Program calendar icon Program Length

  • 34 Weeks

Program credential icon Credential

  • Certificate

Program option icon Options

  • Apprenticeship

Program location icon Location Offered

  • Cowichan

If you’re handy, interested in mechanics, and seek a well-paying career that’s in high demand, think about taking the Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Mechanic program at VIU’s Cowichan Trades Centre. Those who take refrigeration and airconditioning mechanic courses, also known as an HVAC program, can use their skills to enter a service-oriented career field with many opportunities.

Enter a career that won’t keep you in an office, and where you can solve problems with mechanical and technical skills and practical knowledge. Graduates can progress to refrigeration and airconditioning mechanic apprenticeship, using credit toward their journeyperson (Red Seal) certification.

The Refrigeration Air-Conditioning Mechanic Certificate Program

This program, offered at the Cowichan Trades Centre, prepares individuals for entry into the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning industry service sector. The program provides a solid foundation in the fundamentals of installing, servicing, and troubleshooting all aspects of residential commercial and industrial heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) equipment, as well as customer relations.

Classroom instruction is combined with hands-on practical assignments and sophisticated computer-based instruction. On successful completion, students will receive a Vancouver Island University certificate, CFC handling certification from Environment Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

Maturity, good hand/eye coordination and problem solving skills with attention to detail are desirable qualities for individuals pursuing careers in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. An opportunity for work experience is included in the program. Check with the Advising Centre for more details 250.746.3509 (Cowichan Campus).

Learn more about VIU Trades and Applied Technology Apprenticeships.

Refrigeration Air-Conditioning Mechanic


RACM 150T - (Use Safe Work Practices)2.5
RACM 152T - (Use Tools and Equipment)5
RACM 154T - (Organize Work)3.5
RACM 156T - (Apply Fundamentals of Refrigeration)5
RACM 158T - (Apply Electrical Concepts)6
RACM 160T (Plan and Install Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems)
RACM 162T - (Work Experience)1

Total Credits


All program courses must be successfully completed before certificates will be issued.

Graduates may find employment and apprenticeship opportunities with air-conditioning companies, heating contractors. They may also seek employment in building systems maintenance, wholesale and retail sales, controls and instrumentation, equipment manufacturers, and installation and service of equipment.

Work Placement Opportunities

Apprenticeship Information

Graduates of this program receive credit towards the technical portion of the first year of the Refrigeration Mechanic Apprenticeship program. In order to complete the apprenticeship and become a journeyperson, in addition to on-the-job training, graduates would return to school for 8 weeks in Levels 3 and 4. Level 2 is now offered in Duncan at VIU's Cowichan campus.

The Refrigeration Mechanic Apprenticeship program consists of 5 years of on-the-job experience combined with 4 levels of in-school technical training in order to be eligible to write the Interprovincial (Red Seal) Examination for journeyperson certification.

For more information on apprenticeship training, please visit SkilledTradesBC, phone 1.866.660.6011, or call Tanya Reiber at Vancouver Island University toll–free at 1.888.920.2221 Ext. 6112.

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees Amount
Tuition (9 months x $499.20 per month) 4,492.80
Student Activity fee (4% of tuition) 179.71
Student Services fee (4.417% of tuition) 198.45
VIU Students' Union fee (9 months x $18.35 per month) 165.15
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 265.00
Textbooks and supplies (approximate cost) 2,250.00

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus Options
Anticipated intake for someone applying today:
Next Intake(s):

The Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Mechanic Foundations program has two intakes each year at the Cowichan Trade Centre in Duncan. One in September and one in March.

Application Fee:
Testing Required:
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Zoe Doiron
Phone: 250.746.3512
Document Deadline:

Students will be added to the waitlist once their application is complete.


Vancouver Island University's Faculty of Trades and Applied Technology Department is administering a self-assessment test which will be emailed to applicants after they have applied.

Further information on this program can be found on the Department website.

Visit the Department Website

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.