Refrigeration/​Air-conditioning Technician
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
18h ago

Pay for refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians varies depending on their experience and level of responsibility.

  • Refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians usually earn between $52,000 and $80,000 a year.
  • With qualifications, refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians usually earn $80,000 to $100,000 a year.
  • Refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians may earn more than this if they work overtime, are on call or are self-employed.

    Source : Trade Me Jobs, 2017.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians may do some or all of the following :

  • advise clients on different refrigeration / air-conditioning systems
  • consult with clients and refrigeration / air-conditioning design engineers about system installation
  • assemble and install pipe work for refrigeration / air-conditioning systems
  • install or oversee the installation of refrigeration / air-conditioning systems
  • check existing refrigeration / air-conditioning systems for leaks and faults
  • repair and maintain refrigeration / air-conditioning systems
  • test and balance systems once they are installed.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians need to have :

  • knowledge of mechanical, electrical and electronic systems
  • knowledge of gas systems, atmospheric pressure and temperature
  • some basic knowledge of physics and chemistry
  • understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of various refrigeration / air-conditioning systems
  • skill in interpreting building plans and other working drawings.
  • Working conditions

    Refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians :

  • usually work business hours but may work longer hours, evenings and weekends, or on call
  • work indoors and outdoors on construction sites, container ships, building sites, in commercial buildings and at private homes
  • work in conditions that can be dusty, dirty, hot or cold. They may also work at heights or in confined spaces such as ceiling cavities.
  • They may travel within New Zealand and overseas to work on projects.

    Entry requirements

    There are no specific entry requirements to become a refrigeration / air-conditioning technician.

    To become a fully qualified refrigeration / air-conditioning technician you need to complete an apprenticeship and gain a New Zealand Certificate in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Trade (Level 4).

    The industry training organisation Competenz oversees refrigeration / air-conditioning apprenticeships.

    Employers usually prefer refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians to have a driver's licence.

    Secondary education

    No specific secondary education is required for this job, but maths, physics, digital technologies and English to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.

    For Year 11 to 13 students, the Gateway programme in engineering is a good way to gain industry experience.

    Personal requirements

    Refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians need to be :

  • accurate and safety-conscious
  • organised
  • good communicators
  • good at making calculations and problem solving
  • able to work independently or in a team
  • able to work well under pressure
  • comfortable working in enclosed spaces and at heights.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians includes :

  • plumbing and gasfitting
  • work in an engineering workshop
  • electrical work or experience in an engineering company.
  • Physical requirements

    Refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians need to have a good level of fitness and must be strong as they may need to carry heavy refrigeration / air-conditioning equipment.


    Qualified refrigeration / air-conditioning technicians need to be registered and licensed with the Electrical Workers Registration Board.

    To work with compressed gas you must hold an approved filler compliance certificate.

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