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Apprenticeship

Transport Refrigeration Technician

Transport refrigeration technicians install, repair and maintain equipment that supplies and contains conditioned air in mobile units used to transport perishable goods such as food and medical supplies.

Also Known As

Air Conditioned Transport Mechanic, Mechanic, Service Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics (7313) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics (H413) 
  • 2011 NOC: Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics (7313) 
  • 2016 NOC: Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics (7313) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics

2006 NOC: 7313

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to measure and cut piping and to measure and lay out reference points for installation

METHODICAL

Interest in recharging systems with refrigerant, checking and testing regulators and calibrating systems; and in performing routine maintenance and servicing

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information to repair and replace parts and components for entire refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation and heat-pump systems; and in installing, troubleshooting and overhauling entire heating, ventilation, air handling, refrigeration and air conditioning systems

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

In general, transport refrigeration technicians:

  • Assemble and install refrigeration components such as motors, compressors and gauges
  • Measure and cut piping, and connect piping
  • Read wiring diagrams, and install and calibrate related controls
  • Test lines to detect leaks
  • Recharge systems with refrigerant and perform routine maintenance checks
  • Service and repair diesel engines and related parts
  • Repair and replace parts and components and overhaul entire refrigeration systems
  • Maintain a safe and clean working environment
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Transport refrigeration technicians normally work 40 hours a week on a year round basis but may be required to work overtime for emergency repairs. They sometimes work in cold, cramped conditions and may be required to lift and move items that weigh over 25 kilograms.

There is some risk of injury involved in working with electricity, high-pressure gases, hazardous gases, and chemicals.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Transport refrigeration technicians need:

  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Coordination and manual dexterity
  • Computer skills for diagnosis and reference tasks
  • The ability to work with others and deal with customers

They should enjoy solving problems and working with little supervision.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics

2011 NOC: 7313

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 92 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 27, 2021 and Oct 03, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Start up system and test for leaks using testing devices
Install, troubleshoot, repair and overhaul entire heating, ventilation, air handling, refrigeration and air conditioning systems
Repair and replace parts and components for entire refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation or heat pump systems
Assemble and install refrigeration or air conditioning components
Measure, cut and connect piping using welding and brazing equipment
Measure and lay out reference points for installation
Recharge system with refrigerant, check and test regulators, calibrate system and perform routine maintenance or servicing
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Handle, recover and store refrigerants
Personal Suitability: Punctuality
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship

To work in Alberta, a transport refrigeration technician must be ONE of the following:

  • A registered apprentice
  • An Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • Someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate
  • Someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • Self-employed

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train them. They must also meet ONE of the following:

  • Have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 20-2, Math 20-3, and Science 10, or equivalent
  • Have a pass mark in all 5 Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
  • Pass an entrance exam

Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.

The term of apprenticeship is 3 years (three 12-month periods) that include a minimum of 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of classroom instruction in each period.

High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the period of apprenticeship.

Classroom instruction is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. For more information, see the Apprenticeship Training Catalogue.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Apprenticeship Trades

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Transport Refrigeration Technician

Transport refrigeration technicians install, repair and maintain equipment that supplies and contains conditioned air in mobile units used to transport perishable goods such as food and medical supplies. For more information, see the Designated Trades Profile section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act [pdf],you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Transport Refrigeration Technician.

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Transport refrigeration technicians are employed by:

  • Transportation vehicle dealers
  • Large transport companies
  • Organizations such as food wholesalers that operate their own fleet of transport vehicles
  • Firms specializing in transport refrigeration maintenance and repair work

Experienced transport refrigeration technicians may advance to supervisory positions.

Transport refrigeration mechanics are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7313: Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics. In Alberta, 79% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 7313: Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 59 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Journeyperson transport refrigeration technicians wage rates vary but generally range start at $30 an hour plus benefits (2019 estimates). Apprentices earn at least 60% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first period, 75% in the second and 90% in the third.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics

2016 NOC: 7313
Average Wage
$38.22
Per Hour
Average Salary
$80,126.00
Per Year
Average Hours
41.7
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.8
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 7313 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Overall $31.45 $54.50 $38.22 $38.00
Top $36.00 $60.00 $43.17 $41.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Health Care & Social Assistance
Construction
ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
74%
74%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
55%
55%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
24%
24%
Vacancy Rate
4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.albeta.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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