L2B Blog: How to study to become a Facilities Manager? A look at internships and universities


If you are looking to study to become a Facilities Manager, then I imagine you already know what might be involved. If not, please see below:


What is a Facilities Manager?

A facilities manager is the ultimate organiser, making sure that a workplace meets the needs of employees by managing all of the required services.


A Facilities Manager will be responsible for the management of services and processes that support the core business of an organisation and ensures that an organisation has the most suitable working environment for its employees and their activities.

This is a diverse field with a range of responsibilities, which are dependent on the structure and size of the organisation.
Facilities managers are involved in both strategic planning and day-to-day operations, particularly in relation to buildings and premises. Likely areas of responsibility include:
• building and grounds maintenance;
• cleaning;
• catering and vending;
• health and safety;
• procurement and contract management;
• security;
• space management;
• utilities and communications infrastructure.
The duties will probably vary depending on the nature of the organisation, but will generally focus on using best business practice to improve efficiency, by reducing operating costs while increasing productivity. A facilities manager can be employed in all sectors and industries and the diversity of the work is reflected in the range of job titles, for example, operations, estates, technical services, asset or property manager.



I’m sure the end result when deciding to study to become a Facilities Manager, is to be employed as such and have some idea of the competitiveness of the salary. Obviously, this would depend on your experience and the organisation you end up working for. According to Payscale Human Capital: “Facilities Manager Salary (South Africa): A Facilities Manager earns an average salary of R357,994 per year. Pay for this job rises steadily for more experienced workers, but goes down significantly for the few employees with more than 20 years’ experience. Most people with this job move on to other positions after 20 years in this career.” Let me reiterate, this a statistical average that takes all manner of different variables into account.



The next question is, are there opportunities for Facilities Managers out there? When doing my research, I found any number of vacancies advertised on any number of advertising sites. The job descriptions varied from company to company, as would be expected. Duties ranged from budgeting and routine site inspections to managing staff and getting your hands dirty, with handyman skills and qualifications. The remuneration offered ranged from R16,000.00 a month to R30 000.00; often dependent on qualifications, experience and the extent of the duties required.



It’s at this time of the year, that I see a lot more Learnerships and Bursaries being advertised in the media. However, when looking specifically for “Facilities Management”, I can’t say any jumped out at me. Due to the diverse and varied nature of the job, I can’t imagine it’s as clear-cut as some professions. Based on the variety of formal qualifications required/requested and the heavy lean on actual experience; Facilities Management definitely requires adaptability and a
diverse skill set.


Study Options:

I did find courses for Facilities Management offered by a variety of educational entities, namely:

The University of Cape Town (UCT) offers a Short Course in Facilities Management, through Getsmarter
Enterprises University of Pretoria (Pty) Ltd offers a Short Course in Facilities Management

CEA Career Excel Academy offers a Facilities Management Programme (FMP), a course held over three days

The Academy for Facilities Management (A4FM) is a specialist higher education institution that specialises in facilities management.


It goes without saying that when you decide to study, you ensure that you are studying with a reputable and qualified organisation.

The South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA) recognises the need for training within the industry and offers endorsements for reputable training providers. Please see http://www.safma.co.za/Training


Facilities Management is as diverse and varied as the organisations that require it. And with the right qualification and experience, you can find the right fit.





About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.