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HVAC Service Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 17, 2019

HVAC service managers require little formal education. Learn about the schooling, job duties and licensure to see if this is the right career for you.

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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.

Essential Information

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 (2018-2028) 13% for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers
Median Salary (2018)* $47,610 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
  • AutoCAD
  • 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 much faster than the average through 2028. In May 2018, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $76,230 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $29,460 or less per year.

Employment opportunities in the field are expected to increase, 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.

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