master’s degree: $100K to $149K (35.3%)
  • Ph.D.: $100K to $149K (35.7%)

So what is the typical facility management owner’s profile? According to this year’s TFM Salary Survey, he or she is 45 to 54 years old (45.8%), has been in the profession for 15 to 24 years (50%), manages one million to three million square feet of space (33.3%), has fewer than 100 employees (45.8%), and brings home between $100,000 and $149,999 in annual salary (62.5%).

One striking similarity that is seen in all facility managers participating in this survey, no matter their age, years of experience, or educational background, is that a substantial majority (90.5%) expect to be in the facility management profession for the next five years. Whether the respondent was an owner of a business (83.3% response rate) or a practitioner with less than two years of experience (89.5% response rate), high school graduate (90.7% response rate) or a facility manager with a master’s degree (86.5% response rate), there is the sense that they are involved in a profession that has a positive, long-term future. Very few see themselves leaving the facility management profession any time soon, regardless of salary, experience, education, or any other factor.

McLean Wiederhoeft is a Houston, TX-based freelance writer who specializes in facility management issues. Information for this article was compiled from a survey conducted with TFM subscribers.

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