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7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics

Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics install, maintain, repair and overhaul residential central air conditioning systems, commercial and industrial refrigeration and air conditioning systems and combined heating, ventilation and cooling systems. They are employed by refrigeration and air conditioning installation contractors, various industrial settings, food wholesalers, engineering firms and retail and servicing establishments. Transport refrigeration mechanics are included in this unit group.

Example Titles

central air conditioning mechanic
commercial air conditioning mechanic
heating and cooling mechanic
heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) mechanic
refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic apprentice
refrigeration mechanic
transport refrigeration mechanic

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Main duties

Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Read and interpret blueprints, drawings or other specifications
  • Measure and lay out reference points for installation
  • Assemble and install refrigeration or air conditioning components such as motors, controls, gauges, valves, circulating pumps, condensers, humidifiers, evaporators and compressors using hand and power tools
  • Measure and cut piping, and connect piping using welding and brazing equipment
  • Install, troubleshoot and overhaul entire heating, ventilation, air handling, refrigeration and air conditioning systems
  • Start up system and test for leaks using testing devices
  • Recharge system with refrigerant, check and test regulators, calibrate system and perform routine maintenance or servicing
  • Repair and replace parts and components for entire refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation or heat pump systems
  • May install, maintain and repair equipment in refrigerated trucks used to transport food or medical supplies
  • May prepare work estimates for clients.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a three- to five-year apprenticeship program
    A combination of over five years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in refrigeration and air conditioning repair is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification for refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics is compulsory in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and available, but voluntary, in all other provinces and the territories.
  • Trade certification for transport refrigeration mechanics is available, but voluntary, in New Brunswick, Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Additional information

  • The Red Seal endorsement allows for interprovincial mobility.
  • Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Classified elsewhere

  • Domestic refrigerator or window air conditioner servicers and repairers (in 7332 Appliance servicers and repairers )
  • Supervisors of refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics (in 7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades )

Classification Structure - 7