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Tricks Of The Trade: Credential Management

Written by Tricks Of The Trade Columnist. Posted in Ask The Expert, Columnists, Facility Management, Featured Post, Magazine, Professional Development, Topics, Tricks of the Trade

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Published on April 23, 2013 with No Comments

By B. Kevin Folsom, CEP
Published in the April 2013 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

QMost of the projects I have worked on have been new construction planning/completion. My question is this: Should I take the CFM [Certified Facility Manager] prep exam or FMP [Facility Management Professional]?

I am not sure which I am ready to tackle at this point in my career. I am leaning more toward the FMP credential, since I have more construction design/build tasks, with a facility management (FM) title. I am pretty sure I would benefit from that credential and would be able to take the CFM next year with the FMP certification. Any advice or shared experience would be appreciated.

Brian Schipper
Facilities Manager
CAD Design
Fayetteville, NC

AThe latest FM certifications are great tools and useful for learning the industry; however, if you do not have a degree, certifications are not replacements. Unfortunately, in the litigious world we live today it is very difficult for organizations to hire high level facility managers (fms) without some kind of validation of their capabilities in the form of a college degree, even though it may not directly relate. There are those in FM who do not have degrees, and I have found those who worked their way up the ladder to be of high caliber. Nevertheless, not having a degree can be limiting in this profession if you desire to be in upper leadership roles.

If you don’t have a college degree and you’re paying out of pocket for the certification, use your money toward an accredited degree. Most job vacancies ask for degrees in construction sciences, architectural, engineering, etc., but if you have significant FM experience any degree will work.

If you’re satisfied in the working ranks and skilled trades and can see a future in this, then the certification should prove helpful.

If you do already have a college degree, then you’ll want to focus on obtaining a wide variety of FM experiences. Certifications can help, but they do not replace experience. Take any project you can and do it well while getting along with people, meeting deadlines, and satisfying budget projections. 

Also, look into the BOMA and BOMI certifications. The FMP and CFM are IFMA certifications. All are good programs!

About Tricks Of The Trade Columnist

Tricks Of The Trade Columnist

Folsom is director of campus operations at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, TX. Previously, he was director of facilities & plant operations, and energy procurement & efficiency at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, TX, where he worked for 25 years. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the associations of Higher Education Facility Officers and Energy Engineers for facility and energy management practices, industry leadership and involvement, and writing. He has also provided facilities assessment consulting to several organizations through All questions have been submitted via the “Ask The Expert” portion of the magazine’s web site. To pose a question, visit this link.

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