Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics assemble, install, service and repair industrial, commercial and domestic refrigeration and air conditioning systems in homes, shops, factories, office buildings and hospitals.

How do you become a refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic in Australia

To become a refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic you usually have to complete a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning apprenticeship and gain a Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.

Licensing requirements in South Australia

In July 2005 State and Territory licensing systems brought into effect a new licensing system to protect the environment.  Any person who handles refrigerant gases will require a National Refrigerant Handling Licence.  Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics seeking a Full Refrigerant and Air Conditioning Licence are required to make an application for the National Refrigerant Handling Licence through the Australian Refrigeration Council Ltd. (ARC).

Recognition of qualifications and skills obtained outside Australia

Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR)

New migrants that have an OTSR which shows that they have been assessed as having the required technical skills in Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, can apply to undertake the Australian Minimal Context Gap Training (AMCG) to complete their Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.

The OTSR lists the technical skills demonstrated in the practical assessment undertaken by the individual and outlines the gap in the persons skills or knowledge that is required to be filled to work in Australia.

Once you have enrolled into the AMCG with a registered training organisation and found an employer to provide supervised work, you will be able to apply for a trainee licence with ARC allowing you to work under supervision while you are completing your gap training. A record of the work you have done under supervision is a requirement of your gap training.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Some people have skills and knowledge that enable them to gain a qualification without completing a standard training program or course.  These skills and knowledge – that would have otherwise been developed through undertaking an accredited course – may have been gained through some other form of study, formal training, self-tuition, work experience or life experience.

It may be necessary to undertake a process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Requirements for self-employment or to be a contractor

If you intend to operate a business as an individual or in a partnership you will need to hold a Plumber and Gas Fitter’s Contractors Licence and meet all licensing requirements.  For information about this level of licensing visit Consumer and Business Services (CBS).

Benefits of Trade Recognition

Trade recognition will allow you to:

  • obtain a licence to work unsupervised in your trade
  • get recognition for further study
  • be qualified to train apprentices
  • secure skilled employment using qualifications and skills gained overseas

Useful links:

Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC)

Phone: 1300 884 483


Consumer and Business Services (CBS)

Level 3, Chesser House
91-97 Grenfell Street Adelaide, SA 5000
Phone: 131 882

website: Consumer and Business Services