Sales Engineer

Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service

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    Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses

    • Bachelor’s degree

    Preferred Education and Credentials

    • Knowledge of HVAC/R system design and equipment


    • Sales
    • Engineering and technological
    • Communication and presentation
    • Customer service
    • Build strong relationships
    • Problem-solving
    • Organization
    • Take initiative
    • Teamwork


    Sales engineers sell sophisticated technological goods to business customers, including engineers and mechanical contractors. They utilize both technical and sales skills to perform their job duties.

    Strong interpersonal, communication, and problem-solving skills are critical for sales engineers to build enduring relationships with clients. They need to actively listen to understand customers’ needs and then use technical knowledge of industry products and services to design system solutions and recommend equipment that aligns with their clients’ plans and specifications. The products that sales engineers in the HVAC/R field may sell include traditional fossil-fuel based equipment as well as modern electricity-based heating and cooling devices and IT-enabled building automation (smart) systems. Workers whose past experience focused on oil and gas burning boilers, furnaces, and chillers will need additional training on clean energy systems as the use of air and ground source heat pumps, variable refrigerant flow systems, and other environmentally friendly technologies increases.

    Sales engineers prepare and demonstrate products to clients and they need strong presentation skills to pitch proposals that persuade customers of the value of the products and services they are selling. As electrification of mechanical systems in homes and larger buildings becomes more common, sales engineers need to be able to communicate the benefits of heat pumps and similar clean energy technologies – which include reduced carbon emissions to help the environment, cost savings from system efficiency, and improved comfort resulting from features such as multiple heating and cooling zones in the building.

    They also provide cost estimates to customers, prepare sales contracts, and oversee product orders and shipping to complete sales transactions. Sales engineers provide ongoing customer service support to clients by providing training and technical support, including altering the design of products as needed to meet customers’ specifications. They must be organized and able to prioritize tasks to meet the needs of multiple clients.

    Effective sales engineers are self-starters who take initiative to develop new business and grow sales by engaging with prospective clients, conducting research into new markets and products, aiding in the design and formation of new products, and contributing to their employer’s marketing strategies. They often collaborate with other sales, marketing, and manufacturing personnel, so it is important that sales engineers work well as members of a larger team.

    Working as a sales engineer often requires traveling to vendor or client meetings, and sometimes trade organization events. Sales engineers who are responsible for client accounts over large regions tend to travel farther and more frequently than those who oversee smaller areas. Most sales engineers work full-time, and the job can be stressful as many work extra hours over evenings and weekends to meet sales targets.

    Job Outlook

    According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 2,700 sales engineers in New York State. Employment prospects are expected to be favorable through 2030 – the Department projects this occupation to grow by 460 jobs across all industries between 2020 and 2030.

    Entering the Field

    A bachelor’s degree and sales experience are typically required by employers hiring sales engineers – many look for candidates with three or more years of experience selling or working with related products in a technical capacity. Relevant programs of study include engineering (with a focus on mechanical engineering for sales engineers in the HVAC/R field), business, or marketing. New graduates without any sales experience or mechanical engineers who work in design consulting and want to transition into sales often receive on-the-job training through working with more seasoned workers. Workers without a bachelor’s degree who want to work as sales engineers need to prove their competence through extensive years of technical and sales experience. Within the HVAC/R field, experienced service technicians, service managers, cost estimators, or inspectors can use the knowledge of HVAC/R products and system design that they gained through experience installing, maintaining, and repairing equipment to transition into a role as a sales engineer. Knowledge of clean energy products such as heat pumps and building automation systems is increasingly important as their use becomes more commonplace.

    Sales engineers may choose to demonstrate competence by obtaining certification(s) from the Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF). MRERF offers training to become a Certified Professional Manufacturer’s Representative (CPMR) or a Certified Professional Sales Consultant (CPSC), formerly titled Certified Sales Professional (CSP), although employers do not generally require these credentials. Sales engineers who must travel may need to have a driver’s license. 


    In New York State, the median wage for sales engineers is approximately $112,700. Entry-level workers earn about $78,700 and experienced workers earn about $161,600.

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

    New York State$78,700 $112,700 $161,600
    Capital Region$68,900 $95,600 $121,800
    Central New York$72,200 $100,800 $123,700
    Finger Lakes$67,500 $101,300 $132,000
    Hudson Valley$81,400 $114,900 $142,700
    Long Island$81,700 $110,700 $146,100
    Mohawk Valley$53,600 $87,000 $100,500
    New York City$91,900 $139,800 $191,300
    North CountryN/AN/AN/A
    Southern Tier$68,800 $95,400 $117,900
    Western New York$65,600 $87,900 $110,700

    Source: New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 41-9031 (Sales Engineers); N/A denotes wage data that is not available.


    Sales engineers working in the HVAC/R field are often employed by companies that manufacture ventilation, heating, air conditioning, or refrigeration equipment, or wholesale distributors that sell these products. Online job advertisements posted in 2022 for openings in New York State all included “sales engineer” in the job title; some job ads used a more specific title, such as inside sales engineer. Searching online job boards using those titles and keywords such as “HVAC,” “heating,” “ventilation,” “air conditioning,” or “refrigeration” can help to identify opportunities to work in this occupation.

    Labor Unions

    Workers in sales occupations tend to have low rates of unionization. Check to see if local employers that hire sales engineers have a union affiliation or check with local union chapters active in the HVAC/R field to see if they represent sales engineers.

    Education and Training Programs

    Sales engineers who want a general understanding of clean energy building mechanical systems can enroll in Steven Winter Associates, Inc.’s Building Electrification Training Series, which covers topics such as heat pumps and strategies for implementing environmentally friendly systems. Those who sell and support specific HVAC/R equipment (including modern electricity-based variable refrigerant flow systems, heat pumps, and building automation systems) can receive training offered by manufacturers and distributors of those technologies. See which companies partner with NYSERDA through Clean Heat Connect and check with individual manufacturers and distributors for a complete list of online or in-person course offerings and to see which ones are most appropriate for sales professionals.

    A variety of educational programs at colleges, universities, or technical schools (some of which are listed in the table below) may prepare workers to become a sales engineer in the HVAC/R field – from a certificate or associate degree focused on HVAC/R or mechanical engineering technology to a bachelor’s degree in engineering or business. Workers with a master’s degree may not be required to have as many years of experience as those with an undergraduate degree or field experience.

    Educational InstitutionDepartmentCertificateAssociateBachelorMasterPhD
    Capital Region
    Excelsior CollegeBusinessNoYesYesYesNo
    Excelsior CollegeTechnologyNoYesYesNoNo
    Hudson Valley Community CollegeApplied TechnologiesNoYesNoNoNo
    Hudson Valley Community CollegeBusiness and Criminal JusticeNoYesNoNoNo
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)Lally School of ManagementNoNoYesYesYes
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)School of EngineeringNoNoYesYesYes
    SUNY AdirondackSchool of EngineeringNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY at AlbanySchool of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    SUNY at AlbanyCollege of Engineering and Applied SciencesNoNoYesYesYes
    SUNY Empire State CollegeSchool of BusinessNoYesYesYesNo
    Central New York
    Bryant & Stratton CollegeBusinessNoYesNoNoNo
    Cayuga County Community CollegeSchool of BusinessYesYesNoNoNo
    Cayuga County Community CollegeSchool of Science, Technology, Engineering and MathematicsNoYesNoNoNo
    Le Moyne CollegeMadden School of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Onondaga Community CollegeSchool of Arts, Communication, Business & EntrepreneurshipNoYesNoNoNo
    Onondaga Community CollegeSchool of Technology, Engineering & ComputingNoYesNoNoNo
    Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCESCertificate ProgramsYesNoNoNoNo
    SUNY College at OswegoSchool of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Syracuse UniversityCollege of Engineering and Computer ScienceNoNoYesYesYes
    Syracuse UniversityWhitman School of ManagementNoNoYesYesYes
    Finger Lakes
    Finger Lakes Community CollegeBusinessNoYesNoNoNo
    Finger Lakes Community CollegeSmart Systems TechnologiesYesYesNoNoNo
    Genesee Community CollegeBusiness & CommerceNoYesNoNoNo
    Monroe 2-Orleans BOCESHeating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and RefrigerationYesNoNoNoNo
    Monroe Community CollegeApplied Technologies, Business Administration, Engineering Science, and Engineering TechnologiesYesYesNoNoNo
    Rochester Institute of TechnologyCollege of Engineering TechnologyNoNoYesYesNo
    Rochester Institute of TechnologyKate Gleason College of EngineeringNoNoYesYesYes
    Rochester Institute of TechnologySaunders College of BusinessNoNoYesYesYes
    Saint John Fisher CollegeSchool of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    SUNY College at BrockportSchool of Business & ManagementNoNoYesYesNo
    SUNY College at GeneseoSchool of BusinessNoNoYesNoNo
    University of RochesterHajim School of Engineering & Applied SciencesNoNoYesYesYes
    University of RochesterBarry Florescue Undergraduate Business Program or Simon Business SchoolNoNoYesYesYes
    Hudson Valley
    Dutchess Community CollegeBusiness, Aviation, and Construction Professions & Physical Sciences, Engineering and TechnologyYesYesNoNoNo
    Iona CollegeLaPenta School of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Marist CollegeSchool of ManagementNoNoYesYesNo
    Mercy CollegeSchool of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Rockland Community CollegeSchool of Business and Professional StudiesNoYesNoNoNo
    Rockland Community CollegeSchool of Science, Technology, Engineering and MathematicsNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY New PaltzSchool of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    SUNY New PaltzScience & EngineeringNoNoYesNoNo
    SUNY Westchester Community CollegeSchool of Business and Professional CareersNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY Westchester Community CollegeSchool of Mathematics, Science and EngineeringNoYesNoNoNo
    Long Island
    Adelphi UniversitySchool of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Electrical Training CenterElectrical & HVAC/RYesNoNoNoNo
    Farmingdale State CollegeSchool of BusinessYesNoYesNoNo
    Farmingdale State CollegeSchool of Engineering TechnologyNoNoYesYesNo
    Hofstra UniversityDeMatteis School of Engineering & Applied ScienceNoNoYesYesNo
    Hofstra UniversityZarb School of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Nassau County Community CollegeBusiness, Marketing, & Engineering, Physics, and TechnologyYesYesNoNoNo
    New York Institute of TechnologyCollege of Engineering & Computing SciencesNoNoYesYesYes
    New York Institute of TechnologySchool of ManagementNoNoYesYesNo
    Stony Brook UniversityCollege of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Stony Brook UniversityCollege of Engineering and Applied SciencesNoNoYesYesYes
    Suffolk County Community CollegeBusiness, Engineering, & Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration TechnologyYesYesNoNoNo
    Mohawk Valley
    Fulton-Montgomery Community CollegeBusiness & TechnologyYesYesNoNoNo
    Hartwick CollegeBusiness AdministrationNoNoYesNoNo
    Herkimer County Community CollegeBusiness & Science and TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo
    Mohawk Valley Community CollegeSchool of Business and HospitalityNoYesNoNoNo
    Mohawk Valley Community CollegeSchool of STEMYesYesNoNoNo
    SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at CobleskillBusiness AdministrationNoYesYesNoNo
    SUNY Polytechnic InstituteBusiness & Engineering ProgramsNoNoYesYesNo
    Utica UniversityBusiness and EconomicsNoNoYesYesNo
    New York City
    Apex Technical SchoolHVAC & RefrigerationYesNoNoNoNo
    Baruch College (CUNY)Zicklin School of BusinessNoNoYesYesYes
    Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY)Business Management & ScienceNoYesNoNoNo
    Columbia University in the City of New YorkColumbia Business SchoolNoNoNoYesYes
    Columbia University in the City of New YorkColumbia EngineeringNoNoYesYesYes
    CUNY Brooklyn CollegeBusiness ManagementNoNoYesYesNo
    LaGuardia Community College (CUNY)Business and Technology & Math, Engineering and Computer ScienceNoYesNoNoNo
    New York City College of Technology (CUNY)School of Professional StudiesNoYesNoNoNo
    New York City College of Technology (CUNY)School of Technology & DesignNoYesYesNoNo
    New York UniversityStern School of BusinessNoNoYesYesYes
    New York UniversityTandon School of EngineeringNoNoYesYesYes
    Queensborough Community College (CUNY)Business Academy & Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) AcademyNoYesNoNoNo
    St. Joseph’s UniversityBusiness Administration and ManagementYesNoYesYesNo
    The City College of New York (CUNY)Colin Powell School for Civic and Global LeadershipNoNoYesNoNo
    The City College of New York (CUNY)The Grove School of EngineeringNoNoYesYesYes
    North Country
    Clarkson UniversityCoulter School of EngineeringNoNoYesYesYes
    Clarkson UniversityDavid D. Reh School of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Clinton Community CollegeBusiness, Computer and Electronics Technology, & Mechanical TechnologyYesYesNoNoNo
    Jefferson Community CollegeBusiness and EngineeringNoYesNoNoNo
    St. Lawrence UniversityBusiness in the Liberal ArtsNoNoYesNoNo
    SUNY College at PlattsburghSchool of Business & EconomicsNoNoYesNoNo
    SUNY College at PotsdamBusiness AdministrationNoNoYesYesNo
    SUNY College of Technology at CantonCanino School of Engineering TechnologyNoYesYesNoNo
    SUNY College of Technology at CantonSchool of Business and Liberal ArtsNoYesYesNoNo
    Southern Tier
    Binghamton UniversitySchool of ManagementNoNoYesYesYes
    Binghamton UniversityThomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied ScienceNoNoYesYesYes
    Cornell UniversitySamuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of ManagementNoNoNoYesYes
    Cornell UniversitySibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNoNoYesYesYes
    Ithaca CollegeBusiness and Professional StudiesNoNoYesNoNo
    SUNY Broome Community CollegeBusiness and Professional StudiesNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY Broome Community CollegeScience, Technology, Engineering and MathematicsNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY Corning Community CollegeBusiness and Finance; Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Computing and Information Systems; & Technology and ManufacturingNoYesNoNoNo
    SUNY at DelhiSchool of Applied Technologies and ArchitectureNoYesYesNoNo
    SUNY at DelhiSchool of Veterinary Science and Professional Studies (incl. business programs)NoYesYesNoNo
    Western New York
    Alfred UniversityCollege of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Alfred UniversityInamori School of EngineeringNoNoYesYesNo
    Bryant & Stratton CollegeBusinessYesYesYesNoNo
    Buffalo State CollegeBusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Buffalo State CollegeEngineering TechnologyNoNoYesYesNo
    Canisius UniversityRichard J. Wehle School of BusinessNoNoYesYesNo
    Erie 1 BOCESHVACYesNoNoNoNo
    Erie Community CollegeBusiness, HVAC, and EngineeringYesYesNoNoNo
    Jamestown Business CollegePrograms of StudyNoYesYesNoNo
    Niagara County Community CollegeBusiness & STEMYesYesNoNoNo
    Niagara UniversityCollege of Business AdministrationNoNoYesYesNo
    SUNY at AlfredBuilding Trades, Business, & Mechanical and Electrical Engineering TechnologyNoYesYesNoNo
    University at BuffaloSchool of Engineering and Applied SciencesNoNoYesYesYes
    University at BuffaloSchool of ManagementNoNoYesYesYes

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