Service Manager & Maintenance Supervisor
Construction, Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses
- High school diploma or GED
- Valid New York State driver’s license (if travel required)
Preferred Education and Credentials
- Trade certificate, vocational training, or associate degree
- HVAC/R or maintenance experience (3-5 or 9+ years, depending on the role)
- Certification by NATE, ACCA, RETA, SMRP, or similar organizations
- Mechanical aptitude
- Planning (scheduling, budgeting)
- Coordinating workflow
- Supervisory and managerial
- Attention to detail/quality oversight
- Customer service
Service managers and maintenance supervisors lead and oversee installation, maintenance, and repair work at buildings, including work related to building mechanical systems. Service managers supervise and schedule the work of HVAC/R installers and service technicians that is specifically focused on heating, cooling, and ventilation mechanicals. Maintenance supervisors oversee the staff responsible for general upkeep of properties (whose tasks include performing preventive maintenance of building mechanicals as well as keeping facilities clean, safe, and in a state of good repair).
Service managers and maintenance supervisors perform routine inspections of facilities to identify problems that require repair or maintenance and assign staff to complete necessary work tasks. Planning, organizational, and project management skills are necessary to effectively allocate work among team members by preparing maintenance and service schedules and coordinating with customer service dispatchers (if applicable) to ensure that client needs are met by technicians. Service managers and maintenance supervisors help technicians problem-solve challenges they encounter at jobsites and ensure they have the resources needed to complete the job smoothly and quickly. They ensure that there is always a sufficient inventory of supplies and equipment available. They also develop maintenance budgets. Some service managers and maintenance supervisors need basic computer and IT skills, especially with the increasing use of smart (automated) building mechanical systems.
It is important for service managers and maintenance supervisors to sustain their own mechanical skills and comfort using tools because they may help with the hands-on repair and service work if tasks are complex and require technical expertise or if they work for a small company. For example, HVAC/R contractors with fewer than ten employees may have a service manager who also fulfills service calls as technicians do. These workers will need additional training to understand the mechanics of emerging electricity-based HVAC/R systems because clean energy variable refrigerant flow systems, air source heat pumps, and ground source heat pumps that are more commonly being used to heat and cool buildings are more technologically complex than systems that use oil or gas. Low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants are also expected to increase in use and workers who handle refrigerants may need to be retrained on how to safely handle these new materials.
In their supervisory roles, service managers and maintenance supervisors ensure that completed work meets quality standards, that safety regulations are followed, and that technicians have any required certifications. They recruit, hire, train, and develop less experienced technicians. Maintenance supervisors may also be responsible for hiring external contractors when tradespeople are needed for specialized work. Strong leadership, interpersonal, and customer service skills all contribute to keeping team members motivated and maintaining positive relationships with clients.
Service managers and maintenance supervisors may travel to jobsites or consistently work at a single location. They typically work full-time, and shifts can include early mornings, evenings, weekends, and holidays. They are often required to be on call for emergencies.
According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 26,600 supervisors of installation, maintenance, and repair workers in New York State and opportunities for employment are expected to be favorable through 2028 – they project this occupation to grow by 1,530 jobs between 2018 and 2028.
Entering the Field
Service managers and maintenance supervisors need to have a high school diploma or GED Many employers prefer to hire workers with a trade certificate, vocational training, or a degree in HVAC/R, maintenance, or related fields, and some employers require such postsecondary training. Maintenance supervisors need about three to five years of relevant work experience, and service managers may need nine or more years of experience working as an HVAC/R technician with increasing levels of responsibility over time.
Service managers and maintenance supervisors whose job responsibilities involve maintaining HVAC/R systems will be required to have U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Section 608 Technician Certification if they handle refrigerants. Check with local government authorities to see if they have additional licensing requirements for individuals working in these roles.
Service managers may demonstrate their competence with HVAC/R equipment and systems by obtaining certifications issued by industry organizations such as North American Technician Excellence (NATE), Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA), ESCO Group, and the Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI), or manufacturer’s certifications for specific equipment. Maintenance supervisors may benefit from completing programs offered by the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) that result in being credentialed as a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) or Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician (CMRT). A valid New York State driver’s license is necessary for jobs that require traveling between worksites. Check the requirements of local employers to understand which industry certifications are valued for service manager and maintenance supervisor positions, or if they are looking to hire employees knowledgeable about specialized services and equipment such as those related to clean energy HVAC/R systems.
In New York State, the median wage for service managers and maintenance supervisors is approximately $79,700. Entry-level workers earn about $51,800 and experienced workers earn about $97,800.
Annual Wage (Q1 2021 dollars, rounded to 100s) – Statewide and by Labor Market Region
|New York State||$51,800||$79,700||$97,800|
|Central New York||$49,500||$67,000||$81,500|
|New York City||$57,300||$90,100||$106,400|
|Western New York||$49,400||$70,200||$84,500|
Source: New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 49-1011 (First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers)
Different types of organizations hire service managers and maintenance supervisors. The most common employers of these workers include companies in the real estate sector, building equipment construction contractors (which includes HVAC/R contractors), and institutions such as schools and nursing or residential care facilities that hire in-house maintenance personnel.
The top 3 employers with the most online job advertisements in each region in 2020 are listed below.
- Community Builders Incorporated
- Whittier Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center
- Equity Lifestyle Properties
Central New York
- Lockheed Martin Corporation
- Morgan Properties
- Central New York Feeds Inc.
- Morgan Properties
- Conifer Realty, LLC
- Home Leasing, LLC
- Bruni & Campisi Incorporated
- Centers Health Care
- Bristal Assisted Living
- Northwell Health
- Conifer Realty, LLC
- Community Bank System, Inc.
- Electro Metrics
New York City
- HELP USA
- Equity Residential
- Related Management Company
- Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort
- Great Lakes Cheese Company
- Conifer Realty, LLC
- BorgWarner Incorporated
Western New York
- Vie Management
- Buffalo Lodging Associates
Source: Burning Glass Technologies: Labor Insight™. 2021.
As supervisory positions, service managers and maintenance supervisors working in the private sector are unlikely to be members of unions. In some cases, the role of these workers could be predominantly managerial, and they may have a union affiliation. Check with local HVAC/R businesses or employers of building maintenance workers to see if their middle management positions are represented by unions or check with local union chapters active in the HVAC/R field to see if their members include service managers or maintenance supervisors. Also check with public unions that represent local or state government workers to see if their members include service managers and maintenance supervisors.
Education and Training Programs
Service managers or maintenance supervisors seeking training on heat pumps or other environmentally friendly technologies can take courses offered by manufacturers and distributors of clean energy HVAC/R equipment to expand their skillset. Examples of training programs offered by manufacturers are listed below. Additional training may be offered through other manufacturers and distributors in the industry, some of which partner with NYSERDA through Clean Heat Connect. Check with individual manufacturers and distributors for a complete list of online or in-person offerings.
HVAC/R industry organizations that offer certificates or continuing education units (CEUs) also have coursework that focuses on emerging technologies. Examples of these training opportunities are listed below.
NATE offers certification exams for workers at various experience levels or for those looking to expand their skills in a specialized area. Workers can prepare using NATE’s study guides or online Training Academy and take exams to become a NATE-Certified HVAC Professional or demonstrate knowledge of sustainable HVAC/R systems by passing exams on ground source heat pump installation, air to air heat pump installation or service, air distribution installation or service, and low GWP refrigerants.
Steven Winter Associates, Inc.’s Building Electrification Training Series has seven courses that include topics such as heat pumps and managing refrigerants in commercial and residential buildings.
ITEC Training & Education Center offers a variety of HVAC courses, including some specific to heat pumps.
The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)) has online courses related to ground source heat pumps.
ACCA has in-person and online training options for residential and light commercial HVAC (some of which include heat pumps) as well as refrigerants and a course on improving communication with clients.
RETA offers an apprenticeship program, online training, and certifications specific to refrigeration, including the Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialist (CRES) certification.
ESCO Group training and certification topics include Low GWP Refrigerant Safety and Heat Pumps, among a variety of HVAC/R offerings.
BPI offers certification as an Air Conditioning & Heat Pump Professional (among other HVAC/R-related certifications). While they do not have an affiliation with training centers, check to see if a local BPI Test Center offers training.
Certificate and associate degree programs related to HVAC/R systems or property maintenance that prepare workers for jobs as service managers or maintenance supervisors are available across New York State. In addition to the programs listed below, adult continuing education or career training departments at local colleges may offer HVAC/R courses, including some that focus on modern technologies such as automated building systems. Check with schools directly or see which ones partner with ed2go, an online continuing education provider that includes HVAC/R courses.
|Hudson Valley Community College||Applied Technologies||No||•Yes||No||No||No|
|Central New York|
|Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES||HVAC/R Technician||•Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES||Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration||•Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES||Services & Trades||•Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Monroe Community College||Applied Technologies Center||•Yes||•||No||No||No|
|Dutchess Community College||Business, Aviation, and Construction Professions||•Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Electrical Training Center||HVAC/R Program||•Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Suffolk County Community College||Heating, Ventilation, AC and Refrigeration Technology||•Yes||•Yes||No||No||No|
|Fulton-Montgomery Community College||Technology Programs||•Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Mohawk Valley Community College||School of STEM||•Yes||•Yes||No||No||No|
|New York City|
|Apex Technical School||HVAC & Refrigeration||•Yes||No||No||No||No|
|New York City College of Technology (CUNY)||Environmental Control Technology||No||•Yes||No||No||No|
|SUNY at Canton||Canino School of Engineering Technology||No||•Yes||No||No||No|
|SUNY at Delhi||School of Applied Technologies||No||•Yes||No||No||No|
|Western New York|
|Erie 1 BOCES||HVAC||•Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Erie Community College||Manufacturing, Construction, and Trades Programs||•Yes||•Yes||No||No||No|
|SUNY at Alfred||Building Trades||No||•Yes||No||No||No|