What Does a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic Do?

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanics (313A) plan, prepare and lay out any cooling system or heating-cooling system that is used in a residential, commercial, institutional or industrial refrigeration setting. They install and start up refrigeration and air cooling systems, connect piping, and maintain, service, repair and replace refrigeration and air cooling systems components and accessories. The NOC Code for this trade is: 7313.

Learn about the business case for training apprentices in the refrigeration and air conditioning field

Job Related Skills, Values and Interests

  • reading and interpreting blueprints, design specifications and written instructions
  • using hand and power tools in order to install equipment in homes, restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals and anywhere where cooling systems are operating
  • measuring, marking and laying out an area where equipment is to be installed
  • detecting why equipment or systems are not working, and fixing it
  • adapting and applying knowledge of cooling systems to a variety of situations
  • working independently or as part of a team to get the job done within deadlines
  • communicating and interacting effectively with co-workers and customers

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic you should preferably have a secondary school diploma this is usually required by employers and unions today, but grade 10 is currently the legal minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades. Completion of a 9,000 hour apprenticeship will include a combination of on-the-job and in-school training, before successfully writing an examination to obtain your Certificate.

To view the Essential Skills for this particular skilled trade, please click the following link:


Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Construction sector can be found on the Ontario College of Trades(OCOT)  website at: www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/construction.

What’s Your Future as a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic?

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanics generally work full-time, mostly indoors, in specific work locations that largely depend on the location of the installation or repair work. Most Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanics find employment with :

  • plumbing, heating and air conditioning construction firms
  • mechanical construction firms
  • commercial refrigerator and air conditioner manufacturers
  • appliance, television, radio and stereo stores
  • may also become self-employed

For additional information about this career, check out the construction sector website at: www.CareersInConstruction.ca.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanics must keep up to date with changes in their trade as new computer technology is introduced.

Wage Rate

  • Apprentices usually start at a wage rate about half that of a journeyperson
  • This rate increases gradually until the final six months of your apprenticeship when you are earning from 85% to 90% of a journeyperson’s wage
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanics can earn anywhere from $14.00/hr to $35.00/hr depending on what geographic area they live in, often with employee benefits and opportunities to work overtime


    Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic for You?

    Can you look at a diagram or blueprint and visualize how things come together?

    Yes      No

    Do you enjoy working with your hands and using different types of tools?

    Yes      No

    Are you able to bend, stretch, reach and work in confined spaces if required?

    Yes      No

    Do you like figuring out what’s wrong with something and then fixing it?

    Yes      No

    Would you work on-call for occasional weekends or evenings?

    Yes      No

    Can you get the job done to deadline with minimal or no supervision?

    Yes      No

    If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic may be for you!

    You may also want to explore other jobs that require similar interests and skills, such as:

    • Gasfitter
    • Sheet metal worker
    • Electrician
    • Appliance service repairer
    • Welder


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