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How to become a Refrigeration Air Conditioning Technician

refrigeration air conditioning technician careers

What does a Refrigeration Air Conditioning Technician do?

Refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians, sometimes known as building services technicians, are responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of systems which control temperature, humidity and air quality in domestic, retail, commercial and industrial premises.

Refrigeration work covers sectors such as food production, transport, storage and distribution services, and hospital medical services.

Technicians’ duties include:

  • undertaking initial surveys of proposed installation sites
  • assessing the feasibility and implications of plans
  • producing estimates for installation and equipment costs
  • organising work schedules, craftspeople and materials
  • supervising work through to completion
  • carrying out inspection and testing of systems.
In most cases, technicians work as part of a team. For a major project, the team works under the direction of a qualified engineer, but smaller jobs may be supervised by technicians.

What's the working environment like working as a Refrigeration Air Conditioning Technician?

Technicians work a 38-hour week, but this is flexible depending on the type of work and deadlines. Overtime may be available.

Conditions vary depending on the building or site. Personal protective equipment may be required for some jobs.

Maintenance or installation technicians move from job to job, and can be based anywhere in the UK or overseas for many months at a time. A driving licence is helpful.

What does it take to become a Refrigeration Air Conditioning Technician?

As a refrigeration or air-conditioning technician, you should:

  • have good numeracy skills for calculations and costing
  • have good communication skills
  • be able to explain technical matters in clear terms
  • be able to read technical drawings, cabling plans and basic circuit diagrams
  • have a polite, pleasant manner
  • have normal colour vision
  • keep up to date with national and European directives on refrigerants
  • be aware of health and safety issues.

Refrigeration Air Conditioning Technician Career Opportunities

Refrigeration and air-conditioning is an expanding industry in the UK and abroad. Rapid economic development means there are many opportunities to work overseas.

Technicians can specialise in particular areas such as transport refrigeration. With experience, they can progress into supervisory management positions. Technicians who undertake further training can become fully qualified engineers. See the profile for Building Services Engineer.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Refrigeration Air Conditioning Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB)
76 Mill Lane
Tel: 020 8647 7033

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
222 Balham High Road
SW12 9BS
Tel: 020 8675 5211

Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA)
ESCA House
34 Palace Court
W2 4JG

Tel: 08000 688336

Engineering Council
10 Maltravers Street
Tel: 020 7240 7891

Institute of Refrigeration

Courses to help you become a Refrigeration Air Conditioning Technician