Careers resources


Forming part of AIRAH's strategic aim to close the skills gap, this page provides relevant information about careers in HVAC&R. 

AIRAH Professional Engineer Register

Career pathways


Building Services Engineer

The term ‘mechanical engineer’ is a broad description that covers roles beyond the HVAC industry, whereas ‘building services engineer’ more specifically refers to mechanical services such as air conditioning, heating and ventilation.  

The model career pathway progresses through four stages: 

  • Level 1, the graduate mechanical engineer or engineering officer level 
  • Level 2, mechanical engineer 
  • Level 3, senior mechanical engineer 
  • Level 4, principal engineer.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics recognises 'Building services engineer' as an official occupation under the specialisation 233512 Mechanical Engineer since the release of ANZSCO Version 1.2, May 14, 2013. AIRAH undertook two activities to achieve the ABS recognition. The first was a survey of industry practitioners, the second an evidence-gathering exercise to show there are at least 300 individuals working in the occupation.




Training resources

My Skills

My Skills is an Australian Government website that contains useful information about training, including training statistics, financial assistance information and qualifications.

Australian Skills Quality Authority
Fact sheet - Choosing a training or education provider

This fact sheet explains the most important things to look for when choosing a training or education provider, and a recognised training or education course.
Download the fact sheet

HVAC Education Australia
The HVAC Education Australia site, developed by TAFE teacher Paul Marshall, brings together free online teaching and learning resources, and was developed for teachers and students. 


Entry (trade)


Box Hill Institute

Box Hill Institute is a leading Victorian vocational and higher education provider known for our collaborative and creative approach to education in Australia and overseas.

TAFE Queensland SkillsTech

SkillsTech is Queensland's largest TAFE institute dedicated to trade and technical training, with more than 20,000 students across six training centres.

South Metropolitan TAFE

South Metropolitan TAFE is one of Western Australia's largest training providers.


TAFE SA institutes offer training across more than 80 activity and industry-related areas.



TAFE NSW is NSW's leading vocational education and training provider.


RMIT is a global university of technology and design. 


GOTAFE offers real world learning experiences, flexible hands on training and a wide range of accredited courses across regional Victoria.

The following is a map of the TAFE institutes offering a Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration as of June 2016:

Provided by Stephen Smith.



Entry (engineering)

Entry is commonly via a degree in Engineering or Mechanical Engineering, which is offered by a number of universities. The selection below provides some options and your careers advisor will also be able to assist.


New South Wales:


University of Sydney

Website: University of Sydney - Engineering and project management

University of Wollongong

Website: University of Wollongong - Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic


Northern Territory:


Charles Darwin University

Website: Charles Darwin University - Mechanical Engineering




University of Queensland

Website: University of Queensland - Engineering and Architecture programs

University of Southern Queensland

Website: University of Southern Queensland - Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Mechanical Engineering

Griffith University

Website: Griffith University - Mechanical Engineering

James Cook University

Website: James Cook University - Engineering


South Australia:


University of South Australia (Uni SA)

Website: University of South Australia - Engineering programs

University of Adelaide

Website: University of Adelaide - Engineering programs


Flinders University

Website: Flinders University - Engineering programs




University of Tasmania

Website: University of Tasmania - Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology




Melbourne University

Website: University of Melbourne - Course search

Monash University

Website: Monash University - Engineering courses

RMIT University

Website: RMIT University - Engineering
RMIT also offers an online postgraduate degree in Engineering Management.


Western Australia:


University of Western Australia

Website: University of Western Australia - School of Civil and Resource Engineering


Ongoing (trade)


Refrigerant Licensing – Australian Refrigeration Council

Find a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that offers training or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) towards approved qualifications relative to the refrigerant handling licence you require.
Website: Australian Refrigeration Council

Essential Safety Measures (AIRAH)

This course provides a step-by-step guide to Australian Standard AS1851 relating to mechanical services, to ensure you can provide your clients' compliance needs.
Website: Essential Safety Measures (AIRAH)

Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC)

The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) is an industry led training facility in Brunswick, Melbourne. PICAC is proudly supported by the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (Plumbing Division Victoria), Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia, National Fire Industry Association, Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association and Plumbing Joint Training Fund. Courses include:


Trade Secrets

Courses that focus on sustainable practices in the building and construction industry
Website: Trade Secrets


Sydney HVAC

Diploma of HVAC & Refrigeration - delivered in both traditional face to face mode and concurrently web cast. Students work through a detailed multi-zone heat load estimate and design the ‘air side’ system and the ‘water side’ of the plant; selecting chillers, boilers, cooling towers, pumps and valves etc. Students also study controls and design, select and program an open DDC system to suit the previously designed air and water systems. A study on refrigeration heat load estimation is followed by commercial and then industrial refrigeration design. The course also covers project management, contract administration, and commissioning.
Website: Sydney HVAC

Victorian Education Skills Gateway

The Victorian Skills Gateway is your one-stop-shop for vocational training in Victoria.
Website: Victorian Skills Gateway

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Post Graduate

Architectural Science (Building Services) - University of Sydney

Recognising the interaction between performance, design and management of a building, this program equips you with the professional skills to lead a building services strategy. Career pathways include corporate real estate, facility management, building services and sustainability.

Graduate Certificate in Architectural Science (Building Services)

Architectural Science (Facilities Management) - University of Sydney

This course will enable you to align building operations with organisational priorities and understand how services and sustainable approaches add value and support corporate real estate objectives.

Graduate Certificate in Architectural Science (Facilities Management)

Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Buildings Post Graduate Courses – RMIT University

Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Buildings Post Graduate Courses
The RMIT University Energy Efficient and Sustainable Building Post Graduate programs provides you with a multidisciplinary environment which will introduce you to the study of the science, design and management of sustainable buildings.


Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation - University of Melbourne

Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation (Master)
Dr Dominique Hes
Lecturer Sustainable Architecture
Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning Melbourne University
Ph: 03 8344 4230
Fax: 03 8344 5532
Mob: 0425 765 688

Sustainable Buildings - University of Melbourne

Sustainable Buildings (one subject course)

Dr Lu Aye
Associate Professor - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Position: Ass Prof
Email:  [email protected]
Ph: 03 83446879
Fax: 03 83446868

Energy Efficiency training for Engineers - University of Wollongong

Energy Efficiency training for Engineers
The Sustainable Building Research Centre (SBRC) is offering a new approach to "energy efficiency training for engineers" with a focus on four key educational demand areas and skills gaps:

  • Energy Efficiency in Electricity (EEIE)
  • Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment (EEIBE)
  • Energy Efficiency Enhancements in Industry (EEII)
  • Changing user perceptions and behaviours to maximise the community's adoption of energy efficient technologies

To meet these educational needs the SBRC, with support from the NSW Government, is offering professional development short courses for professional engineers and other interested participants. Each short course is designed to be delivered over two days, with a significant component dedicated to hands-on, interactive, or discussion based activities.  Each short course is offered on a stand-alone basis, while also remaining complimentary to the overall program.

Location of course(s): Circular Quay (University of Wollongong - Sydney Business School Campus)

Ms. Rachel Weine
Faculty of Engineering
Ph:  (02) 4221 4566
Email: [email protected]           
Duane Robinson
Sustainable Buildings Research Centre
Ph: (02) 4221 4530
Email: [email protected]


Green Skills NSW Course Finder

This site lists green skills training available in NSW. Green skills courses develop practical job skills together with an understanding of their environmental impact. Green skills are used by workers to protect or improve the environment in the context of their work.
Website: Green Skills NSW - Course finder

Trade Secrets

Courses that focus on sustainable practices in the building and construction industry
Website: Trade Secrets

The Fifth Estate Universities guide - sustainability education courses

Australia's leading online newspaper for the sustainable property industry published an investigative report and an ebook that demonstrate a revolution in the way sustainability is taught and integrated into university courses related to the built environment.
Website: The Fifth Estate - Sustainability education on the rise and rise 

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Thinking about a career in HVAC&R?

Listen to what some young professionals think about working in the industry,

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Job search


Australian Job Search

Available jobs for Air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics Australia wide.
Website: Australian Job Search


Jobs containing refrigeration and air conditioning in Australia
Website: Seek

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Job prospects and labour market data


Skills One

Includes videos for refrigeration and air-conditioning occupations, promoting women in trades and lists refrigeration mechanics as a ‘Top 10: Trades in demand’.
Website: Skills One

My Future - Refrigeration and Air conditioning Mechanic

Refrigeration and Air conditioning Mechanic (Refrigeration and Airconditioning Electrotechnologist) - Occupation fact sheet 
Website: My Future

Job Outlook - Air conditioning and Refrigeration mechanics

Information on wages and job prospects.
Website: Job Outlook - Air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics

Job Outlook - Mechanical engineering draftspersons and technicians

Information on wages and job prospects.
Website: Job Outlook - Mechanical engineering draftpersons and technicians

Labour Market Information Portal

The Department of Employment's Labour Market Information Portal provides up-to-date labour market information.
Website: Labour Market Information Portal

Job Guide

The Job Guide provides an in-depth look at a range of occupations, and their education and training pathways.
Website: Job Guide

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Industry Skills Councils


E-Oz Energy Skills Australia (formerly EE-Oz Training Standards)  

The Government’s declared Industry Skills Council for the energy sector trades, E-Oz was established in 1995 to develop training standards for electrotechnology; electricity distribution, transmission and rail; electricity generation; and gas transmission.

E-Oz has recently released information about Natural Refrigerant Training providers and courses.


Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA)

MSA is the national body responsible for identifying what manufacturing skills are needed and how these can most effectively be implemented in industry.

MSA is a national Industry Skills Council, owned by industry and managed by a board from across industry and funded by the Australian Government.


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Youth engagement in HVAC&R

Cool Science is a Youth Engagement project for the RACHP Industry (Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Heat Pumps). It aims to engage and inspire a younger audience by sharing & explaining the Cool Science behind refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps.

You can visit the website at

A cool career

Much has been said of the invisible nature of the HVAC&R industry and how it has led to the current skills shortage. But behind the scenes, some forward-thinking Australians are doing their best to attract a new generation to the trade.

Read the HVAC&R Nation feature story A Cool Career here.

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