Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic





At a glance

A Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic installs, repairs, services, and maintains a variety of air conditioning, heating and ventilation and air exchange systems, as well as, refrigeration and cooling systems for the food industry. Reliable heating and cooling systems are vitally important to the comfort levels of homes and apartments and to the operation of many commercial enterprises and recreational facilities.

In Manitoba you can train to be either a Commercial Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic or a Residential Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic.


  • Works with equipment in commercial buildings such as apartments, restaurants, hospitals, and ice rinks


  • Installs and maintains residential heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and potable water heating equipment

Career Video(s)

Click below to watch this career in action!


Source: CareerTrekBC

Work environment

Work environments for construction careers can be located outdoors or indoors or both. Work hours may vary as well. Some positions are seasonal while others are all year round, but part-time. Other positions are project-based and may require you to work full-time until the project is complete. And, of course there are careers that have full-time hours all year round.

Below is a list of workplaces where you might find opportunities to gain apprenticeship hours and/or experience. (Source: Apprenticeship Manitoba Handbook and Manitoba Prospects)

  • Air conditioning contractors
  • Refrigeration equipment dealers
  • Truck transportation firms
  • Storage warehouses

Commercial: buildings such as apartments, restaurants, hospitals, and ice rinks

Residential: private residences

Other conditions: N/A

Mini Skills Assessment

If you answer YES to the questions below, then you should consider becoming a Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic.

  • Do you enjoy variety on the job?
  • Do like problem solving?
  • Do you prefer to work alone?
  • Are you mechanically inclined?
  • Do you like hands-on work?
  • Do you like to work with customers?

Essential Skills Profiles

The Government of Canada Job Bank has identified Nine Literacy and Essential Skills (Reading, Writing, Document Use, Numeracy, Computer Use, Thinking, Oral Communication, Working with Others, and Continuous Learning).

Below you will find links to the Essential Skills Profiles for this occupation and/or related ones.


Below you will find the annual salaries for apprentices and journeypersons for a Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic (Commercial/ Residential).

Minimum for Apprentices

Apprenticeship Manitoba Handbook 2013 - 14


Average for Journey Persons

Apprenticeship Manitoba Handbook 2013 - 14


For more information on apprenticeship wages, visit

Every year, the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) Construction Sector releases Minimum Wage Schedules for Manitoba. Below are the minimum wage rates for this career.

Minimum Wage RateJanuary 1, 2017



Note: To receive the most up-to-date information about satisfying apprenticeship level requirements, contact Apprentice Manitoba or visit

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic (Commercial/ Residential)

Program Length (Minimum Years)

Commercial: 5 years

Residential: 4 years

Level Requirements

Required Hours for each level (L)


L1: 1, 800 hours L2: 1, 800 hours

L3: 1, 800 hours L4: 1, 800 hours L5: 1, 800 hours


L1: 1, 800 hours L2: 1, 800 hours

L3: 1, 800 hours L4: 1, 800 hours

Technical Training/Year (weeks in class)


Y1: 9 weeks Y2: 9 weeks Y3: 9 weeks Y4: 9 weeks

Y5: 10 weeks


Y1: 9 weeks Y2: 9 weeks Y3: 9 weeks Y4: 10 weeks

Additional Licensing

Commercial and Residential: No

Trades Qualification Requirements (minimum experience required)

Minimum years of experience required

(within last 10 years)

Commercial: 7.5 years

Residential: 6 years

Minimum hours experience required

Commercial: 13, 500 hours

Residential: 10, 800 hours

Practical Exam required

Commercial: No

Residential: No

Compulsory Apprenticeship/Certificate of Qualifications required to work

Commercial: Yes

Residential: Yes

Red Seal Trade available

Commercial: Yes

Residential: No

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"I notice that friends of mine who have other careers, do not seem to be able to take the time off that I can."


"It is incredibly diverse and always changing. I never get bored, because it always keeps me on my toes."