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Student calibrates heating and cooling units in a lab.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Apprentice

Ongoing

Credential: Apprenticeship
Available: Full Time Classroom

Program Highlights

Learn to install, maintain, repair and overhaul industrial, commercial and residention refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

$30-$45

Average Hourly Wage

4

Periods of Training

Next information session

All information sessions

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $1,033.92
Year 2: $1,033.92
Year 3: $1,033.92
Year 4: $1,033.92

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Requirements

The program requirements are set by Apprenticeship and Industry Training.  

When can you apply?

  • Registration for apprenticeship intakes open on May 15, 2019

Program Details

Program description

If you like to work with little supervision, like having a variety of tasks and are a creative problem solver, you will enjoy a career as a refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic. As a refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic, you will install, maintain, repair and overhaul industrial, commercial and residential refrigeration and air conditioning systems and their component parts. At installation sites, you will work from drawings or verbal instructions to mount or place system components, assemble and install refrigeration or air conditioning systems and components, install and calibrate related controls (including wiring), and start up systems, test lines to detect leaks, and record the readings taken to ensure that the system is functioning satisfactorily.

Maintenance work involves checking all parts of a system, lubricating moving parts and monitoring the refrigerant charge. When there is a malfunction, you will diagnose the problem and fix the unit by replacing or repairing controls, electric wiring or other parts. You may also repair heating equipment, troubleshoot gas-fired equipment and calibrate all gas-related controls.

This is a compulsory trade - to work in this trade you need to hold a recognized trade certificate or be a registered apprentice.

Your career 

Start your career by finding an employer who is willing to indenture you as an apprentice or get training in our Pre-Employment Refrigeration and Air Conditioning program. Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics usually work for companies that install and service air-conditioning and refrigeration systems.

As a journeyperson, you will likely make a wage between $30 - $45 and hour depending on your employer.

After becoming a journeyperson, you may advance to supervisory positions, specialize in a type of repair or take on new apprentices. Some journeypersons go on to run their own businesses – we can help you build your business with our Blue Seal business certificate.

Student success

Students who have the following characteristics see greater success in the trade:

  • Mechanical ability and interest
  • Good coordination and manual dexterity,
  • Strength, stamina and the use of proper lifting techniques required to handle heavy tools and parts weighing up to 25 kilograms,
  • The ability to work well with co-workers and deal with customers
  • The ability to drive a service truck to worksites
  • Pride in workmanship and the desire to attain a superior level of expertise
  • A commitment to safe work habits

Credentials

Upon successfully completing the required working hours and technical training periods, graduates will be awarded journeyperson status by Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training. This is a Red Seal Endorsed trade – a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada. 

Admission and Completion

To enter an apprenticeship, you must have the educational qualifications required or recommended education for the trade to which you apply.

Entrance Requirements are monitored and set by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Minimum requirements
Successful completion of the following courses:

  • English 10-2
  • Math 10-3
  • Physics 20 or Chemistry 20

OR

A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests

OR

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam


Recommended Path
Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3
  • Physics 30 and Chemistry 30 
  • Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses

How to register

Registration for technical training is run through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Learn how you can register for your next intake.

After you register

Email is the primary source of communication after you have registered for your intake. Please ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

Next steps >

Courses

Apprentices in this trade will spend 4 years (four 12-month periods) of on-the-job training and technical training at SAIT. Technical training will be 8 weeks each year.

Find an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice
Apply as an apprentice with AIT and your employer 
Sign contract and recieve record book
Written entrance examination or get approved for previous transcripts
Complete first period of on-the-job-training (1500 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend first period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT
Pass first period Trade Qualification Exam
Complete second period of on-the-job training (1500 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend second period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT
Pass second period Trade Qualification Exam
Complete third period of on-the-job training (1500 hours)
Register at SAIT
Attend third period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT
Pass third period Trade Qualification Exam 
Complete fourth period of on-the-job training (1500 hours) 
Register at SAIT
Attend fourth period of technical training for 8 weeks at SAIT
Pass fourth period Trade Qualification Exam
Become a Journeyperson 
Write and pass the Interprovincial Qualification Exam

Technical Training Performance 

To be successful in technical training, an apprentice must pass each section of the course and pass the AIT exam. The passing grade for each section in the course is a 65%. A passing mark on each Trade Qualification Exam and the Interprovincial Qualification (or Red Seal Exam) is 70%.

Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training procedures

Costs

Domestic tuition and fees*

Period Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Lab & Material fees 2020/21 total
1 $840 $50 $71.92 $72 $1,033.92
2 $840 $50 $71.92 $72 $1,033.92
3 $840 $50 $71.92 $72 $1,033.92
4 $840 $50 $71.92 $72 $1,033.92

SAIT Fees

Student support fee: $25
Student technology fee: $25

Books and supplies*

  • Books or modules along with other items for class average out to $600 per period.
  • It is recommended that you do not purchase books or modules ahead of time as they might be outdated by the time you attend classes and they cannot be returned to the bookstore.
  • Personal Protective Equipment will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Wellness centre

Membership to the SAIT Wellness centre - including an ice arena, swimming/diving pool, gymnasium, squash and racquetteball courts and eight room is available to apprentices at a discounted rate.

Financial planning tool

Our apprenticeship cost calculator can help you make a financial plan by identifying and adding up your expected expenses while attending SAIT — find out exactly how much money you need to save, seek or borrow to get you through your studies.

Contact

School of Construction
403.210.4150
construction.info@sait.ca

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Services
1.800.248.4823
tradesecrets.alberta.ca

Suite 200 Willow Park Centre  
10325 Bonaventure DR. SE 
Calgary, AB 

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