Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) service managers oversee the technicians that work for their company. HVAC companies look after installing, repairing and maintaining heating and air conditioning units. They may work for residential customers or provide services to commercial buildings.
An HVAC service manager leads a team of service technicians who work with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and equipment. They are often responsible for meeting goals and maintaining customer satisfaction for the company. HVAC service managers often need to complete a formal education program, get licensed, and have experience as an HVAC technician.
|Required Education||Specialized degree program or certificate|
|Other Requirements||Licensure; certification for specialization|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||14% for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$45,110 for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description of an HVAC Service Manager
A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) service manager supervises staff who install, repair, and maintain heating and air conditioning systems in residences and commercial buildings. Managers hire new employees and train staff to test electrical circuits, wire components, and electrical equipment; inspect and test different HVAC systems; comply to safety regulations; and ensure employees acquire necessary certifications.
Duties of an HVAC Service Manager
The duties of an HVAC service manager depend on the size of his or her staff. Being in a management position may require professionals to develop budgets, set company goals, interview prospective employees, and meet with other company managers to discuss different strategies. They may also help with scheduling appointments and dispatching service technicians.
Service managers should have a strong mechanical and installation understanding of the tools and equipment that technicians use. They may need to go on service calls as necessary. Because managers also deal directly with customers, it is important that they have good customer service and communication skills.
Job Requirements of an HVAC Service Manager
Many aspiring HVAC service managers start by earning a HVAC technology degree or certificate through a community college or technical school, which can take anywhere between six months and two years to complete. While there are a variety of schools and programs available for prospective HVAC service managers, students may want to consider earning a degree or certificate from a program recognized by one of three major accrediting agencies, including the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation, the National Center for Construction Education and Research or HVAC Excellence. Core course requirements for general HVAC programs include:
- Heat pump technology
- HVAC electrical systems
- Refrigeration systems maintenance
- Heating technology
Licensing Requirements and Certification Options
Some states require HVAC workers to be licensed; though specific licensing requirements vary by state. Typically, HVAC specialists must pass an exam and either complete an apprenticeship or have two to five years of experience.
There are also specialized certifications required for technicians who handle and purchase refrigerants, which include Type I certification for small appliances, Type II certification for high pressure refrigerants, and Type III certification for refrigerants with low pressure. There are various other entry-level and advanced certifications that are offered by organizations, like the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute, that generally require professionals to gain a certain amount of experience and pass an exam.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of all heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to increase by 14% between 2014 and 2024. The average salary of such mechanics and installers was $45,110 a year in 2015, per the BLS. The top 10% of earners that year were reported to have taken home $71,690 or more, according to the BLS.
The 14% increase in jobs forecasted by the BLS for HVAC mechanics and installers from 2014-2024 is much faster than average when compared to all occupations, which means the job prospects for those planning to enter this field are good. HVAC mechanics and installers typically need a certificate or degree and their state may require that they be licensed.