Home Improvement Consultant

Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service

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    Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses

    • High school diploma or GED

    Preferred Education and Credentials

    • Knowledge of HVAC/R products
    • Driver’s license


    • Sales
    • Energetic and positive
    • Communication
    • Build strong relationships
    • Customer service
    • Schedule appointments
    • Extended standing


    Home improvement consultants provide advisory services to customers looking to undertake remodeling projects or upgrade mechanical systems in their homes, including HVAC/R systems. They provide information to consumers about home improvement products to generate sales of these products and related services. In the HVAC/R field, workers need a basic understanding of different types of heating and cooling equipment, including fossil fuel-based systems; clean energy technologies such as variable refrigerant flow systems, ducted or ductless air source heat pumps, and ground source heat pumps; and IT-enabled building automation or smart systems.

    Successful home improvement consultants approach and greet new customers with energy and a positive attitude. They are self-starters who use strong interpersonal skills to generate sales leads and attract prospective customers. It is necessary for home improvement consultants to communicate well when engaging with clients – both listening attentively to understand their needs and conveying ideas clearly to educate customers about products and promotions and conduct sales presentations.

    Home improvement consultants selling HVAC/R parts, systems, and services must have sufficient technical skills and knowledge of the products to speak intelligibly about them and instill confidence in potential clients. They may assist in project planning and may recommend specific products and design solutions based on each individual customer’s needs. As modern electricity-based systems such as heat pumps become more common, home improvement consultants need to be able to explain their benefits – which can be environmental (e.g., lower carbon emissions), economic (i.e., cost savings), and related to personal comfort. Home improvement consultants follow up with sales leads via phone and are responsible for setting appointments for prospective customers to receive an at-home price estimate; home visits may be done by home improvement consultants themselves or another member of the sales team.

    Having strong customer service skills is essential to establish and maintain good client relationships and contribute to meeting the employer’s sales goals.

    Home improvement consultants generally work indoors. Employees who work at retail locations or showrooms will be required to stand on the sales floor for long hours; other workers may be based in offices and primarily perform their job duties over the phone. Many home improvement consultants work full-time, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. 

    Job Outlook

    According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 74,900 home improvement consultants and other workers in New York State who sell services (non-financial, advertising, or travel). Opportunities for employment are expected to be very favorable through 2030 – they project an increase of 16,240 service-focused sales representative jobs between 2020 and 2030 (across all industries).

    Entering the Field

    Some employers may hire home improvement consultants without a formal education or prior experience, but most require applicants to have a minimum of a high school-level education; the majority of people working as service-related sales representatives in New York State have taken at least some college courses. Employers typically look to hire home improvement consultants with several years of experience and knowledge of HVAC/R products and services (which may include electricity-based systems), a background in construction, or education or prior work in sales. Sales personnel often receive on-the-job training from their employer and may be provided with a script to guide their customer interactions, but they will need the ability to adjust their sales pitch to meet each customer’s needs.

    Home improvement businesses may need to be licensed and, if a home improvement consultant’s job duties require them to perform some construction work, they may be required to obtain an individual contractor’s license. In New York City, for example, home improvement contractors are required to obtain licensure by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs. Home improvement salespersons, however, are not required to be licensed by the city. Check local government requirements for more information regarding working as a home improvement consultant.

    Home improvement consultants whose job duties include visiting customers’ homes may be required to have a driver’s license.


    In New York State, the median wage for home improvement consultants (and other workers who sell services) is approximately $82,500. Entry-level workers earn about $49,400 and experienced workers earn about $120,900.

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

    New York State$49,400 $82,500 $120,900
    Capital Region$42,100 $66,300 $102,600
    Central New York$39,900 $64,300 $92,000
    Finger Lakes$42,200 $66,100 $97,300
    Hudson Valley$48,700 $81,600 $117,100
    Long Island$46,600 $77,000 $108,200
    Mohawk Valley$41,600 $65,300 $97,100
    New York City$54,200 $88,100 $130,900
    North Country$40,900 $63,100 $88,800
    Southern Tier$40,700 $65,100 $95,000
    Western New York$44,800 $76,500 $111,500

    Source: New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 41-3091 (Sales Representatives of Services, Except Advertising, Insurance, Financial Services, and Travel)


    Home improvement consultants who sell HVAC/R products, systems, and services are likely to be employed by home improvement stores, department stores with a home improvement division, and contractors that specialize in building equipment (including boilers and HVAC/R systems). These jobs may also be advertised with the titles “sales representative” or “sales consultant.” Those job titles and keywords such as “home improvement,” “HVAC,” “heating,” “cooling,” “ventilation, or “sales” can be used when searching job advertisements online for opportunities to work as a home improvement consultant. 

    Check with local HVAC/R product and service providers or contractors for additional opportunities to gain employment as a home improvement consultant.

    Labor Unions

    Workers in sales-related occupations have low rates of unionization; those who are members of a union may belong to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) or the larger United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which RWDSU is part of. Check with local communities to see if these unions or others have active local chapters whose members work as home improvement consultants in the HVAC/R field.

    Education and Training Programs

    Educational attainment beyond high school is typically not required to work as a home improvement consultant but it can be advantageous when workers are searching for a job or looking to continue advancing in their careers. Schools throughout New York State offer programs that prepare people to work as home improvement consultants – either with coursework in construction, technical training in the HVAC/R field, or degrees in retail marketing or management. (Schools offering degrees specifically in retail marketing are listed in the table. Other schools may offer general marketing degrees or business degrees with a concentration in marketing. Check with local educational institutions for program availability.)

    Some industry organizations also offer training opportunities targeted to sales professionals. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America Association, Inc. (ACCA) offers online and virtual courses intended to teach customer service skills, improve communication with clients, and provide an overview of basic HVAC/R system and business operations (including definitions for commonly used terms, energy efficiency ratings, and differences between furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps).

    Educational InstitutionDepartmentCertificateAssociateBachelorMasterPhD
    Capital Region
    Columbia Greene Community CollegeConstruction TechnologyYesNoNoNoNo
    Hudson Valley Community CollegeApplied TechnologiesNoYesNoNoNo
    Central New York
    Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCESCertificate ProgramsYesNoNoNoNo
    SUNY MorrisvilleRenewable EnergyNoYesYesNoNo
    Finger Lakes
    Monroe 2-Orleans BOCESHeating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and RefrigerationYesNoNoNoNo
    Monroe Community CollegeHeating, Ventilation & Air ConditioningYesYesNoNoNo
    Hudson Valley
    Dutchess Community CollegeBusiness, Aviation, and ConstructionYesYesNoNoNo
    Long Island
    Electrical Training CenterElectrical & HVAC/RYesNoNoNoNo
    Nassau Community CollegeMarketingNoYesNoNoNo
    Suffolk County Community CollegeHeating, Ventilation, AC and Refrigeration TechnologyYesYesNoNoNo
    Suffolk County Community CollegeBusinessYesYesNoNoNo
    Mohawk Valley
    Fulton-Montgomery Community CollegeHeating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration TechnologyYesNoNoNoNo
    Mohawk Valley Community CollegeSchool of STEMYesYesNoNoNo
    New York City
    Apex Technical SchoolTrade ProgramsYesNoNoNoNo
    New York City College of Technology (CUNY)Environmental Control TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo
    North Country
    SUNY College of Technology at CantonCanino School of Engineering TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo
    Southern Tier
    SUNY at DelhiSchool of Applied Technologies and ArchitectureNoYesNoNoNo
    Tompkins Cortland Community CollegeConstruction and Environmental TechnologyYesYesNoNoNo
    Western New York
    Erie 1 BOCESHVACYesNoNoNoNo
    Erie Community CollegeManufacturing, Construction, and Trades & STEM ProgramsYesNoNoNo
    Niagara County Community CollegeBusiness & STEMNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY at AlfredBuilding TradesNoYesNoNoNo

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