HVAC companies are one of the most needed maintenance providers in the United States, so being an HVAC project manager is no easy task. While it can be a lucrative career, it requires an impressive educational and technical background.
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed, remember, you’re only one person and will also need to rely on your technicians or team members to help keep your business operating smoothly. You’ll also need the right tools.
Even if you don’t own the company, you can still take on the role of an HVAC project manager or another similar leadership role amongst your peers. The more you learn, the better chance you have of growing with the company and helping them find success. You could even consider becoming an HVAC consultant later down the road if your track record is good enough.
No two projects are alike and your managing style will need to adapt as you grow. For that, we have five secrets to share with you for becoming a successful HVAC project manager in 2023.
Before we dive into the details of how you can be the best HVAC business manager possible, let’s outline the role an HVAC project manager plays in a company.
What does an HVAC Project Manager do?
There are two main aspects to the job: managing projects and managing people. In the real world, you will have to do one of those or both. Managing projects means organizing the timeline, keeping on top of the documentation, and facilitating communication between all stakeholders. Managing people, on the other hand, is exactly what it says on the box: helping everyone deliver the highest standard of work, within the timeline agreed upon.
If you’re curious about the daily tasks of an HVAC project manager, look no further. The organization, Careers in Climate Control Technologystates, “HVAC Project Managers are involved in all aspects of designing, planning, coordinating, staffing, and executing HVAC installation projects. They work with a wide variety of other professionals, including building owners, developers, architects, engineers, and other contractors to ensure the HVAC systems are installed within the allotted budget and time schedule.
Having a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or related field can help in this position, but significant experience with HVAC installations is probably the most relevant qualification. On rare occasions, you will find HVAC project managers who are exceptional at organization and team management and can bypass this requirement. This being said, most will have a minimum of 5-10 years of experience in the installation of commercial HVAC systems. Project Managers must be able to multitask and stay positive while troubleshooting in stressful situations.”
That’s a lot of responsibility!
If you’re getting ready to take on the role of HVAC project manager, consider using these five secrets to success…
The Five Secrets to HVAC Management Success
Be Understanding and Flexible
It’s no surprise that the last couple of years have been tough for some. With the pandemic, inflation, and other world events – life has drastically changed for many.
Take the time to get to know your employees (new and old) and make sure they have the resources they need to be mentally and physically healthy. Happy employees will respect your process and work hard for the company, bringing in more revenue (which reflects best on the manager).
As an HVAC manager, there will be a day when one of your technicians or employees is unable to make it to work. Don’t sweat it – being adaptable will help keep the rest of your team calm and figure out a schedule that works for everyone. Rescheduling a job isn’t the end of the world and can be a good opportunity to demonstrate how seriously your company takes employee well-being. Customers will certainly appreciate that, too.
Build Industry Connections
We’re not here to tell you to become best friends with your enemies (direct competitors) – but there is a lot to be gained by building relative connections or beneficial relationships across the industry.
Finding opportunities to partner with local businesses is a great way to not only discover new clients but give back to the community. If you can demonstrate to the local area that you care about the well-being of their property in more ways than HVAC work – they’ll be more likely to choose your business over a competitor.
You could even team up with other local maintenance companies to find new clients and offer them discounts for using both of your businesses. The more connections you have, the faster you’ll see your business grow and revenue increase!
Skill Development and Goal Setting
The best HVAC project managers are the ones who are willing to help their employees grow in their life and career.
Giving them a proper work-life balance while providing them with the resources they need to find success in their career will create a happy employee that’s excited to work with you.
Great managers are able to decipher a reasonable set of quantifiable goals for each of their employees. No two employees will be the same, so why should their goals be? Discuss with them how they want to grow and help them design a plan that gets them where they want to be.
Admit Your Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes – but not everyone owns up to them.
As an HVAC manager, you’ll have to admit when you make a mistake and help find a resolution. Being an HVAC project manager means you may have to take responsibility for mistakes that employees make under your watch (even if it’s not your fault).
Small mistakes will happen, they’re unavoidable. Successful HVAC project managers will have the know-how to quickly rectify the situation. It can be a great opportunity to teach a new or old employee a new skill or life lesson.
If you admit your mistakes and place blame where it doesn’t belong – you can create an environment that encourages discourse or lying (making more issues in the short and long term).
One of the fastest ways to get left behind in business is by not utilizing the industry technology that’s available to you. Physical documents may still be required in some instances – but with the right HVAC management software – managing your employees and the growth of your business is simple and organized.
Being able to manage your business and team members from one screen will save you time throughout the day and improve communication! Whether you’re taking advantage of vehicle tracking, advanced scheduling, or detailed customer notes – HVAC management software is almost always worth the investment!
What is an HVAC Project Manager’s Salary?
Success will look different for every individual and company. When it comes to finding success as an HVAC manager, take the time to consider your personal and professional goals. Make sure they’re measurable and/or quantifiable – this will help you clearly track your progress as you grow with the role.
According to Glassdoor, “The estimated total pay for an HVAC Project Manager is $83,053 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $76,752 per year. These numbers represent the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model. The estimated additional pay is $6,301 per year. Additional pay could include cash bonuses, commission, tips, and profit sharing.”
The Takeaway on HVAC Management with Commusoft
If you’ve made it your goal to become an HVAC business manager or something similar – using HVAC management software will make sure you stay all-around organized and on top of your day-to-day operations.
To learn more about how Commusoft can help make your life as an HVAC manager easier, check out Hattie’s story, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!
Thanks for checking out the Commusoft blog - I’ve been helping business owners improve their strategies for a few years now, so I hope you were able to take something away from the content I’ve written. Feel free to continue exploring the blog - or reach out to us with any questions!