Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic

More than 65% of South Africans inhabit cities, the centres of economic activity and employment. The dense populations in cities require creative and innovative solutions in housing and work spaces and manufacturing processes. Air-conditioning and refrigeration are key contributors to greenhouse gases, warming urban centres and climate change impacts. To reduce and minimise human and environmental impact, these processes need to function effectively and efficiently.

Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics install and maintain piping, ducting and equipment for heating, cooling and ventilation of buildings and vessels. They also check and overhaul systems, diagnose faults and repair and replace defective components.

Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics may work in varied environments with climate control equipment, from homes to office buildings, retail centres and factories. They can work irregular hours, responding to emergencies and site conditions can be dangerous and cramped. They may also work alone, as part of a team or with associated tradespeople.


Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics must have a thorough knowledge of electrical and airflow principles and processes and an understanding of compliance and safety regulations. They will also benefit from:

  • Excellent problem-solving ability
  • Ability to read and interpret varied specification drawings
  • Physical stamina and strength
  • Good communication skills


Interpret blueprints, drawings and other specifications

Test systems, diagnose faults and perform routine maintenance or servicing

Assemble, install, and repair components for air-conditioning and refrigeration systems

Connect piping and equipment by bolting, riveting, welding or brazing


Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics will benefit from a National Certificate in Engineering Studies in Electrical Systems offered at Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges. Additionally, courses can be taken at the Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Academy and Paddy’s Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Training Centre.


Air-conditioning and refrigeration contracting companies.

Installation and service maintenance companies.

Manufacturing companies.

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