The Systems Maintenance Administrator – Is it Time for Me? 

December 4, 2019 | By: Molly Looman

Taking the next step in a career can feel like a leap. Is the time and money is worth what you will get out of a promotion and do you even qualify? For technicians and building engineers, the next step may be the Systems Maintenance Administrator designation. If you aren’t sure if it’s time for you to take the leap, ask your self these questions:

Do I qualify? 

Unlike the Systems Maintenance Technician designation, enrolling in the SMA course has some requirements. You must have three years of experience as a stationary engineer or equivalent. Your experience must have been completed at a property portfolio with a minimum of 40,000 square feet. During your enrollment in the program, you must be able to complete 25 out of 35 criteria on the SMA Designation Experience form.  

This experience requirement must be completed before you are awarded your SMA designation.  When considering an SMA, be sure to review the experience form and requirements to determine if it is feasible for you.  

Where will it get me? 

Director of Engineering at SK Realty earned his SMA when he began working in mid-rise and high-rise buildings. He said the SMA gives engineers the confidence they need to run their building better. Knowledge helps build confidence and you cannot build confidence without knowledge,” Kelsey said. It’s that simple The SMA program includes eight courses that cover a wide variety of maintenance topics such as air handling, building design and energy management. This gives those enrolled a wide overview of all the multiple systems they would find in their properties.  

Does it make sense for my pathway? 

Technicians in certain areas only need their knowledge of that specialty. Building engineers are required to have a wide base of knowledge. If you have aspirations of being a building engineer, a chief engineer or a facilities manager, the SMA may be the next educational step. Kelsey was a machinist prior to earning his SMT and SMA designations. These courses allowed him to step into a new career with confidence. If you prefer and aspire to more specialized work away from managing whole systems, the SMA may not be the next move in your career. 


No matter where you are in your career, considering continual education can be a great next step. As codes, technologies and the market evolve, building engineers must stay relevant and up-to-date to perform to the best of their ability.  


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