Refrigeration and airconditioning mechanics assemble, install, service and repair industrial, commercial and domestic refrigeration and airconditioning systems in homes, shops, factories, office buildings and hospitals.
What do Refrigeration Mechanics do?
A refrigeration and airconditioning mechanic may perform the following tasks:
- follow plans and specifications to install units part by part and bolt them down
- drill holes, install mounting brackets and cut, bend and thread piping
- install parts such as compressors, motors, condensers, evaporators, air filters, switches and gauges, and copper lines for steam, gas, refrigerant, compressed air, fuel, oil and chilled water
- attach piping to refrigeration systems
- work with electricians, pipe fitters and carpenters to install ducting for airconditioning
- check that the parts are lined up and fit properly
- fill systems with gas or fluid and test for leaks
- remove test gas or fluid using vacuum pumps and fill these with refrigerant in accordance with regulations and governing procedures
- test the unit and make adjustments to make sure that it works correctly
- service faulty industrial and household refrigerators and airconditioning units by repairing or replacing faulty parts
When carrying out installation work, refrigeration and airconditioning mechanics may work on large commercial and industrial units that have to be either installed part by part, or that have to be simply installed pre-assembled. Domestic units come already assembled and usually do not require a tradesperson's services for installation. Refrigeration and airconditioning mechanics may need to be skilled in pipefitting, welding and electrical wiring.
Refrigeration and airconditioning mechanics may have to work extended hours to fix breakdowns and carry out emergency repairs.
How do I become a Refrigeration Mechanic?
To become a Refrigeration Mechanic you usually have to complete an Apprenticeship in Electrotechnology (Refrigeration and Airconditioning). Entry requirements may vary but employers generally require a minimum of Year 10. Training is usually both on and off the job. The off-the-job training is provided through Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s), including Group Training Companies. Details of the training may vary depending on the needs of the employer and are finalised as part of the training agreement.
Qualifying as a Refrigeration Mechanic involves:
- Three to four years commitment
- Attending paid work with a “host employer” for the duration of the apprenticeship
- Attending off-the-job training at an RTO
Ideal Personal Requirements to be a Refrigeration Mechanic include:
- Able to work with hand and power tools
- Enjoy and have aptitude for technical work
- Normal colour vision
- Able to work patiently, systematically and thoroughly