What do they do?

Refrigeration and air conditioning engineers manufacture, install and maintain the systems used to store and transport perishable items such as food and medicine. Your work environment can change one day to the next from a shipping container to an apartment block.

A typical day

Normally an eight-hour day; sometimes working longer may be required.

Work can include installing and maintaining refrigeration and air conditioning systems in office buildings, hospitals and factories, through to refrigeration engineering in warehouses, ships, containers and trucks.

You are likely to work in many different locations from day to day.

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Sound like you?

  • English or Media or History
  • Maths or Accounting or Economics
  • Sciences or Workshop Technologies
  • Computing/ICT/Information Management.
  • Strong eye for detail
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Good organisational skills
  • Good work habits/time management.
  • Analysing, researching or problem solving
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Working with computers.
  • Inside (workshop or plant)
  • Outside (outdoors)
  • Different places from time to time.

Pathway

Unit standards in schools

Ideally NCEA Level 2 in:

  • Maths
  • Science (physics)
  • Technology (metal work)
  • English.

Gateway programme available

Apprenticeship

  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineer
  • Air Conditioning Systems Designer
  • Industrial Refrigeration Engineer
  • Commercial Refrigeration Engineer
  • Transport Refrigeration Engineer.

Higher learning

  • Specialist Engineer
  • Supervisor.

Higher learning

  • Foreman
  • Site Supervisor
  • Business Manager
  • Business Owner

Qualifications available

Graduates will be able to:

  • apply engineering trade skills and knowledge to plan, troubleshoot, recondition, and test when maintaining and servicing a range of RAC plant and equipment
  • apply engineering trade skills and knowledge to plan, install, and test a range of RAC equipment in accordance with industry and statutory standards
  • commission basic installations and work with specialists to commission the full range of complex plant and equipment
  • apply an understanding of the principles of RAC system design and applications to all aspects of their work
  • recover refrigerant into a cylinder and charge refrigeration systems in accordance with current regulations
  • apply knowledge of the use and management of refrigerants in the RAC industry to safely meet all relevant environmental and industrial legislation
  • carry out the electrical work associated with installing, maintaining, servicing and commissioning refrigeration plant and equipment
  • apply an understanding of the relevant Health and Safety legislation and workplace safety culture to work safely and meet responsibilities in a commercial environment
  • recognise the limits of their ability and the importance of working with integrity and maintaining currency.

Fees free eligible

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician
  • Comprehend and apply detailed knowledge underpinning good practice as an engineering technician that is specific to the jurisdiction in which he/she practices
  • Be responsible for making decisions on part or all of one or more or more well-defined engineering activities
  • Manage part or all of one or more well-defined engineering activities in accordance with good engineering management practice
  • Communicate clearly with others in the course of his/her well defined engineering activities
  • Maintain the currency of engineering knowledge and skills
  • Exercise sound engineering judgement
  • Conduct engineering activities to an ethical standard at least equivalent to the relevant code of ethical conduct
  • Recognise the reasonably foreseeable social, cultural and environmental effects of well-defined engineering activities generally

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering strand will also be able to:

  • Identify, state and analyse well-defined engineering problems in accordance with good practice for engineering
  • Design or develop solutions to well-defined engineering problems by applying accepted procedures and methodologies
  • Identify risk and apply risk management techniques to well-defined engineering problems

NZQA qualification overview