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Refrigeration and air-conditioning installer

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

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

48 to 50 a week

You could work: on call; on a rota

Future employment

There will be 5% fewer Refrigeration and air-conditioning installer jobs in 2026.
In your local area

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.

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
For more information

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

  • building services engineering installer intermediate apprenticeship
  • refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump engineering advanced apprenticeship

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
For 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.

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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