Society of Facility Engineers


 Building Operators


General Maintenance Workers





The Society of Facility Engineers (SOFES) promote building operators and maintenance workers through the issuance of skilled trade certifications and raising money for social economic causes.

Why Train and Certify?


An untrained and non-certified building operator or maintenance worker with a well placed screwdriver can lead to a catastrophic failure resorting in loss of life, limb and property.


The Challenge

Companies over the past several decades have found it increasingly more challenging and costly to hire and maintain a building operator or maintenance person able to perform the required duties, abide by local, state and federal laws, and to protect its occupants from unforeseen hazards due to a lack of a seasoned worker for guidance.

Hybrid systems

Building systems and equipment differ in many ways from one company to another.  Most commercial and industrial buildings in the US are 40 years old or older. Building systems and equipment are hybrid systems that have been altered from the original design so many times there are few or no operation and maintenance instructions for upkeep.  This is perhaps the reason a seasoned building operator is retained and why the Society of Facility Engineer was formed to issue and oversee skilled trade certifications.

SOFES Certifications
Founded by an Army veteran - US Corps of Engineers   



Society of Facility Engineer partnership with the Vocational Institute of Michigan in vital to assure occupants and the buildings are safe and secure. The learning center has long known that the traditional instructor-led classroom training programs are often not enough to assure occupants and the buildings are safe and secure from deadly mishaps and hazards.  Most traditional skilled trade training is for a specific occupation, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, electrical, plumbing or carpentry.  

Society of Facility Engineer technician’s hands on, on-the-job training by a seasoned worker familiar with the company’s business, buildings, and building systems and equipment covers traditional skilled trades and more. With aged commercial and industrial buildings a building operator or maintenance worker must be able to operate and service new and aged building systems and equipment. He or she must not rely only on local, state or federal inspections to ensure occupants and the facility(s) are safe and secure.


Why partner with the Vocational Institute of Michigan?

The Vocational Institute of Michigan in its more than 25 years of on-the-job building operator and maintenance internship training, assisting in pressure vessel device testing, code inspections, and building operations and maintenance monitoring has helped to license, certify and place hundreds of building operators and maintenance workers.  Its staff led by a former US Corps of Engineers veteran, is well seasoned in building operations and maintenance. The staff has years of in-plant experience in helping building operators and maintenance workers with hybrid building systems and equipment.

Interns while receiving six month to one year hand-on, on-the job training may earn a paycheck. Starting pay, usually above $33,000, often increases as skills improve.  Health care and retirement benefits may be included. The internship is part of a Vocational Institute of Michigan “Facility Engineering Technician’s diploma program. 

Worker shortages

Trillions of dollars will be allocated to finding and training people to fill jobs across the globe. The US alone is expected to appropriate trillions of dollars to assist companies in rebounding from COVID-19.  The US Congress prior to COVID-19 was expected to appropriate at least $1.5 trillion spending for infrastructure construction, fueled with government spending including public private partnerships to address America’s skilled labor shortage. According to the Department of Labor, the US economy prior to COVID-19 had 7.6 million unfilled jobs, with 6.5 million people looking for work as of January 2019. 

There is no better time than the present to use hands-on skills and general knowledge to obtain a SOFES facility engineer technician certification. Take advantage of your knowledge and working hours in building operations and maintenance.  Or, obtain this knowledge at the Vocational Institute of Michigan.   now to use your hands. With a minimum of 500 working hours in building maintenance a person is eligible to apply for a Society of Facility Engineers Technician certification. 

Membership Inquiry Contact Form

(Inquiry can be accessed using a cell phone at


Individuals, businesses, students and retirees complete the form to be considered for SOFES certification or an entry level internship. 

Due to COVID-19 SOFES is experiencing an increase in potential membership signups.  Be sure to include your contact information and anything else you feel is pertinent.