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2021-22 program delivery

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we’ve changed how some programs will be delivered. Please visit the “locations & availability” tab to view current program delivery.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

Learn the science of refrigeration and a variety of skills to install and troubleshoot mechanical systems, electrical/electronic systems and refrigeration piping systems.

A man in a yellow safety vest and blue hard hat kneels beside an air conditioning unit.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year


This is an excellent program for a person with many different interests. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning requires a variety of skills in mechanical systems, electrical/electronic systems and systems troubleshooting. You learn to repair and maintain commercial and industrial refrigeration and air conditioning systems. You also learn to install refrigerant vapour lines, liquid lines and other kinds of piping. Basic skills in oxy-fuel brazing are covered, as well as the design, installation and troubleshooting of electrical circuits and controls.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

  • This program offers you an excellent way to become employable in many occupations in just one year.
  • You benefit from expert faculty, who bring years of experience and strong industry connections to the classroom.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.

Other info

  • Industry growth has resulted in high demand for skilled technicians.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

2021-22 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


2022-23 tuition will be announced in the late Spring once approved by the government of Nova Scotia. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. Amounts below were for the 2021-22 academic year.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Design, install, troubleshoot and repair countless types of freezing, cooling, dehumidifying and heating systems with companies that specialize in heating, air conditioning and energy.
  • Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options

Future study options

  • This program is a first step towards certification in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic trade.
  • You require a Certificate of Qualification issued by the NSAA to legally work in the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic trade in Nova Scotia.
  • To become certified in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic trade, you must register as an apprentice with Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA). Once registered, you can transfer credit from this program towards your apprenticeship.
  • Certification with a Red Seal – Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Graduates who complete an apprenticeship program in this trade are eligible to write the provincial certification exam, receive their certification and Red Seal. The Red Seal allows certified tradespersons to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada – where the trade is designated – without having to write further examinations.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you can apply to earn credit. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

COMM 1227 - Communications I
This course provides the student with an overview of the communication skills required by business and industry. Students will learn to apply these communication skills to be successful in their selected workplace setting.

COMM 1228 - Communications II
This course further develops essential communications skills with a focus on basic writing. This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop written work typical of the industry related to their program of study.

RFAC 1000 - Introduction to Safety and Rigging
This course will help the learner practice safety and maintain a safe working environment. Learners will be taught about working safely around electricity. Learners will understand and practice safe procedures to comply with the Occupational Health & Safety handbook and WHMIS procedures. The School of Trades and Technology has specific requirements for health and safety practices and procedures for all shops and labs. Learners will learn to practice 5S+S quality system.

RFAC 1001 - Introduction to Refrigeration I
This course introduces the principles of refrigeration and their application to refrigeration systems. Learners will be introduced to piping practices and procedures for installing refrigeration systems.

RFAC 1002 - Blueprint Reading
This course will focus on the basic skills necessary for the preparation, reading, and understanding of refrigeration and air conditioning related drawings, as well as the ability to prepare sketches, plans, and details.

RFAC 1004 - Mathematics for Trades
This course will provide the Learners with the necessary mathematical background to perform calculations used in the field of refrigeration and air conditioning.

RFAC 1006 - Basic Electricity I
This course will introduce the Learner to the fundamentals of electrical refrigeration and air conditioning. It will explain the different types of electrical functions used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

RFAC 1007 - Metering Devices
This course will introduce the learner to the fundamentals of several types of metering devices used to control the flow of refrigerant to the evaporator. It will explain the different types of pressure reducing devices used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

RFAC 1008 - Compressors
This course will introduce the Learner to the fundamentals of compression refrigeration and air conditioning methods. It will explain the different types of compressors used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

RFAC 1011 - Evaporators and Condensers
This course will introduce the learner to the fundamentals of heat exchanger components as used for the transfer of heat in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. It will explain the different types of condensers and evaporators used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. It will explore characteristics affecting efficiencies and innovation.

RFAC 1012 - Basic Electricity II
This course will give learners a solid understanding of electrical principles and devices used in the industry. Learners will have the opportunity to test and troubleshoot electrical components.

RFAC 1013 - Introduction to Refrigeration II
This course will introduce the learner to basic refrigeration, air conditioning systems, components and their operating principles.

RFAC 1100 - Work Experience
This course involves spending time at a job site under industry supervision. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Introduction to Respiratory Protection
The learner is introduced to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion includes identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The learner will be given the opportunity to select, use and maintain respiratory equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1025 - Certified Fall Arrest and Protection
This course provides participants with an understanding of the hazards associated with working from heights and compliance with Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (2013). Throughout the course, participants will gain experience in the donning of a harness, an overview and presentation of system components involved when working from heights and learn how to complete a fall calculation and emergency procedures.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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