Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics assemble, install, maintain and repair industrial, commercial and domestic airconditioning and refrigeration systems and equipment.

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and the majority of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • establishing job requirements from drawings and specifications, and laying out installation reference points
  • drilling holes, installing mounting brackets and cutting, bending and threading piping
  • installing and repairing components such as compressors, motors, condensers, evaporators, switches and gauges, and copper lines for steam, gas, refrigerant, compressed air, oil and chilled water
  • bolting, soldering, riveting, welding and brazing pipes to connect equipment, and checking alignment and accuracy of fit
  • filling systems with gas or fluid to check for leaks
  • test-operating refrigeration systems, checking mechanisms and making adjustments
  • removing test gas and fluid using vacuum pumps, and filling with refrigerant
  • checking and overhauling refrigeration systems, diagnosing faults and repairing and replacing defective components
  • adjusting system controls and mechanisms and reassembling systems
  • recording causes of malfunctioning and action taken

Job Titles

  • Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic

    Fast Facts

    • $1,500 Weekly Pay
    • 26,700 workers Employment Size
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 89.8% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 43.7 hours Average full-time
    • 34 years Average age
    • 1.5% female Gender Share

    The number of Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics grew moderately over the past 5 years and is expected to grow moderately over the next 5 years:
    from 26,700 in 2017 to 28,600 by 2022.
    There are likely to be around 19,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

    • Size: This is a large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
    • Location: Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics work in most regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Construction; Other Services; and Manufacturing.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,500 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (89.8%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43.7 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 34 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 1.5% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

    In 2016, employers in some locations found it hard to fill vacancies for Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics. To find out more, view the Department of Jobs and Small Business latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200722900
    200823700
    200921900
    201024200
    201121300
    201224900
    201324200
    201424200
    201520200
    201629600
    201726700
    202228600

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsAirconditioning and Refrigeration MechanicsAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings15001230

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Construction40.8
    Other Services39.1
    Manufacturing7.2
    Retail Trade6.6
    Other Industries6.3

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateAirconditioning and Refrigeration MechanicsAll Jobs Average
    NSW33.431.6
    VIC15.226.2
    QLD26.319.7
    SA7.76.7
    WA13.910.8
    TAS1.62.0
    NT1.71.1
    ACT0.31.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketAirconditioning and Refrigeration MechanicsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-195.6-5.25.2
    20-2411.6-9.99.9
    25-3437.7-23.623.6
    35-4416.1-21.721.7
    45-5420.0-20.820.8
    55-594.7-8.88.8
    60-641.8-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.6-4.04.0

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationAirconditioning and Refrigeration MechanicsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree0-17.917.9
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma5.6-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV62-18.918.9
    Year 1225.6-18.718.7
    Years 11 & 106.8-17.717.7
    Below Year 100-8.18.1

    A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and the majority of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Electrotechnology VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics who can provide good customer service, are polite and courteous and have a strong work ethic.

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Mechanical

      90% Important

      Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    2. Customer and Personal Service

      84% Important

      Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. Building and Construction

      77% Important

      Materials, methods, and the tools used to construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

    4. Physics

      68% Important

      Physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

    5. Design

      68% Important

      Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 49-9021.01 - Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Activities

    These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

    1. Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment

      92% Important

      Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing mechanical machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

    2. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

      88% Important

      Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

    3. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

      86% Important

      Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

    4. Getting Information

      85% Important

      Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

    5. Handling and Moving Objects

      85% Important

      Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 49-9021.01 - Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers.

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