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Refrigeration Mechanic

Refrigeration Mechanics cover a large portion of work in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration area. This is usually referred to as HVACR. They are responsible for installation and maintenance of large and small refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, including electrical and gas operated units for all types of residential, commercial and institutional, and industrial applications.
Job Description

"HVACR" tradespersons work on air conditioning systems for homes and in apartment and office buildings and they also install / maintain refrigeration and freezer systems found in supermarkets and large industries. As a Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Mechanic, they usually complete gas piping installations, work on high voltage electrical components, troubleshoot and repair electronic control systems including DDC and Building Automation and assemble the components of refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. Testing, analyzing, overhauling, repairing, and start up of the systems is a major part of their work.

Training to become a Refrigeration Mechanic is available through a union apprenticeship program offered by the United Association of Journeypersons and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada.

The application process to become a part of the union includes in most jurisdictions in Canada that you must be at least 16 years of age and have a minimum Grade 12 education. Refrigeration Mechanic is a complex, analytical trade, and taking courses in mathematics and science, as well as having good oral and writing skills, are necessary in preparing yourself for a career as a Refrigeration Mechanic. An apprentice is someone who learns a trade by working under the guidance of a qualified Journeyperson in the trade so they "learn while they earn". The skills that are developed under this arrangement have been a proven model for the trades since the 1400's when the apprenticeship model began. Learning skills from a person that has completed their trade is still the best way to become a master at your craft. The apprentice also has to attend training at a registered apprenticeship program delivery agent and learn the theoretical skills required for the position. You get paid by the hour while working on the job site. See our salaries link for more information.


Apprenticeship is both an ancient tradition and a highly effective modern training method, proving to still be the best system for trades training. This is a highly rewarding career path for an individual who is motivated to learn the piping trade and become an active member of a proud and noble trade union. The rewards of Union Apprenticeship Training are the good wages and benefits you receive as a skilled craftsperson. You'll be working under the protection of a union contract with insurance, pension and health and welfare benefits. In the long run, it pays to become a Refrigeration Mechanic, trained through Union Apprenticeship!