Facilities Engineer: Career and Salary Facts
Facilities engineers ensure the smooth operation of power plants, manufacturing plants and various other types of facilities. Learn about the education requirements, certification options and average salary for a facilities engineering career.
What Is a Facilities Engineer?
Facilities engineers work in different types of manufacturing plants to design their layouts and create their necessary systems. They help design the utility systems, and depending on the type of plant, may need to help design specialized systems, such as those to handle chemicals. These professionals also routinely inspect and perform maintenance on the systems as needed. Larger operations may require the use of more than one facilities engineer to keep systems working efficiently. Facilities engineers also work closely with manufacturing engineers and construction managers to make sure everything is built and running as it should be. Below, you can learn some detailed information about a career as a facilities engineer:
|Degree Required||Bachelor's; master's may be needed for advancement|
|Education Field of Study||Facilities engineering|
|Key Responsibilities||Design and create various systems in manufacturing plants, inspect systems, handle maintenance and repair issues, make sure systems are running efficiently|
|Licensure Requirements||Voluntary certification available|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)*||4% (for all other engineers)|
|Median Salary (2019)**||$74,751|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
What Type of Education Do I Need for a Career as a Facilities Engineer?
If you'd like to be a facilities engineer, or plant engineer, you should consider obtaining a bachelor's degree in engineering. A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Facilities Engineering would be especially relevant to your career. Aside from foundational courses in science, mathematics and engineering, bachelor's degree programs in facilities engineering might also require coursework in facilities management, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, project management and facilities design. Because only a few universities offer bachelor's degree programs in facilities engineering, you could also get a bachelor's degree in another engineering specialization, such as civil, mechanical, electrical or construction engineering.
A master's degree is not required for a career as a facilities engineer; however, earning a master's degree in facilities management could improve your chances of obtaining employment in supervisory positions. Master's degree programs in facilities management typically take about two years to complete, and you should expect to take management courses in addition to courses that cover the operation and maintenance of facilities, facilities engineering systems and finance.
Do I Need to Get Certified?
The Association for Facilities Engineering provides certification opportunities in this field (www.afe.org). To be eligible for certification, you must satisfy certain educational and professional requirements. To be certified, you must also pass a certification exam. The certification exam covers topics in engineering, management, HVAC and regulatory compliance, among others.
What Jobs Could I Apply For?
You could apply for facilities engineering positions at power plants, where you would be responsible for plant maintenance and operation. Universities and large industrial complexes often hire facilities engineers to ensure regulatory compliance and to maintain their plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems. As a facilities engineer, you could also seek employment at large manufacturing and chemical plants.
What Salary Could I Earn?
Data published by PayScale.com in November 2019 indicated that facilities engineers reported annual salaries in the range of $51,000-$109,000. The data indicated that facilities engineers working in the private sector earned more than those working in the federal government.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Mechanical and civil engineers, as well as construction managers, are a few related careers that require at least a bachelor's degree. Mechanical engineers design and test all kinds of sensors and devices that are often used in things like engines and various machines. Civil engineers design and supervise different types of construction projects like roads and bridges. They may work on projects in the public or private sectors. Construction managers are responsible for overseeing a construction project on the ground from start to finish. They handle the budget, coordinate workers and keep the project moving on its designated timeline.