Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Installer

Job Description:

Refrigeration and air-conditioning installers work on air quality and cooling systems in buildings, storage and transport.

Job Category:
Professional Services

What you will do:

In this job, you’ll:

  • survey sites where cooling systems are to be fitted
  • plan the layout of pipework, ducts and control panels
  • install components
  • provide scheduled maintenance on systems
  • find and fix faults
  • carry out quality checks to make sure systems are working properly and safely
  • retrofit buildings to meet environmental standards
  • work on refrigerated transport
  • advise customers on ways to reduce their energy use


You’ll need:

  • the ability to repair machines or systems
  • practical skills for installing equipment
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • problem-solving skills (creative skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • persistence and determination (ambition/drive)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Installer, you will need to focus on acquiring a combination of technical and practical skills. While specific subjects may not be mandatory for entry into this field, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial in preparing you for a career in refrigeration and air conditioning. Here are some relevant subjects:

  1. Mathematics: A good understanding of mathematics is crucial for taking measurements, making calculations, and ensuring precise installations.
  2. Science: Subjects like Physics and Chemistry can provide you with a foundational understanding of the principles involved in refrigeration and air conditioning systems.
  3. Design and Technology: Courses related to design and technology can help you develop practical skills and knowledge in working with tools and equipment, which are essential for installation and maintenance tasks.
  4. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using computers can be helpful for reading technical diagrams, schematics, and manuals.
  5. Mechanical Engineering: While not typically offered, if your school offers relevant vocational courses or extracurricular activities related to mechanical engineering, they can be beneficial.
  6. Electrical Engineering: Basic knowledge of electrical systems and circuits is important, as refrigeration and air conditioning systems often have electrical components.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

You may be able to take a college course, to give you some of the knowledge and skills needed to help find a job as a trainee. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Access to Building Services Engineering
  • Level 2 Diploma in Installing and Maintaining Refrigeration Systems
  • Level 3 Diploma in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems
  • T Level in Building Services Engineering for Construction

You could train for this job through an apprenticeship, such as:

  • Building Services Engineering Installer Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Engineering Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Mobile Transport Refrigeration Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

These can take between 2 and 3 years to complete.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 48 to 50 hours a week.

You could work at a client’s business.

Your working environment may be cramped, dusty, cold and you’ll travel often.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could become a refrigeration engineer, designing cooling systems, or move into building services engineering or plumbing. You could also set up your own business.