Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic

NOC (National Occupational Classification)

  • NOC 7313 Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics

Who am I?

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.

Other Titles

Central Air Conditioning Mechanic
Commercial Air Conditioning Mechanic
Heating and Cooling Mechanic
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Residential Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Apprentice
Refrigeration Mechanic

Essential Skills

Essential Skills are not the technical skills required by particular occupations but rather the skills applied in all occupations. These skills provide the foundation for learning all other skills and apply to careers in HVACR. See Employment and Social Development Canada for more details.

The most important Essential Skills for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics are:

  • Reading Text and Document Use – Must be able to understand and extract information pertaining to codes, provincial regulations in addition to complex diagrams and charts.
  • Numeracy – Ability to work with numbers to perform calculations required
  • Thinking Skills – This includes significant use of memory – performing tasks that call upon greater memory use than most jobs

What do I do?

As a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic you may do some of the following:

  • 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.



  • Apprenticeship is one way of starting:  involves both classroom studies and on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified Refrigeration/Air Conditioning
  • Requirements for Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Mechanic apprenticeship programs vary across Canada. In most provinces and territories, you must be at least 16 years old and have a Grade 12 education or equivalent to enter the program. You may find it helpful to have courses in math
  • Some provinces and territories offer secondary school apprenticeship programs that allow high school students to work towards a career as a Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Mechanic. To learn more follow this link to the list of provincial contacts.


  • Certification is required in most provinces, and is available but voluntary in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan. Even where certification is voluntary, it is still recommended. Certification indicates to employers and other workers that you are a skilled professional and may give you a hiring advantage
  • To be certified as a Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Mechanic, you usually need to complete a three- to four-year apprenticeship program including the required on-the-job training, technical training and exams before you are awarded a journeyperson certificate
  • You may be eligible for certification in some provinces and territories if you have more than five years of on-the-job experience and some high school, college or industry courses in refrigeration/air conditioning
  • Certified Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Mechanic can then write the Red Seal Interprovincial Exam to qualify for the Interprovincial Standards’ Red Seal that certifies you for work anywhere in Canada where recognized.