Lately, I have been dedicating my time to learning some skills that are relevant to my job as a Facility Manager. I entered into Facility Management from the IT field. It is not uncommon for FMs to be assigned the job with little prior experience. Ideally, you would have somebody who is a Maintenance Manager promoted into the job. However, the transition from skilled labor to management is not always easy. What ends up happening is you lose your most competent maintenance person and gain a struggling manager. On the other end of the spectrum, assigning a manager to the position often means that they do not fully understand maintenance operations for a long while.
I am in the latter category. Fortunately, my work experience provided me the knowledge that there are associations for all kinds of interests, including Facility Management. A quick Google search brought up International Facility Management Association. I quickly joined the organization and enrolled in their FM training courses. That takes care of the management portion. But, it doesn't give me a better understanding of the assets over which I am in charge.
Recently, I have discovered Interplay Learning. This is a subscription service that for $299 per year, allow you to learn all about residential HVAC, commercial HVAC, solar power, plumbing, electrical, apartment maintenance, facility maintenance, safety, and appliance repair.
Interplay Learning breaks down each field of learning into short video segments with quizzes and end of chapter quizzes. The lessons are good for continuing education credits (CEUs) for those who have already certified. In addition, there are 3D practice labs that can also be done with VR headsets.
For those seeking certification, Interplay satisfies some of education required. Ultimately, however, the learner will still need hands-on experience via the traditional apprenticeship and journeyman approach.
In my case, as a Facility Manager already on the job, learning these trades helps fill in the gaps in my knowledge about those systems that keep a facility in operation. I do not intend to perform any of the electrical, plumbing, or HVAC work. However, I would be better suited to understand how to troubleshoot and direct the work that needs to be done.
The $299 annual fee is, in my opinion, reasonable for the amount of knowledge one can gain. The subscription is all-inclusive. You can learn particular skills. Or, you can do the rounds to learn all of the trades. You can learn as much as you want for the flat fee.