Skilled Trades

What It’s Like to be a Facilities Manager for a Large Commercial Building

Skilled TradesOctober 01, 2021

From the businesses where we work to the schools where we learn, custodians are the VIPs who make sure these buildings are clean and in good repair. On October 2, 2021, show some appreciation by thanking the crews that maintain the places you visit by helping celebrate National Custodian Day.

While you may be familiar with the role of a custodian, you may not be as aware of the duties performed by a facilities manager. This person is important to building maintenance, too. They are responsible for a variety of functions critical to the maintenance of large commercial buildings including office complexes, hospitals, and colleges. The demand for this vital role continues to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for facilities managers is expected to grow by nine percent from 2020 to 2030. 

Interested in learning more? Here are some of the common operations that facilities managers handle every day.


From the heating and cooling systems to the elevators, landscape, and utilities, large buildings have many systems that need regular maintenance and repair. A facilities manager will create a master plan for routine maintenance and schedule the work with in-house employees or contractors. If a building requires repairs, they’ll schedule that work, as well. And facilities managers create and manage the budget for the building’s care.


In many situations, the facilities manager is also responsible for making sure the property is kept safe and secure. This may be done by implementing security procedures, hiring security personnel to patrol the area, and managing the security or alarm systems. 


Often working behind the scenes, the facilities manager will also make sure the property is safe for use and meets all local codes and regulations. They perform routine inspections of the building and grounds to look for potential problems such as an uneven sidewalk that has settled and creates a tripping hazard, or an emergency exit that may be blocked. They may also ensure that emergency exits are clearly marked and fire suppression systems are in working order. Additionally, they ensure the premises are clean and free from health risks, performing such tasks as monitoring the air and water quality inside their buildings.


In addition to managing the property, a facilities manager may manage a team of people. They’ll hire and manage building staff members, such as custodians, security guards, parking attendants, and receptionists. They’ll also hire third-party providers for specialized tasks, like elevator maintenance. 

As you can see, facilities managers hold the “behind the scenes” role that keep us safe and productive. If the role sounds interesting to you, Fortis can help you get your start. We offer a facilities management program at our Centerville campus in suburban Dayton, Ohio. Visit our website for more information. Or call 1-855-436-7847 to speak with a representative today.