Study refrigeration and air conditioning for free^

New Zealand Certificate in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (Trades Assistant) (Level 3)

As part of the government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) to rebuild New Zealand's economy, this programme is now free^. For terms and conditions, more information, and other programmes covered by this scheme, click here.

Due to high demand, we recommend applying early.

Programme highlights

­­Do you want to shorten your apprenticeship in refrigeration and air conditioning?

You could find yourself installing an air conditioning system in an office building one day and then fixing a commercial freezer on a fishing boat the next.

Learn the practical skills you need to become a refrigeration and air conditioning technician. If you don't already have an apprenticeship, study this programme to cut your apprenticeship off-the-job learning by up to a year.

At MIT our refrigeration and air conditioning facilities include a coolroom and up-to-date testing equipment.

Aspects of this programme are physically demanding, please talk with an Ask Me! agent if you face fitness or mobility challenges.

Please note: A small component of this programme is delivered by a sub-contractor.

Key facts

Start month(s)

February, July

Study location(s)

MIT TechPark

Level 3
Domestic fees


Click here to see individual course fees

Youth Guarantee (fees-free*)

Available (eligibility criteria applies)

Click here to find out more

Programme code NZ2365

Full-time for 1 year (34 teaching weeks)

Study method

Full-time (3 days per week)

Credits 120
International fees Not available to international students
Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Scholarship (fees-free*)

Available (eligibility criteria applies)

Click here to find out more

Qualification leads to

New Zealand Certificate in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (Trade Assistant) (Level 3)

Entry requirements


Open entry for domestic students

There are no academic requirements that need to be met to enter this programme.

English language entry requirements

You will need English language competence to undertake this programme which is taught and assessed in English (an assessment may be required if your first language is not English).


Programme structure

You will need to complete the below seven courses (120 credits):
Level 2

251.201 Core Engineering Practical and Safety (15 credits)

Select, use, and care for, engineering hand and power tools, demonstrate knowledge of fasteners used in mechanical engineering, shift loads in engineering installation, maintenance, and fabrication work, and apply safe working practices on an engineering work site.  Demonstrate knowledge of workplace health and safety requirements.  Demonstrate knowledge of common first aid conditions and how to respond to them and provide first aid for life threatening conditions

253.227 Electrical Theory Electromotive Force and Magnetism (15 credits)

Explain the properties of conductors, insulators, and semiconductors and their effect on electrical circuits and demonstrate knowledge of electromotive force and electromagnetism theory

Level 3

251.305 Core Engineering Calculations Materials and Engineering Drawing (15 credits)

Demonstrate knowledge of mathematics and mechanics, interpret heating, ventilating and air conditioning drawings. Demonstrate knowledge of common engineering materials and metals. Demonstrate knowledge of safety on engineering work sites.

253.348 Refrigeration Principles and Operations (30 credits)

Demonstrate knowledge of ozone depletion, global warming, and refrigeration and air conditioning principles and applications.  Assemble commercial refrigeration and air conditioning system components

253.349 Refrigeration Assembly and Site Safe (15 credits)

Fabricate and assemble commercial refrigeration and air conditioning system, and complete a site safe

253.350 Electrical Safety and Electrical Appliance Servicing (15 credits)

Demonstrate knowledge and practical skills required for Electrical Service Technicians – Demonstrate knowledge of electrical safety and safe working practices, isolate and test low-voltage electrical sub circuits, and test instruments and take measurements

254.361 Welding for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (15 credits)

Demonstrate and apply knowledge of safe welding procedures, Prepare and purge braze piping for refrigeration and air conditioning and join metals using the torch brazing and soldering processes.

Key dates and timetables

To find the key dates and timetables of this programme, please view the trades calendar.

Career opportunities

Refrigeration engineer, trades assistant, or an apprentice refrigeration and air conditioning technician.

For potential salaries visit

Further training or study

Ongoing study is offered and managed through the relevant ITO (Industry Training Organisation).  You will need to be employed in your trade to complete Level 4 apprenticeship training.  Contact us to find out more about which ITO can support you with your ongoing study.

Information is correct as at 28 October 2021. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2022 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2022 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2022 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2022 are based on the 2021 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2022. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology Limited is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.

^Free study for this qualification may be available to you under the government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF). If you’re enrolled in an eligible programme, TTAF will automatically cover your fees from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2022. Visit for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student and meet any other entry criteria as required. Some costs may also apply. Free study is subject to funding confirmation. Note: if your programme of study goes beyond 31 December 2022, your courses after this date will be subject to applicable course costs.  Please talk to us at that time though, as you might be eligible for fees-free study or other options to cover the rest of your tuition fees.