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 are employed by heating, 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 group.

Job Outlook

Average

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  • Estimate decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 30 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all 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 decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. 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 fair 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 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

$14.75

Minimum

$28.25

Median

$39.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,836

Minimum

$51,037

Median

$88,418

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

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 are employed by heating, 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 group.

Job 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.
  • 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

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • Completion of 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

490

employed in 2016

92.8%

employed full-time

7.1%

self employed

0.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
39.8

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

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?

53.5%

Halifax

17.5%

Annapolis Valley

13.2%

Northern

8.8%

Southern

6.1%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

64.6%

Construction

7.1%

Retail Trade

5.1%

Public Administration

4.0%

Other Services

4.0%

Educational Services

What is the age of Employment?

47.9%

25-34

16.7%

45-54

12.5%

55-64

12.5%

35-44

10.4%

15-24

4.2%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

47.8%

Trades certificate

$66,200 median annual income
31.9%

College certificate or diploma

$58,013 median annual income
10.6%

High school

$38,055 median annual income
6.2%

Less than high school

$42,061 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration maintenance technology/technician (HAC, HACR, HVAC, HVACR)

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to repair, install, service and maintain the operating condition of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. These programs 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 - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic

Certificate of Qualification (Mandatory): This job is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Certification is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717

Contacts

Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717
Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada - Atlantic
PO Box 9410, Station A
Halifax, NS B3K 5S3
Tel: (902) 425-2445
Fax: (902) 425-2441

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