Sales Manager

Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service

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    Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses

    • Bachelor’s degree
    • 1-5 years of experience

    Preferred Education and Credentials

    • Knowledge of HVAC/R products and markets
    • Valid driver’s license


    • Sales
    • Communication and presentation
    • Customer service
    • Build strong relationships
    • Problem-solving
    • Analytical
    • Leadership
    • Organization
    • Teamwork
    • Using computers


    Sales managers are heads of entire sales teams, supervising and directing all activities related to selling products and services.

    Excellent communication, customer service, and analytical skills are necessary for sales managers to effectively build trusting relationships with customers and understand their preferences and needs. Sales managers listen to feedback from their clients, apply technical product knowledge to solve problems that customers raise, and analyze sales data – information that they use to develop pricing plans and overall sales strategies and goals to increase their organization’s market share – as well as to set sales targets for the individuals they manage. Sales managers may also conduct market analysis and help develop and implement their employer’s marketing strategy.

    Sales managers need to be strong leaders who coach and motivate their team to meet sales goals. They may use their own sales experience (e.g., presenting product demonstrations and recommendations, negotiating contracts and prices, influencing design choices) to guide more junior sales personnel. Organizational skills are necessary to effectively execute management duties, which include coordinating internal training, tracking and reporting the sales team’s performance, and handling the department’s budget. Sales managers need to be comfortable using computers as their duties may require working in word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and customer relationship management software programs.

    Sales managers not only need to establish effective working relationships with the individuals who report to them and customers, they may collaborate with other department leaders in their organization (e.g., marketing or engineering) to develop new business and grow sales, so teamwork skills are essential.

    Working as a sales manager often requires traveling to meet with vendors and clients. The job is stressful at times, requiring working additional hours at night and on weekends, beyond a sales manager’s typical full-time schedule.

    Job Outlook

    According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 28,900 sales managers in New York State and opportunities for employment are expected to be favorable through 2030 – the Department projects this occupation to grow by 4,100 jobs across all industries between 2020 and 2030.

    Entering the Field

    Sales managers typically need to have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business administration, or management, along with at least several years of relevant experience in sales, and many employers seek to hire candidates who have worked in a related job for three to five years. Workers often build experience in roles as sales representatives or sales engineers before advancing to become managers. Some candidates without a bachelor’s degree, but with considerable work experience such as home improvement consultants, may also qualify for the job. In the HVAC/R field, employers value sales managers with knowledge of the systems and products – expertise that can be used to establish trusting relationships and provide superior customer service.

    Sales managers who must travel to in-person meetings may need a valid driver’s license.


    In New York State, the median wage for sales managers is approximately $211,600. Entry-level workers earn about $120,100 and experienced workers earn about $293,900.

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

    New York State$120,100 $211,600 $293,900
    Capital Region$91,100 $165,500 $225,800
    Central New York$91,000 $161,700 $215,500
    Finger Lakes$87,200 $161,900 $220,500
    Hudson Valley$102,200 $176,600 $244,700
    Long Island$106,400 $174,900 $254,000
    Mohawk Valley$71,100 $128,900 $180,100
    New York City$137,300 $221,800 $321,500
    North Country$72,900 $130,000 $178,800
    Southern Tier$84,400 $162,200 $203,100
    Western New York$90,600 $163,000 $218,300

    Source: New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 11-2022 (Sales Managers)


    Sales managers are employed by companies that sell HVAC/R products and related services, which includes manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and retailers. Contractors whose work focuses on building equipment systems, such as boilers and HVAC/R systems, may also hire sales managers to build and support their client base.

    The top three employers with the most online job advertisements in each region in 2022 are listed below. The most common job titles across these postings were sales manager, territory manager, and business development manager.

    Capital Region (All ads posted in 2022 were from two employers.)

    • Johnson Controls Incorporated
    • Service Experts

    Central New York (All ads posted in 2022 were from a single employer.)

    • Coolsys

    Finger Lakes (All ads posted in 2022 were from a single employer.)

    • Taylor Heating

    Hudson Valley

    • SPX Cooling Technologies, Inc.
    • Dual Fuel Corp
    • Schneider Electric

    Long Island

    • Service Experts
    • Duro Dyne
    • Mason Industries

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

    • ECR International, Inc

    New York City

    • Carrier Corporation
    • Acuity Brands
    • Balticare

    North Country (Employers did not post any job ads online in 2022.)

    Southern Tier (Employers did not post any job ads online in 2022.)

    Western New York

    • Emerald Heating and Cooling
    • Johnson Controls
    • Distech Controls

    Source: Lightcast™. 2022.

    Labor Unions

    Sales managers are typically not members of unions.

    Education and Training Programs

    Colleges and universities throughout New York State offer degree programs in business administration, marketing, and management. Institutions with some of the largest bachelor’s and master’s programs (based on the number of degrees awarded) that can prepare people to work as sales managers are listed in the table below. Other schools, including community colleges, offer associate degrees in these areas of study and the credits earned may be eligible to be applied toward a bachelor’s degree. Check with local educational institutions for additional program availability.

    Educational InstitutionDepartmentCertificateAssociateBachelorMasterPhD
    Capital Region
    Excelsior CollegeBusiness
    Siena CollegeSchool of Business
    SUNY at AlbanySchool of Business
    SUNY Empire State CollegeSchool of Business
    Central New York
    Le Moyne CollegeMadden School of Business
    SUNY College at OswegoSchool of Business
    Syracuse UniversityWhitman School of Management
    Finger Lakes
    Keuka CollegeBusiness
    Saint John Fisher CollegeSchool of Business
    SUNY College at BrockportSchool of Business & Management
    SUNY College at GeneseoSchool of Business
    University of RochesterSimon Business School
    Hudson Valley
    Iona CollegeLaPenta School of Business
    Marist CollegeSchool of Management
    Mercy CollegeSchool of Business
    Long Island
    Adelphi UniversitySchool of Business
    Farmingdale State CollegeBusiness Management
    Hofstra UniversityZarb School of Business
    Long Island UniversitySchool of Business
    Stony Brook UniversityCollege of Business
    Mohawk Valley
    SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at CobleskillBusiness Administration
    SUNY Polytechnic InstituteBusiness
    Utica UniversityBusiness and Economics
    New York City
    Baruch CollegeZicklin School of Business
    CUNY Brooklyn CollegeBusiness Management
    Lehman College (CUNY)School of Business
    New York UniversitySchool of Professional Studies & Stern School of Business
    Pace UniversityLubin School of Business
    St. John’s UniversityProfessional Studies and Business Colleges
    North Country
    Clarkson UniversityDavid D. Reh School of Business
    St. Lawrence UniversityBusiness in the Liberal Arts
    SUNY College at PlattsburghSchool of Business & Economics
    SUNY College at PotsdamBusiness Administration
    SUNY College of Technology at CantonSchool of Business and Liberal Arts
    Southern Tier
    Binghamton UniversitySchool of Management
    Cornell UniversitySamuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
    Elmira CollegeExplore Programs
    Ithaca CollegeSchool of Business
    SUNY at DelhiSchool of Veterinary Science and Professional Studies (incl. business programs)
    Western New York
    Buffalo State CollegeBusiness
    Canisius UniversityRichard J. Wehle School of Business
    Niagara UniversityCollege of Business Administration
    SUNY at FredoniaSchool of Business
    University at BuffaloSchool of Management

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