Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Mechanic

As a refrigeration mechanic you’ll build, install, repair and service residential, commercial and industrial cooling and heating systems. Part of your job will involve using welding and brazing equipment to measure, cut and connect pipe, and recharge systems with refrigerant gases. You’ll connect rooftop units to gas, test and balance systems, and connect electrical systems. And you’ll have the capacity to operate and adjust computerized controls, use computer software to calculate loads, work on large machines and prepare work estimates for clients.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Foundation

Gain the skills needed for entry-level position as an apprentice in the refrigeration field.


What you'll learn

  • Construction safety and proper use of ladders, scaffolding and trade-specific tools.
  • Piping basics including swaging, flaring, soldering and brazing. You’ll learn to properly install piping on a working refrigeration system.
  • Refrigeration theory including heat transfer, temperature pressure conversions and calculations, components and practical working applications.
  • Electrical theory including single- and three-phase motors, wiring diagrams and control installation.
Man installing hvac system on roof
Man on ladder inspecting ventilation ducts

What makes TRU's program unique

  • Large, open shop featuring new refrigeration training equipment.
  • Job shadows as part of the program, and great networking with industry professionals to facilitate job placement.
  • Gas theory and hands-on training that is not included in standard refrigeration foundation programs.

What you'll graduate with

  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Foundation Certificate of Completion
  • The in-school technical training for level 1 of apprenticeship
  • 425 work-based hours towards apprenticeship

Program requirements

  • Grade 12 graduation or equivalent
  • Grade 10 Math and English
  • Successful score on ACCUPLACER
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Next program intakes

Kamloops July 26, 2021 to January 28, 2022

Program length

27 weeks


Apprenticeship Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Program

Apprenticeship provides refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic certification through work-based training and in-school technical training. Employers sponsor students for the work-based training and TRU offers the in-school technical training for levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 of your apprenticeship.

Level 1 and 2 each consist of six weeks of technical training, and level 2 and 3 each consist of eight weeks of technical training*. Once you’ve completed all four levels and the required work-based hours, you’ll receive a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Certificate of Apprenticeship and qualify to write the interprovincial Red Seal exam for your Certificate of Qualification.

*Durations will change with program harmonization, starting in 2020. Level 1 will still be six weeks, level 2 will be seven weeks, and level 3 and 4 will be 10 weeks each. Current curriculum will remain in place for the next couple years for students enrolled prior to harmonization.

Additional equipment/supplies provided by student

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning apprentices must purchase the required textbooks and provincial competency manuals, and have a current copy of the BC Building Code (not included in program cost).

Program requirements

  • Must be a registered apprentice with the ITA in BC and possess a valid apprenticeship number
  • Sponsored by an employer registered by the Industry Training Authority (ITA)
  • Must be in good physical health

Apprenticeship training dates

Refrigeration Mechanic (Harmonized) - Level 1November 8, 2021December 17, 2021Kamloops
Refrigeration Mechanic (Harmonized) - Level 2January 4, 2022February 18, 2022Kamloops
Refrigeration Mechanic (Harmonized) - Level 3February 22, 2022April 29, 2022Kamloops
Refrigeration Mechanic - Level 4September 13, 2021November 5, 2021Kamloops
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Costs for Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Mechanic programs

Fees are subject to change.

Costs include items such as student/ancillary fees, books, personal tools and safety gear, which are kept by students when they graduate from the program.

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The in-school technical training costs are based on the number of weeks you need, level 1 and 2 each consisting of six weeks, and level 3 and 4 each consisting of 8 weeks. Contact us for more rates.

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Pete Arkesteyn
Pete Arkesteyn

Pete is a Red Seal refrigeration mechanic with a gasfitter Class A qualification. He worked in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration field for nearly 30 years, before hanging up his tools to pass on his knowledge and experience to students. He enjoys hockey, hiking and biking through Kamloops’ great outdoors, and volunteering with community groups.