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Top 11 Facilities Manager Certifications

This article outlines the top certifications available for facilities managers to enhance their professional knowledge and skills.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for a facilities manager in the job market because they demonstrate to employers that the individual has the necessary knowledge and skills required to perform the job effectively. Certifications can also help facilities managers stand out from other applicants, as they show that the individual has made an effort to stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices, and is committed to continuing their professional development. Additionally, certifications can open doors to new opportunities for career advancement, as some organizations may require employees to hold certain certifications in order to be eligible for certain positions or promotions.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Facilities Managers and explains how they can help to advance a facilities manager's career.

What are Facilities Manager Certifications?

Facilities manager certification is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of facilities management. This certification provides evidence of a facility manager’s knowledge and commitment to excellence in the field. It is designed to give employers, clients, and customers assurance that a certified individual has the necessary skills to provide top-notch service in areas such as budgeting, planning, maintenance, safety, security, and energy efficiency.

Having this certification can help facilities managers stand out from the crowd by validating their expertise in the field. It can also help them gain access to career advancement opportunities, such as higher salaries or positions with more responsibility. Additionally, it can be used as evidence of ongoing training and professional development to meet changing industry standards or workplace regulations. Finally, having a facility manager certification may allow individuals to access specialized resources or take advantage of discounts from organizations that recognize their credentials.

Pro Tip: When considering a facilities manager certification, make sure the program is accredited by a recognized organization such as the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA). This will ensure that the certification is of high quality and will be recognized by employers.

Related: What does a Facilities Manager do?

Top 11 Facilities Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Facilities Managers today.

1. Certified Facility Manager (CFM)

Certified Facility Manager (CFM) is a professional certification offered by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). It is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of competency in the field of facility management. The CFM credential is recognized worldwide as a mark of excellence and commitment to the profession.

It typically takes 2-3 years to obtain the CFM credential, depending on your experience and education. To qualify for the CFM, you must have at least five years of full-time experience in facility management or related fields, such as engineering, architecture or construction. You must also pass an exam administered by IFMA.

The cost for obtaining the CFM credential varies depending on whether you are already an IFMA member or not. For non-members, it costs $495 for the application fee and $395 for the exam fee. For current IFMA members, it costs $295 for the application fee and $395 for the exam fee.

2. Professional Engineer (PE)

Professional Engineer (PE) is a professional license that is granted by the state in which an engineer practices. It allows the holder to practice engineering and provide engineering services to the public.

To become a PE, an individual must have a degree in engineering from an accredited college or university, have four years of professional experience, and pass two exams administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Depending on the state, additional requirements may also be necessary.

The process of becoming a PE typically takes several months to complete. The first step is to submit an application to the NCEES along with all required documentation including transcripts, references, and other forms. Once accepted, applicants must register for and pass two exams: Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles & Practice of Engineering (PE). After passing these exams, applicants must submit their results to their respective state board for review. If approved, they will then receive their Professional Engineer license.

The cost of becoming a PE varies depending on the state in which you are applying. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $200-$1000 or more depending on fees associated with exams, applications, licensing boards, etc.

3. Certified Energy Manager (CEM)

A Certified Energy Manager (CEM) is a professional designation awarded by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of competency in the energy management field. A CEM demonstrates knowledge and expertise in the areas of energy efficiency, demand side management, renewable energy technologies, and energy auditing.

To obtain the CEM designation, an individual must meet certain educational and experience requirements. The minimum educational requirement is a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field with at least five years of experience in energy management. Those without such qualifications may still be eligible if they can demonstrate equivalent levels of education and/or experience.

The process to become certified takes approximately six months from start to finish. After submitting an application, applicants must pass an online exam that covers topics such as energy auditing techniques, renewable energy systems, and building automation systems. After passing the exam, applicants must complete an on-site performance evaluation conducted by an AEE-approved evaluator. Upon successful completion of this evaluation, applicants will be granted their CEM certification.

The cost for obtaining the CEM certification varies depending on whether or not you are already a member of AEE. For non-members, the cost is $650 for the application fee plus $250 for each exam attempt; members pay only $550 for each exam attempt after paying the initial application fee.

4. Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP)

Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) is a professional certification program offered by the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP). It is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate a high level of knowledge, experience, and commitment to the maintenance and reliability profession. The CMRP certification is the most widely recognized credential in the field of maintenance and reliability engineering.

The CMRP exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as asset management, preventive/predictive maintenance, root cause analysis, failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), lubrication practices, reliability centered maintenance (RCM), safety systems and procedures, operations management, quality assurance systems, environmental compliance regulations, and more.

It typically takes about 6 months to prepare for the CMRP exam. Candidates should have at least three years of experience in the field of maintenance and reliability engineering or equivalent education/training in order to be eligible for the exam.

The cost of taking the CMRP exam is $450 USD for SMRP members ($550 USD for non-members). After passing the exam, there is an annual renewal fee of $50 USD for SMRP members ($75 USD for non-members).

5. Certified Healthcare Facilities Manager (CHFM)

Certified Healthcare Facilities Manager (CHFM) is a professional certification program offered by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE). The CHFM credential is designed to recognize healthcare facility professionals who have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in managing and operating healthcare facilities. It is the only credential of its kind that focuses on the management of healthcare facilities.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least five years of experience in the field and passing an exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as facility planning, design, operations, maintenance, safety and security, emergency preparedness, environmental services, and other related topics.

The cost to take the CHFM exam is $400 for ASHE members or $550 for non-members. The exam can be taken at any Prometric testing center around the world. It typically takes about three hours to complete the exam. After passing the exam, applicants must submit proof of their experience in order to receive their certification.

6. Building Operator Certification (BOC)

Building Operator Certification (BOC) is a comprehensive training and certification program designed to teach building operators how to improve the energy efficiency, comfort, and safety of their buildings. It is offered by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and is recognized by many local governments, utility companies, and other organizations.

The BOC program takes approximately 12-18 months to complete, depending on the student’s experience level. The program consists of three levels: Basic Operations & Maintenance (O&M), Advanced O&M, and Building Systems Optimization & Commissioning (BSOC). Each level requires completion of both classroom and hands-on training.

To get certified, individuals must first complete a BPI-approved course at an approved training center. After completing the coursework, applicants must pass a written exam for each level in order to become certified.

The cost of the BOC certification varies depending on the type of course taken and where it is taken. Generally speaking, courses range from $500-$2,000 for each level. In addition to this cost there may be additional fees for books or materials needed for the course as well as any applicable exam fees.

7. LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP)

LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) is a professional designation given to those who have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. LEED APs are professionals with a comprehensive understanding of green building principles and practices, as well as the ability to apply them to the design, construction, and operation of buildings.

In order to become a LEED AP, an individual must pass an exam administered by Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). The exam covers topics such as sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design process, regional priority credits and other LEED related topics.

The exam typically takes 2-3 hours to complete. It is recommended that applicants spend at least 40 hours studying for the exam before taking it. There are several study materials available online or through GBCI that can help prepare for the exam.

The cost of becoming a LEED AP varies depending on which credential you are pursuing. Generally speaking, it costs around $200-$300 USD to take the exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with certification maintenance or recertification every two years.

8. Certified Plant Engineer (CPE)

Certified Plant Engineer (CPE) is a professional certification program offered by the Association of Facilities Engineering (AFE). The CPE program is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge, skills and abilities in the field of plant engineering. It is intended for those who are responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of industrial plants and facilities.

To become a Certified Plant Engineer, applicants must pass an exam administered by AFE. The exam covers topics such as plant engineering principles, safety standards, energy efficiency principles and more. Applicants must also have at least five years of experience in plant engineering or related fields.

The cost of taking the exam varies depending on whether you take it online or in person. The online version costs $250 while the in-person version costs $400. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete, with additional time allotted for breaks between sections.

Once an applicant has passed the exam they will be issued a Certificate of Professional Competency in Plant Engineering from AFE. This certificate is valid for three years and can be renewed through continuing education activities or retaking the exam.

9. Certified Property Manager (CPM)

Certified Property Manager (CPM) is a professional designation given by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). It is the highest credential in the real estate management industry and recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in all aspects of property management.

To become a CPM, an individual must have at least five years of full-time experience in real estate management and pass an exam administered by IREM. The exam consists of four parts: Financial Analysis, Human Resources, Operations & Maintenance, and Legal Aspects. Candidates must also complete a series of courses offered by IREM.

The cost to become a CPM varies depending on the courses taken and other factors such as whether or not you are already an IREM member. Generally speaking, it costs around $2,000 to become certified.

It typically takes between six months and one year to get your CPM designation once you have completed all requirements.

10. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is a globally recognized certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and experience in project management. The PMP certification is designed to assess an individual’s ability to successfully lead and manage projects.

In order to become certified as a PMP, an individual must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass an exam. To be eligible for the exam, an individual must have either:

  • A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education; or
  • A four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or global equivalent) with at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.

The exam itself consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within four hours. The cost of the exam varies depending on whether you are a PMI member or non-member. For PMI members, the cost is $405 USD; for non-members it is $555 USD. Additionally, there are several other fees associated with obtaining the certification such as application fees and renewal fees.

Once you have passed the exam and met all other requirements, you will become a certified PMP. This certification will demonstrate your expertise in project management principles and practices which can help you advance your career in this field.

11. Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt

Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt is a certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to lead process improvement initiatives within their organization. The program focuses on the use of Six Sigma methodology, which includes data-driven decision-making, problem solving, and statistical analysis.

Green Belts are trained in the basics of Six Sigma and can lead small projects with minimal guidance from a Black Belt. Black Belts are more advanced and have the ability to lead larger projects independently.

The length of time required to complete either certification depends on the type of training you choose. Many organizations offer online courses that can be completed in as little as three months, while traditional classroom training may take up to six months or longer.

To become certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt, you must pass an exam administered by an accredited organization such as ASQ (American Society for Quality). You will need to demonstrate your understanding of Six Sigma principles and apply them to real-world scenarios.

The cost of certification varies depending on the type of course you choose and whether you opt for self-study or instructor-led training. Generally speaking, self-study courses are less expensive than instructor-led courses but may require more effort on your part to learn the material.

Do You Really Need a Facilities Manager Certificate?

The answer to this question really depends on what you want to do with your career. If you are looking to get into the facilities management field then it is likely that a Facilities Manager Certificate will be beneficial. It can provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to manage and maintain large buildings, as well as provide you with an understanding of the latest technologies used in the industry.

However, if your goal is not necessarily to become a facilities manager, but rather you are looking for a job in another related field such as construction or engineering, then a Facilities Manager Certificate may not be necessary. In those cases, having other certificates and qualifications that relate more directly to the job you are applying for may be more beneficial.

No matter which path you choose, it is important to do research into the requirements of any position you are interested in before deciding whether or not a Facilities Manager Certificate would be beneficial for your career goals.

Related: Facilities Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Facilities Manager Certifications

1.Q: What is a Facilities Manager Certification?

A: A Facilities Manager Certification is a qualification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and experience of managing, operating and maintaining physical assets such as buildings, grounds and equipment. It is designed to help facilities professionals stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.

2.Q: How do I obtain a Facilities Manager Certification?

A: To obtain a Facilities Manager Certification, you must meet certain criteria such as passing an exam administered by an accredited organization, completing required coursework or having the appropriate job experience.

3.Q: What are the benefits of becoming certified in facilities management?

A: Becoming certified in facilities management can help individuals advance their career, increase their earning potential, gain recognition for their professional accomplishments and demonstrate their commitment to the profession.

4.Q: What are the requirements for maintaining a Facilities Manager Certification?

A: To maintain a Facilities Manager Certification, you must complete continuing education units each year to ensure your knowledge remains current with industry standards and trends. Additionally, some certifications require recertification exams every few years to remain valid.

5.Q: Is there any cost associated with obtaining or maintaining a Facilities Manager Certification?

A: Yes, there may be costs associated with obtaining or maintaining a Facilities Manager Certification depending on the organization offering it. Fees may include application fees, exam fees and/or continuing education unit fees.