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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.

  • Avg. Salary $82,498.00
  • Avg. Wage $38.21
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 2,100
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Air Conditioned Transport Mechanic, Mechanic, Service Technician

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Transport Refrigeration Technician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics
NOC code: 7313

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


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


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

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 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 More

Updated Dec 15, 2016

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 Dec 15, 2016

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.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Transport refrigeration technicians need the following characteristics:

  • mechanical ability
  • computer skills for diagnosis and reference tasks
  • good coordination and manual dexterity
  • the ability to work well with co-workers and deal with customers.

They should enjoy solving problems and working with little supervision.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 20-2, Math 20-3 and Science 10, or equivalent, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.

The term of apprenticeship is 3 years (three 14 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,800 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training 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 credit or certification.

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at :

  • the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton.
  • the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Transport refrigeration technicians are employed by:

  • 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. Alberta certified journeyperson transport refrigeration technicians who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

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 in this occupation will be 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 (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 3,300 Albertans are employed in the Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.6% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 20 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As transport refrigeration technicians form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for transport refrigeration technicians.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range start at $30 an hour plus benefits (2014 estimates). Apprentice transport refrigeration technicians 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.

Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
NOC code: 7313

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $46.00 $29.52 $30.00
Overall $30.00 $47.00 $38.21 $37.34
Top $34.00 $49.00 $42.98 $44.00

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.

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.

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


2015 Vacancy Rate

Related High School Subjects
  • Science
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Electro-Technologies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2015. 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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