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

Average

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  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 40 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 205 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 remain largely the same over the next few years. 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.

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

$26.00

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

17.7%

Annapolis Valley

13.3%

North Shore

8.8%

Southern

6.2%

Cape Breton

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%

15-24

19.0%

35-44

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%

Apprenticeship

$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%

Apprenticeship

$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

Adult High School Siploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

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 - Cumberland Campus

Springhill, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This job is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. A valid Certification of Qualification, an apprentice ID, or a temporary work permit is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651

Contacts

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