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Refrigeration and air-conditioning installer

Alternative titles for this job include Air-con engineer, HVAC engineer

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

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

48 to 50 a week

You could work

on call on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Refrigeration and air-conditioning installer

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information


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.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a refrigeration and air-conditioning installer from the Institute of Refrigeration and the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to repair machines or systems
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • problem-solving skills
  • practical skills for installing equipment
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • persistence and determination
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work at a client's business.

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

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and 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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Building Services Engineering Installer

  • Wage: £14,560 a year Annually
  • Location: Shenstone Drive, Walsall

Building Services Engineer Level 2 Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually
  • Location: ERITH

Courses In England

HNC Building Services Engineering

  • Provider: MID-KENT COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Maidstone

Building Services Engineering HNC (HVAC & Electrical) (Yr1)

  • Provider: BATH COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Radstock

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