To work as a registered air conditioner installer in the state of Queensland, you need to be licenced. However, as there are different types of air conditioner systems requiring different skills, there is a multitude of licences available, and you need to obtain each one dependent on the level of work.  The main pathway is through the ARC (Australian Refrigeration Council).

hvac guy fixing air conditioning units

What Does an Air Conditioner Installation Expert Do on a Day to Day?

We spoke with Brett Shipley from Air Con Sunshine Coast about what his workday usually involves and what apprentices can expect working as an air con installer.

  • licenced air conditioning installerEstablishing job requirements from drawings and specifications
  • Laying out installation reference points
  • Drilling holes, installing mounting brackets and cutting, bending and threading piping
  • Installing air conditioning units on the sunshine coast and repairing components such as compressors, motors, condensers, evaporators, switches and gauges, and copper lines for steam, gas, refrigerant, compressed air, oil, and chilled water is Brett’s favourite type of work
  • Bolting, soldering, riveting, welding and brazing pipes to connect equipment, and checking the alignment and accuracy of fit
  • Filling systems with gas or fluid to check for leaks
  • Testing refrigeration systems, checking mechanisms and making adjustments
  • Removing test gas and fluid using vacuum pumps, and filling with refrigerant
  • Checking and overhauling refrigeration systems, diagnosing faults and repairing and replacing defective components
  • Adjusting system controls and mechanisms and reassembling systems

Let’s take a look at the different licences

Licence Name: RAC01 – Refrigerant handling licence – qualified persons (Full refrigeration and air conditioning licence: 2 & 3 years)

What this means: you are able to handle a refrigerant for any work in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry, other than the automotive industry

Licence Name: AAC02 – Refrigerant handling licence – qualified persons (Automotive air conditioning licence: 2 & 3 years)

What this means: you are able to handle a refrigerant for any work on air conditioning equipment fitted to the cabin of a motor vehicle.

Licence name: RSS03 – Refrigerant handling licence – qualified persons (Restricted heat pump – split systems – installation and decommissioning licence: 2 & 3 years

What this means: you are able to handle a refrigerant for the installation and decommissioning of any of the following: a single-head split system air conditioner of less than 18kW, a 2-part hot water heat pump of less than 18kW, a 2-part swimming pool heat pump of less than 18kW.

There are also trainee licences one needs to obtain beforehand

Licence name: TL000 – Refrigeration and air conditioning trainee licence.

What this means: you are able to handle a refrigerant while undertaking training and/or assessment in a classroom setting and at your workplace under supervision. The supervisor must be the holder of a licence that entitles them to engage in work for which the licensee is being trained. This licence is valid for the period of training, which can be up to one year.

Licence name: CL000 – Refrigeration and air conditioning trainee licence (Classroom)

What this means: To handle refrigerant in a classroom setting only. The licensee cannot handle refrigerant outside the classroom setting. This licence is valid for a period of training which can be up to 1 year.

air conditioning installers

Before achieving any of the above licences, you need to achieve one (or more depending on your licence) of the following:

  • Successful completion of an Apprenticeship as a Refrigeration Mechanic, e.g., Proficiency Certificate; or
  • Trade Recognition Certificate: Refrigeration Mechanic; or
  • Trade Certificate with a Trade Outcome of Refrigeration Mechanic and evidence of industry experience; or
  • MEM30205 Certificate III in Engineering Mechanical Trade (Refrigeration and Air conditioning)
  • UEE32211 Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air conditioning; or
  • UEE42711 Certificate IV in Air conditioning and Refrigeration Servicing; or
  • UEE42811 Certificate IV in Air conditioning Systems Energy Management and Control; or
  • UEE42911 Certificate IV in Refrigeration and Air conditioning Systems; or
  • UEE50311 Diploma of Electrical and Refrigeration and Air conditioning; or
  • UEE51211 Diploma of Air conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering; or
  • UEE62511 Advanced Diploma of Air conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering; or
  • MEM30298 Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical – Refrigeration and Air conditioning
  • UEE31306 Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air conditioning; or
  • UTE30999 Certificate III in Electrotechnology Refrigeration and Air conditioning.

Registered Queensland Course Providers

Here are four educational institutions in Queensland where one can achieve there Certificate III in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration:

  1. Australian Institute of Business and Technology
    Address:  Levels 1, 3/18 Mount Gravatt Capalaba Rd, Upper Mount Gravatt QLD 4122, Australia
  2. Australian Trade Training College Ltd
    Address: 294 Scarborough Rd, Scarborough QLD 4020, Australia
  3. Axial Training Pty Ltd
    Address: 3398 Pacific Hwy, Springwood QLD 4127, Australia
  4. TAFE Queensland
    Address: 66 Ernest St, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia

If you’re trained up and looking for work – Contact Brett from Air Con Sunshine Coast – He’s looking for help with his business in the Caloundra area.