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

    You usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic-fitter to work as an Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic.

    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

    All Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics

    • $1,400 Weekly Pay
    • Stable Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 28,500 workers Employment Size
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • 89% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 44 hours Average full-time
    • 33 years Average age
    • 1% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to stay about the same over the next 5 years:
    from 28,500 in 2018 to 29,200 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 18,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 3,600 a year).

    • Size: This is a large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Construction; Other Services; and Manufacturing.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,400 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (89%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 33 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (22%).
    • Gender: 1% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employers found it hard to fill vacancies for Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics in 2018. Find out more in the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business latest report on Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200823700
    200921800
    201024100
    201121300
    201224900
    201324200
    201423700
    201520100
    201629200
    201724000
    201828500
    202329200

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings14001460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Construction44.8
    Other Services38.4
    Manufacturing4.2
    Retail Trade2.4
    Other Industries10.2

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    NSW33.631.6
    VIC18.325.6
    QLD22.620.0
    SA8.07.0
    WA12.410.8
    TAS1.42.0
    NT2.01.0
    ACT1.71.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketAirconditioning and Refrigeration MechanicsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-196.7-5.05.0
    20-2415.7-9.39.3
    25-3430.3-22.922.9
    35-4419.9-22.022.0
    45-5416.1-21.621.6
    55-596.0-9.09.0
    60-643.6-6.06.0
    65 and Over1.8-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate0.4-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree2.3-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.9-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV71.8-21.121.1
    Year 1211.9-18.118.1
    Year 113.2-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below5.4-12.512.5

    You usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic-fitter to work as an Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • construction induction card (white card)
    • driver's licence
    • Psychometric or aptitude tests

    Thinking about study or training?

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

    • 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.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Mechanical

      76% Skill level

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

    2. Building and construction

      71% Skill level

      Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

    3. Customer and personal service

      67% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    4. Physics

      59% Skill level

      The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

    5. Technical design

      57% Skill level

      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 skills and 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Face-to-face discussions

      93% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    2. Outdoors, exposed to weather

      92% Important

      Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

    3. Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

      90% Important

      Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

    4. Telephone

      90% Important

      Talk on the telephone.

    5. In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

      89% Important

      Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and 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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