Becoming a Service Manager
The service manager is the go to person in any HVAC service company. It’s a position that some
technicians wouldn’t take no matter how much the position paid, while other technicians make it
their career goal. I can understand both sides.
It's a sound career plan; a good service manger is worth their weight in gold (try convincing your
employer of that). The other side of the coin is it takes years of sacrifice and hard work to get
there, with the ultimate pay off being….years of hard work and sacrifice.
Advancing to the position of service manager doesn’t happen to many, and many of those who
do make it end up failing. Was it their fault? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Why do some fail at
the position? I believe they underestimate the amount of personal dedication and unrelenting stress tied to the position. I’m not trying to talk anyone out of the position; I just think it only fair that you understand what the position really requires of a person.
It takes years of planning, commitment and plain old fashioned experience to earn the title
Service Manager and you always need to keep your goal in mind when making the tough decisions.
Decisions like volunteering for overtime, filling in for the “on call” technician, or attending an
after hours training seminar instead of grabbing a brew with friends; basically going above and
beyond the call of duty. You need to stay committed to experiencing everything the industry has to throw at you to become knowledgeable in all aspects of the job.
It also takes a lot of emotional intelligence to fill the shoes of a service manager. In the face of
emergencies, you need to be the one who is cool, calm, and collected. You need to be the one who has sense enough to stop and think of the best way to proceed rather than simply reacting.
You need to be the one everyone can, and does, count on to come up with the right answer.
One of the toughest duties of a service manager is playing defense for his Technicians. You need to
have the stomach to back them when they’re in the right; not just to the customer, but to your boss also. You also need to be the boss when one of your technicians is in the wrong. And believe me, this is not as easy as it sounds.
A service manager also needs to be aware of where the money is, where it’s coming from, and
where it’s going because they're the ones responsible for the company’s biggest expenses: man power, and material. You also have to know if a job needs two Technicians, three, or just one as well as who has the right skills to complete the work.
These skills can be learned through job experience, but only if you make an effort to learn them.
And if you do learn the needed skills, you will be rewarded with a position that is well compensated, respected, and secure.
A fantastic resource for HVAC Technician career path guidance is
The images below are just two example of the resources Zippia offers.