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How to get into facilities management: a complete guide

Facilities management (FM) is a really rewarding and varied career, with lots of opportunities for progression. But what jobs are available in the field, and what do you need on your CV to get one? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how to get into facilities management, how to become an account manager, and what facilities management qualifications will come in handy.

What jobs are available in facilities management?

If you’re working for a facilities management company that provides services to clients, there are lots of potential roles to choose from.

  • Facilities management companies offer a range of soft FM services and hard FM services from catering to cleaning, environmental compliance, security, maintenance and engineering, and so if you are hoping to specialise in one of those areas there’s likely to be work available
  • There are also plenty of management and support roles within a facilities management company, from HR to IT support
  • If you would like to work in a client-facing role, a facilities account manager might be the job for you

What do facilities account managers do?

Here at Churchill, we offer a wide range of account management positions in soft facilities management. As a facilities account manager, you will play a crucial role as the main liaison between our company and our valued clients. Your primary responsibility will be to establish and nurture strong relationships with clients, gaining a deep understanding of their unique needs and expectations. By doing so, you will ensure that the facilities management services we provide are tailored to meet their requirements effectively and efficiently.

If you’re looking to get into facilities management, it’s a rewarding job to aspire to. Here’s an overview of what’s involved in a facilities account manager role:

  • Client relationship management. Fostering strong relationships is a key element of this role, which involves proactive communication with clients to understand their goals, address concerns and provide updates on service delivery.
  • People Management. The facilities account manager also supervises and leads teams of personnel, ensuring proper staffing, training, and performance management to achieve efficient service delivery and a positive work environment.
  • Collaboration. Working in close partnership with clients to determine the scope of services needed, such as cleaning, maintenance, security, or landscaping
  • Service delivery. The facilities account manager oversees the delivery of facilities management services, coordinating with internal teams and external service providers
  • Contract management. Facilities account managers are responsible for managing contracts and agreements with clients. They make sure contractual obligations are met, including service level agreements, pricing structures and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Problem solving. Account managers play a crucial role in resolving issues or complaints raised by clients. They investigate problems, identify root causes and implement corrective measures to ensure client satisfaction.

The role is a varied and exciting one, with different challenges every day. And if you’re looking to climb the ladder in facilities management it doesn’t end there – as a facilities management professional you could be promoted to a role like Operations Director or Regional Director, looking after whole property portfolios like Churchill’s very own Graeme Jones.

How to become a facilities management professional

If facilities management sounds like a sector you’d like to work in, there are several different ways into the field. It’s a diverse sector and you can start from an entry-level role or change careers. Either way there are plenty of opportunities. Here’s how to get into facilities management at entry level, through an apprenticeship or by switching careers at a more senior level.

Starting at entry level and working your way up

Facilities management is a versatile and varied sector for career starters making their first steps into the world of work. Whether you’ve just graduated from uni or you’re coming straight from school, there is a wide variety of entry level facilities management jobs to choose from, in areas as diverse as catering, cleaning, security, guest services, environmental compliance and management and administration.

By going straight into a job role rather than waiting to get a qualification, you can immediately get a real-world taste of what facilities management really involves, which can be really helpful if you’re not 100% sure yet whether it’s the right path for you. You’ll gain experience in your own role, boost your CV and develop new skills. And at the same time you’ll be able to gain important insights into the jobs that your colleagues are doing around you – including roles that you might get promoted into, if it’s a path you choose to pursue.

Some of the best account managers are those who have on-the-ground experience of what it’s like to do the day-to-day roles they oversee. So if you’re looking at how to get into facilities management as a career, you could get straight in there with an entry-level role.


If you’re looking for a more formal route into becoming a facilities account manager, an apprenticeship will provide all the work experience and training you need to progress. You’ll spend part of your time working in a facilities management role and the rest of your time studying, and you’ll come out with a solid qualification that will take you to the next stage of your career. In many cases, if you do well in your apprenticeship, the company you are working for may have a role for you to step into once you finish. And even if not, your apprenticeship is the perfect way to gain experience and make connections.

There are lots of apprenticeship opportunities here at Churchill. Apprentice Morgan Clark is working towards a Level 3 electrical engineering apprenticeship while getting on-the-job experience at Meadowhall Shopping Centre – read more about Morgan’s career path.

Going straight in at account management level

Not all facilities account managers have worked in the field for their whole career. So if you’re a career changer looking to do something different as a next step, it’s good to know that the skills and experience you’ve already gained are likely to be transferable to a new role in facilities management. Here are some of the qualities we look for in our account manager roles:

  • You thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • You understand the way to build strong rapport with your clients so that challenges can be overcome quickly
  • You love being empowered to make decisions, improvements and solve problems
  • You’re a people person and connect with everyone whatever their role
  • You lift people up and love seeing your team succeed
  • You’re innovative and find creative solutions to problems

In addition to the valuable work experience you already have, you might find it useful to gain a relevant facilities management qualification, which will demonstrate your commitment and give you the specialist knowledge you need to enter the profession.

Find out more about how to change careers later in life.

Facilities management qualifications

Whatever your career ambitions within the world of facilities management, a relevant qualification could help you to achieve them.

The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) offers professional development, training and qualifications from Levels 2 to 7, specially designed to give you the knowledge and understanding you need to succeed in a facilities management role.

Other qualifications can also provide a way into a facilities management career. If you have studied a related subject such as business studies, hospitality or engineering, the specialist knowledge you have might give you a head start into the profession. This could be at HND or degree level.

Health and safety qualifications can also be helpful.

Career progression with Churchill

Here at Churchill, we’ll support you to establish a career path that suits you, providing learning and progression opportunities to develop a successful career. We have a variety of facilities management vacancies available at all levels – why not take a look and apply today?