Tricks Of The Trade: Furthering Facilities Careers

By B. Kevin Folsom, CEP
Published in the January/February 2014 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q I have a long history of working in the trades although I don’t hold any licenses. I worked through college as an electrician, roofer, and plumber. I have a degree in international business. I was the owner of a home inspection company for 10 years, and for the past five years I have been a facility manager for a 163,000 square foot facility in Miami. I am a staff of one and sometimes have a helper. My responsibilities are diverse, and I hire and deal with all vendors. I am involved in the lease negotiations of our fleet of tractors, and I purchase our trailers. I oversee parking, security cameras, access control, etc.

I would like your opinion on furthering my credentials. As I research my options, there doesn’t seem to be a set standard or accepted path to achieve accreditation. I have been speaking with IFMA about their Certified Facility Manager (CFM) credential. What is your opinion on this? Could you recommend a different organization?

I would value your opinion in this matter. What is my best path for accreditation that will be valued in the open marketplace to further my career?

Gary Grimes
Facility Manager
Miami, FL

All questions to Folsom have been submitted via the “Ask The Expert” link.

A Hi Gary, thanks for writing! I am asked this question a lot, and this is an area on which I have spent a lot of time. In fact, I served on the credentialing board and was a subject matter expert for question writing for a certification group.

Following are links to recent articles I have written on the matter in this column. The first is from the August 2013 issue of TFM. Another appeared in the TFM April 2013 issue. Finally, my column in the September 2013 issue might be of interest.