Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Mechanics

(NOC 7313)

in All Trades and Transportation

Heating, 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 work for heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning installation contractors, various industrial settings, food wholesalers, engineering firms and retail and servicing companies. Transport refrigeration mechanics are included in this group.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 95 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Mechanics most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work). With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers. Also, a average portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 70% of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Mechanics who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $54,077. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$17.00

Minimum

$28.00

Median

$42.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,836

Minimum

$51,037

Median

$88,418

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$27.25

Median

$35.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Heating, 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 work for heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning installation contractors, various industrial settings, food wholesalers, engineering firms and retail and servicing companies. Transport refrigeration mechanics are included in this group.

Job duties

Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics:

  • Read and interpret blueprints, drawings, or other specifications.
  • Measure and lay out reference points for installation.
  • Assemble and install refrigeration or air conditioning components like 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.
  • Startup 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.

Sample job titles

  • air conditioning and heating mechanic
  • heating and cooling mechanic
  • heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) mechanic
  • refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic
  • refrigeration and mechanical technician
  • refrigeration mechanic
  • refrigeration technician
  • transport refrigeration technician

Skills

  • This work requires an understanding of the principles of electricity and a mechanical aptitude. You should be able to follow instructions and perform detailed work. A strong background in mathematics and the sciences is important. You should also have physical strength, stamina, and the ability to work at heights.

Job requirements

  • High school is usually required.
  • A three- to five-year apprenticeship program or 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.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Other considerations

  • Workers may be self-employed and provide services as needed to their clients. Therefore, earnings may vary throughout the year and depend upon the person's ability to attract and retain customers. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience

By the numbers

Quick look

570

employed in 2016

92.0%

employed full-time

8.0%

self employed

1.8%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
98.2%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
39.8

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

54.0%

Halifax

$52,622 median annual income
17.7%

Annapolis Valley

$49,111 median annual income
13.3%

North Shore

$51,345 median annual income
8.8%

Southern

$52,868 median annual income
6.2%

Cape Breton

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

64.6%

Construction

7.1%

Retail trade

6.1%

Manufacturing

5.1%

Public administration

4.0%

Educational services

What is the age of Employment?

24.0%

25-34

22.0%

45-54

19.0%

35-44

19.0%

15-24

13.0%

55-64

3.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

47.4%

Trade Certification

$58,030 median annual income
31.6%

College Diploma

$52,494 median annual income
10.5%

High school

$42,291 median annual income
6.1%

Less than high school

N/A
3.5%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Refrigeration Maintenance Technician (HAC, HACR, HVAC, HVACR)

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, install, service and maintain the operating condition of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. They include courses in diagnostic techniques, the use of testing equipment and the principles of mechanics, electricity, and electronics as they relate to the repair of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Individuals must hold a Certification of Qualification, be a registered apprentice, or hold a temporary work permit to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada - Atlantic
Halifax, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.