Did you know?

Many trades can be started while you are still at school. Ask your careers advisor about schools-based trades and rail traineeships.

Occupation description

Air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics cover both electrical and mechanical areas. They assemble, install, service and repair refrigeration and air conditioning systems. Air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics may also be involved in pipefitting, welding and electrical wiring.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

You will need to be able to work with hand and power tools and enjoy technical work. You must also be able to work patiently, systematically and thoroughly, and have a strong regard for safety.

Working conditions

You will be paid while you complete your apprenticeship studies. You may travel and work in metropolitan and regional locations to develop your skills, and work with both public and private contractors. You also may be called out during emergencies, at any time of the day or night, and in all weather conditions. You must have a strong regard for safety.

Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development

  • New Zealand: mechanical engineering trade qualification and post study trade certificate. Entry requirements vary but employers usually require NTEA1 for entrance into a trade course, with good results in maths and English. You will up-skill as technology changes through in-house or external training and certifications.
  • Australia: mechanical trade qualification such as Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning plus post study trade certificate. Entry requirements vary but employers usually require Year 10. You will up-skill as technology changes through in-house or external training. In Australia, you need special handling licences issued by the Australian Refrigeration Council.

Additional tickets, certification, registration or licences may be required to work in the rail corridor.

The value of a career in the rail industry

For even more details on what you might earn, the diversity of companies you could work for and the career opportunities available, visit the following careers and training websites. Careers in Rail by the Australasian Railway Association; About the Rail Industry by Rail Skills Australasia and Rail Training by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC).

For more information

Career paths

Typically, you will progress from an entry level position such as an apprentice, through to more senior roles in your area of specialisation such as a supervisor or specialist. Once in the rail industry, you will need to complete additional studies or authorisations which will depend on operational and government requirements to progress.

In Australia, there are related certificate IV, diploma and advanced diploma qualifications that may help in your career.

This information is generic. Job titles  and the experience and qualifications needed to move into other jobs may vary slightly from state to state depending on the structure and needs of your organisation and government rules and regulations.

 For more information on related qualifications in Australia

Related Jobs

The jobs below may require additional qualifications as well as experience.

Career Path Flowchart

Typical career path for an air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic