Customer Service Representative

Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service

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    Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses

    • High school diploma or GED

    Preferred Education and Credentials

    • Undergraduate college coursework
    • Knowledge of HVAC/R products


    • Customer service
    • Communication
    • Interpersonal
    • Problem-solving
    • Telephone and computer usage
    • Organization
    • Multi-tasking
    • Scheduling
    • Processing transactions


    Customer service representatives support business operations by providing useful information about products and services the company offers, answering consumers’ questions, and addressing customer complaints. Service-oriented workers with strong interpersonal skills, the ability to be patient, and a pleasant demeanor help maintain customer loyalty.

    Customer service representatives spend their time interacting with customers through telephones and computers, so they must be able to communicate well verbally and in writing. They need to be active listeners to understand customer needs and have knowledge of the products and services being sold as well as an aptitude for problem-solving to respond to customers’ inquiries and satisfactorily resolve complaints. They also serve customers by scheduling appointments; completing a sale; processing orders, returns, or exchanges; and reviewing and managing customer accounts. Within the HVAC/R field, customer service representatives may help dispatch service technicians to customers. Customer service representatives must master basic computer skills (such as Microsoft Office® applications) to complete data entry and keep records of their interactions with customers. The variety of job duties requires customer service representatives to have the ability to multi-task and have strong organizational skills.

    Customer service representatives typically work full-time in offices. Shifts may include evenings, weekends, holidays, and even overnight shifts for those who work in call centers that operate 24 hours a day.

    Job Outlook

    According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 145,500 customer service representatives working across all types of businesses in New York State. Opportunities for employment are expected to be favorable through 2030; the Department projects an increase of 16,150 jobs between 2020 and 2030.

    Entering the Field

    Customer service representatives typically need to have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for an entry-level position, and prior experience is often not required – most employers provide on-the-job training within the first month. However, additional schooling may be an advantage when applying to customer service jobs: more than 60% of customer service representatives in New York State (across all industries) have taken some college courses (but do not have a degree) or have an associate or bachelor’s degree according to American Community Survey data. Within the HVAC/R field, employers may prefer to hire workers who already have knowledge of industry products and related services. Entry-level HVAC/R installers, service technicians (who find that the physical nature of that work is not a good fit), or retail sales associates with familiarity of HVAC/R products can use the insights they have gained from these roles to provide superior customer service.


    In New York State, the median wage for customer service representatives is approximately $46,200. Entry-level workers earn about $34,700, and experienced workers earn about $56,800.

    Annual Wage (Q1 2023 dollars, rounded to 100s) – Statewide and by Labor Market Region

    New York State$34,700 $46,200 $56,800
    Capital Region$34,200 $40,700 $50,300
    Central New York$32,600 $40,800 $51,400
    Finger Lakes$31,700 $40,100 $48,600
    Hudson Valley$35,100 $45,800 $56,400
    Long Island$35,400 $46,600 $57,500
    Mohawk Valley$31,500 $39,200 $47,700
    New York City$36,900 $49,400 $62,600
    North Country$31,200 $37,500 $44,800
    Southern Tier$31,800 $39,800 $50,300
    Western New York$32,300 $40,300 $49,900

    Source: New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 43-4051 (Customer Service Representatives)


    Customer service representatives may be employed by any company that sells products or services.  Within the HVAC/R field, employers could include retail or wholesale distributors of HVAC/R supplies or contractors who install and service systems. These jobs may be advertised with similar titles such as customer relations specialist, customer service advisor, or customer service specialist.

    The top three employers with the most online job advertisements in each region in 2022 are listed below.

    Capital Region

    • Service Experts
    • Johnson Controls Incorporated
    • Trane Technologies

    Central New York

    • Carrier Corporation
    • Holbrook Heating, Inc.
    • Siemens

    Finger Lakes

    • Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning
    • EMCOR Group
    • Halco

    Hudson Valley

    • Bruni & Campisi Incorporated
    • T. Webber Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric
    • Polar Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

    Long Island

    • Gold Star Plumbing (Gold Star Service)
    • The PAR Group
    • Duro Dyne Incorporated

    Mohawk Valley (All ads posted in 2022 were from a single employer.)

    • NP Environmental

    New York City

    • Liberty Home Guard
    • EMCOR Group
    • Johnson Controls Incorporated

    North Country (All ads posted in 2022 were from two employers.)

    • Holbrook Heating, Inc.
    • Siemens

    Southern Tier

    • Motili
    • Siemens
    • Alpine Home Air Products

    Western New York

    • Emerald Heating and Cooling
    • DWC Mechanical, Inc.
    • Northeast HVAC Solutions

    Source: Lightcast™. 2022.

    Labor Unions

    Customer service representatives may belong to unions. The specific union affiliation is usually dependent upon the industry of their employer. Check to see if local HVAC/R businesses that hire customer service representatives have a union affiliation, or check with local union chapters active in the HVAC/R field to see if their members include customer service representatives.

    Education and Training Programs

    A formal education beyond the level of high school is typically not required to work as a customer service representative. For workers who do choose to pursue post-secondary education, coursework in business or communications is relevant for an occupation in customer service. Check local schools to see what programs they offer in these fields.