Career Profile: Air Conditioning...

Career Profile: Air Conditioning Mechanic

by Giselle Mazurat
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

An Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic prepares, installs, maintains, overhauls and services residential central air conditioning systems, commercial and industrial air conditioning systems, and combined heating, ventilation and cooling systems.

Typical responsibilities include taking proper measurements of air conditioning components, measuring, connecting and cutting piping, working with hand and power tools, starting up heating or air conditioning systems and testing them for leaks, recording test readings to ensure the system is functioning properly, replacing and repairing components, preparing work estimates, reading and interpreting blueprints, and communicating with customers.

To be a successful mechanic, you need a strong mechanical aptitude and excellent problem solving skills since you may have to troubleshoot problems on your own. You must be strong to lift heavy objects and be well-coordinated to bend, stretch and reach in awkward or confined places. Good people skills are important for success since you may deal with customers or work on a team with other construction professionals. You must also be very adaptable because your work conditions may vary depending on the project.

Since safety is a top priority in construction careers, you must take training in working safely and wear protective equipment because there may be some risk of injury depending on where you work. You have to keep work safety in mind at all times, especially if you’re repairing heating equipment, troubleshooting gas-fired equipment, or calibrating gas-related controls.

To enter the Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic apprentice program, you must be at least 16 years old and have a Grade 12 education or equivalent. If you’re in high school, you can take courses in Math, Physics, English and Chemistry to start preparing for your career. Some provinces and territories offer secondary school apprenticeship programs where you can get credits toward an apprenticeship training program and a high school diploma at the same time.

The apprentice training is rigorous. It includes a four-year term, 8 weeks of technical training in each year and a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training. You must find a job at an employer who is willing to train you as an apprentice. Employers usually prefer candidates who completed technical programs, high school graduates who demonstrate a strong mechanical aptitude, or journeymen who are trained in other trades. Once you complete the training, you can write the Interprovincial Exam and, if you’re successful, be granted the Red Seal that fully qualifies you to practise your trade anywhere in Canada.

The typical work week is 40 hours per week (8 hours a day, 5 days a week), but this can vary during peak times such as a very hot summer day or a cold snap in the winter. Mechanics can find employment with installation contractors, construction companies, food wholesalers, engineering firms and service establishments. An experienced Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic can earn up to $74,000 per year or $44.00 per hour.

If you’re mechanically inclined, practical and love problem solving, a career as an Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic may be your ticket to a bright, successful future.
Giselle Mazurat is a resume writer living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She also writes technical and business content for government and private companies.  

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