Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic

Train in the installation, maintenance, repair and overhaul of residential and commercial central air conditioning systems, as well as heating, ventilation and cooling systems. 

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Male students wearing safety glasses work on refrigeraters and air conditioners.


  • Penticton
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  • Full program offered
  • Partial program offered



Delivery options


Tuition and fees

2024-25: $4,111.02

  • Fees include all mandatory fees: Activity fee, Health & Dental, Student Association fee, Education Technology fee, Development fee.

  • All amounts are approximate and are subject to change.

  • Detailed domestic tuition and fees information

Program details

If you have any questions about how a course or program is delivered, you can check the Trades website, email the Department Chair or email the Trades & Apprenticeship office:

Foundation and General Interest:

This 25-week (750 hours) program is designed to take a student with little or no previous experience in the heating, air conditioning and refrigeration industry and supply the student with the necessary skills to seek employment in that industry as an apprentice. It also provides a solid foundation in the fundamentals of installing, servicing, and troubleshooting all aspects of heating, ventilating and airconditioning/refrigeration equipment.

Graduates of this program may receive credit for Level 1 apprenticeship technical training and may also be granted practical credit from SkilledTradesBC. In order to complete the apprenticeship and become a journeyperson, graduates would return to school to complete Level 2 (seven weeks), Level 3 (ten weeks) and Level 4 (ten weeks).

The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Apprenticeship program consists of five years of on-the-job experience combined with four levels of in-school technical training in order to be eligible to write the Interprovincial (Red Seal) Examination through the Industry Training Authority.

Good hand/eye coordination and problem solving skills with attention to detail are desirable qualities for individuals pursuing a career in this field.

Textbooks and supplies required for students in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic Pre-Apprenticeship program (total $1,640.13):

  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology (9th Edition) - $215.49
  • B-52-18 Refrigeration Code Book - $266.79
  • Performing Routine Trades Activities and Electrical Concepts - $103.29
  • Electricity for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (10th Edition) - $192.49
  • CAN/CSA B149.1-20 Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code - $287.79
  • Code Modules A-G - $59.99
  • Modules H-O - $85.29
  • ODS/CFC Certification - Mandatory Course - $90.00
  • Gas Appliance Service Certificate of Qualification Exam - $339.00

* The above certificates will be explained by your instructor on the first day of class.

5% GST is not included in price. Price is subject to change.

Other required supplies
  • Appropriate non-offensive clothing (no shorts, sandals, etc.)
  • CSA Approved Footwear
  • CSA Approved Hard Hat (blue colour is preferred but not required)
  • CSA Approved Safety Eyewear
  • Leather gloves (for handling refrigerant)

Government-issued picture ID is required to write the provincial and national exams: driver's licence, photo ID or valid passport. Student ID cards are not acceptable.

Optional supplies
  • Coveralls
  • Pocket-sized notepad, pencil, pen, felt pen
  • Clean rags

Tools for the program are provided by the College. Students who wish to purchase their own tools are encouraged to consult with their instructor who can provide a basic guide to the minimum tools that will be needed for employment within the Refrigeration trade.

Applicants who have not satisfied the Math admission requirement within the last seven years, and/or do not meet the English admission requirement, must write the TEA Math and/or English test. Both of the assessments are online, multiple-choice and timed. Applicants are allotted 1 hour to complete each section (2 hours for both). A practice assessment and study resources are offered to all applicants who register to write the TEA.  Calculators are not allowed while completing the Math section; applicants who are observed to use a calculator of any sort will receive a grade of zero.  Applicants who do not achieve the minimum passing requirement on their initial attempt, are offered a second attempt at no additional cost after a two-week study period. 

Please ensure you write the assessment, and any required re-writes, prior to the deadline for admissions requirements provided by the Registrar’s office. For more information or to register for the Trades Entrance Assessment, click here. Further questions can be directed to the Trades and Apprenticeship office at

Please note: Applicants who successfully completed the ABLE test at Okanagan College within the two years prior to application for admission shall have their results accepted as equivalent to the Trades Entrance Assessment. 

The textbook list above was current at the time it was posted and may be used for initial planning purposes. Please check back with the bookstore 2 weeks before your program starts under Current Book List for a final, updated list of book titles and prices, and to order!

Textbooks available online only at OC Campus Store. If you have any questions, call 250-862-5638 or email

It takes approximately two to three business days to fill the online orders, please be sure to purchase the necessary items prior to the 1st day of class.


Admission requirements

  • B.C. secondary school graduation, or equivalent, or 19 years of age and out of secondary school for a minimum of one year as of the first day of classes.
  • English 10 with minimum 50% or alternatives.
  • Math requirement:
    • A minimum of 50% in any of:
      • Apprenticeship and Workplace Mathematics Grade 10
      • Workplace Mathematics 10
      • Foundations of Mathematics and Pre-Calculus Grade 10
      • Mathematics 10
      • Adult Basic Education MATH 071 and MATH 072
    • The Trades Entrance Assessment (TEA) mathematics test scores are only good for two (2) years.
      • Applicants who have not satisfied the Math requirement within the last seven (7) years must write the TEA Mathematics test and must receive a minimum of 50%.

Program outline

RACM 100 - Application of Trades Math for the Refrigeration Mechanic Trade
RACM 101 - Safety Techniques
RACM 102 - Welding and Brazing Techniques
RACM 103 - Basic Work Skills
RACM 104 - Application of Drafting Skills
RACM 105 - Use of Tools
RACM 106 - Application of Computers
RACM 107 - Basic Electrical Concepts
RACM 108 - Electrical Wiring Schematics
RACM 109 - Single-Phase Motor Theory
RACM 110 - Piping Practices
RACM 111 - Fundamentals of Refrigeration
RACM 112 - Refrigeration Systems Cycles
RACM 113 - Refrigeration System Components
RACM 114 - Final Exam
  • An overall average of 70% calculated on a weighted percentage, based on time allocation.
Additional information

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