Careers

Building Operations Professionals Are in High Demand

At the foundation of every well-run office in D.C. are building engineers — the people who make sure all building systems are functioning as they should.

Problem-solving, effective communication, and an understanding of building systems — HVAC, electrical, and plumbing—are at the core of this career. Jobs as building engineers offer the ability to earn and learn. Employers typically provide paid education and training, and these high-paying careers are open to those without a college degree.

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Many Opportunities With Good Salaries Are Available

More than 1,200 building operations jobs with competitive salaries are available in the D.C. area each year:

Maintenance Technician or Building Technician

Average entry-level salary

$45K-59K

Starting salaries for these jobs vary, depending on the company, the applicant’s skills and experience, and other factors.

Operating Engineer or Building Engineer

Average mid-level salary

$74K-$88K*

Mid-level building engineers generally have 3–7 years’ experience in the industry or strong skills in HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or construction from related experience.  *before bonuses

Chief Engineer or Lead Engineer

Average senior-level salary

$88K-$102K*

Senior-level building engineers typically have 8–12+ years’ experience in the industry and the ability to manage large teams.  *before bonuses

Vice President or Director of Engineering/Operations

Average executive-level salary

$155K-$170K*

Top-level building operations professionals demonstrate extensive knowledge of building systems, as well as the ability to manage large teams and interact well with clients. They must learn about all aspects of property management and develop executive skills, such as strategic planning, budgeting, and forecasting.  *before bonuses

Data Sources: AOBA-PMA 2021 Wage and Benefits Survey, CEL & Associates, Inc.; 2021 National Real Estate Compensation Survey, Lightcast

Education and Training Options Are Available

A college degree is not required for long-term success as a building operations professional. However, a willingness to learn on the job and a commitment to lifelong learning are needed to succeed. On-the-job training and ongoing professional development are provided by organizations such as the Apartment & Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington and paid for by employers. There are also numerous options for classes you can take to help get your foot in the door. Select the buttons below to learn more about education and training opportunities in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.