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Refrigeration and air-conditioning installer Air-con engineer, HVAC engineer

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

You could also complete an industry-recognised qualification in refrigeration and air conditioning at college before looking for a trainee position.

Previous experience in plumbing, or mechanical or electrical work may be useful when looking for a training place or job.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • good practical skills
  • the ability to follow technical instructions
  • an understanding of safe working practices for the industry

3. What you'll do

You'll install, service and repair temperature and air quality control systems in office buildings, supermarkets, schools, hospitals and factories. You could also work on refrigerated transport.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • surveying sites where cooling systems are to be fitted
  • planning the layout of pipework, ducts and control panels
  • installing components
  • carrying out quality checks to make sure systems are working properly and safely
  • carrying out scheduled maintenance
  • finding and fixing faults
  • advising customers on ways to reduce their energy use

You'll also work to improve the efficiency of cooling systems using renewable energy technology.

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £26,000 to £32,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £35,000

You may get bonuses and overtime pay. There are national set rates that cover your travelling time, travel expenses and accommodation costs.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may also be on a rota for out-of-hours emergency work. This could include evenings and weekends.

You may need your own transport as you'll travel between jobs. If working for a big national company, you may have to work away from home at times.

Depending on your specialism, you might also be working on dusty and cold construction sites and in cramped and uncomfortable conditions.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a refrigeration engineer, designing cooling systems, or move into building services or plumbing. You could also set up your own business.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017