Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Mary Joyce from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Mary Joyce

Secondary School Teacher

Department of Education and Skills

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  Mary Joyce
Teaching as they say is a vocation, it is a job that requires patience and enthusiasm. If you are considering teaching you need to look beyond the holidays and think of the 9-4 Monday to Friday spent dealing with children or teenagers and the challenges which they might pose.

I would advise anyone thinking of teaching as a career to speak with Teachers and learn of their experiences, both positive and negative. I personally would encourage people to consider teaching as it is an extremely rewarding profession in terms of the interaction you get daily with young people and the colleagues you meet in the job.
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Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Craftsperson
In Summary header image

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Craftsperson

The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning craftsperson installs, maintains and repairs all types of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment and systems, domestic, marine, commercial and industrial, including such items as household, hospital, hotel and shop refrigerators, display cabinets, deep freezers, cooling plants, cold rooms and refrigerated transport.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning craftspersons generally are employed by dealers and contractors engaged in selling and servicing refrigeration equipment.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning craftspersons require many skills including:
  • Knowledge of electrical work
  • Knowledge of welding
  • Knowledge of plumbing
  • Inspecting and testing of systems and fault diagnosis
  • Interpreting drawings and diagrams
  • Performing routine maintenance and repairs
Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade. 

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.



Training header image

Phase 1: With Employer

  • Induction Training
  • Introduction to Health & Safety, Tools & Equipment and Basic Skills
Phase 2: Delivered in Training Centre (20 weeks)
Course Content:
  • Induction
  • Basic Refrigeration/Air Conditioning
  • Basic Refrigeration Systems
  • Refrigeration/Electrical Installations
  • Compressor Rebuild
  • Electromechanical Equipment Servicing
  • Control Panel Design & Wiring
  • Low Temperature Room Installation
Phase 3: With Employer
Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 4: Delivered in Educational College (10 weeks)
Course Content:
  • Commercial/Pack Systems
  • Air Conditioning/Heat Pump Systems
  • Electrical Science Review
  • Electrical Installation Systems
  • Related Theory
Phase 5: With Employer
Work Based Training and Assessments

Phase 6: Delivered in Educational College (10 weeks)
Course Content:
  • Refrigeration PLC/Controls
  • Planned Maintenance
  • Industrial Systems
  • Related Theory
Phase 7: With Employer
Work Based Training and Assessments

The overall duration of this apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years provided all phases are successfully completed.
On successful completion of the programme the learner is awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft – Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.


Personal Qualities header image

As a Refrigeration and Air Conditioning craftsperson, you will need to be physically active and to be able to work with your hands.

An awareness of health and safety and good housekeeping is essential as well as attention to detail and an eye for the aesthetic.

The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning craftsperson must have the ability to:

  • Plan and organise
  • Communicate effectively
  • Solve problems
  • Work independently and as part of a team
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Recognise the need for good customer relations
  • Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness
Note: A person wishing to become an apprentice Refrigeration and Air Conditioning craftsperson must pass a colour–vision test approved by SOLAS.


Work Activities header image

  • Learning and developing new practical craft-related skills, knowledge and competence
  • Working with and learning from experienced craftspersons
  • Seeing a job through from start to finish
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Working with technical drawings and diagrams
  • Working with electricity or electronics
  • Using tools or machinery to fabricate industrial components
  • Working with a variety of specialised hand tools, power tools and equipment
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Being well organised and careful with practical tasks
  • Working at heights
  • Lifting or carrying heavy items
  • Being physically active
  • Taking responsibility for their own learning, including the allocation of study time
  • Bending and Kneeling
  • Passing all your phase exams (theory, practicals skills demonstration)
  • Earning as you learn


Pay & Fees header image

Funding Arrangements

All apprentices are paid a Training Allowance while attending off-the-job training in training centres or college, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship.

Details of the Training Allowances payable are available here.

What apprentice rate wages are paid?

Apprentice rates are paid for the on-the-job phases of apprenticeships. The actual rates paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer. Generally, the rates will increase in a number of steps during the apprenticeship. For example:

 

All other Trades

Electrical

Apprentices

APPRENTICE RATE

€ / hr

€ / hr

1st Year Rate

2nd Year Rate

3rd Year Rate

4th Year Rate

5.73

8.61

12.91

15.49

6.22

9.33

13.48

16.59

Note: You should always seek details of specific rates of pay for apprentices from prospective employers.

Apprentice Student Contribution

The Annual Student Contribution is levied on students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology. As part of the changes included in Budget 2014, apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.

The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.

Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. 

Female Apprentices' bursary for employers

To promote the entry of women into the designated apprenticeships, a bursary is available to employers to encourage an increased level of recruitment of female apprentices.

For more information Click here or contact your local ETB Training Centre.


Entry Requirements header image

The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age.
 
The minimum educational requirements are:
 
1. Grade D in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,
or
2. The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course 
or 
3. Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable 

Note: These are the current approved minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship programmes, however, previous experience of the following subjects would be an advantage but not essential:

  • Metalwork
  • Mathematics
  • Technical Drawing/Graphics
  • Physics
  • Technology
Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.


Getting an Apprenticeship header image

You must obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen occupation.

  • The employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.
Note: Refrigeration & Aircon Apprenticeship applicants are required to pass a colour vision test approved by SOLAS.
Are you interested in a construction apprenticeship?
If so, register your interest by creating an account and uploading a short personal profile via this link.


Career Opportunities header image

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession. 

Where apprentices and craftspersons have the necessary ability, initiative and basic qualifications, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technology courses and management courses which are available in Institutes of Technology, Schools of Management and Professional Institutes.

Many craftspersons use their apprenticeship qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.


Occupation Profile header image

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Progression Routes header image

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Occupation Data

Refrigeration Craftsperson

Industry Expert(s)