Heating, ventilating & air conditioning

Look around you, every supermarket, shopping mall or office tower is fitted with an HVAC system – and so too are many residential homes. Competenz trains the people who control the temperature and air quality of New Zealand’s buildings.

Careers information

What do they do?

Mechanical building services engineers maintain the components used in heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. They install split system air conditioning units and fabricate, install and maintain systems in homes, office buildings, hospitals and factories. You could be installing a heat pump in a residential house or doing commercial maintenance in shopping mall or an office tower on any day.

Typical day 

Normally an 8 hour day; sometimes working longer may be required. Work can include installing split system air conditioning, ventilation and air conditioning engineering (fabricating, installing and maintaining systems in office buildings, hospitals and factories) through to refrigeration engineering in warehouses, ships, containers and trucks. You are likely to work is a huge variety of locations.

Does this sound like you?

Study areas

• English or Media Studies or History

• Maths or Accounting or Economics 

• Sciences or Workshop Technologies

• Computing / ICT / Information Management


• Good at precision work

• Good literacy and numeracy

• Good organisational skills

• Good work habits / time management

Helpful experience

• Analysing, researching or problem solving

• Making or fixing things

• Working with machinery

• Working with computers

Preferred work environments

• Inside (workshop or plant)

• Outside (outdoors)

• Different places from time to time

How much could I earn?

Icn Money

Newly Qualified

$41k - $73k

Career Pathway

School Entry level jobs Advancing jobs Senior jobs

Ideally, NCEA Level 2 passes in:


Science (Physics)

Technology (Metal Work)


Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) Engineer

HVAC System Design

Commercial HVAC Engineer

Industrial HVAC Engineer



Site Supervisor

Business Manager

Business Owner

Unit/Achievement standards in schools Apprenticeship Higher learning Higher learning

What do we offer?

  • We partner with industry associations like the Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (IRHACE) and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential apprentices, and encouraging work placements.
  • We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences and awards, and celebrate your learners’ success.
  • When apprentices enrol, we assign them a Competenz account manager. Our account managers understand the industry and the skills learners and businesses need.

 Click here for more details on the Careers NZ website.

National qualifications

This qualification is for people in the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) industries. People awarded this qualification are able to, install, integrate, pre-commission, and maintain HVAC systems.

Click here for the NZQA qualification overview.

The Mechanical Services strand is for those employed within the refrigeration, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning industries installing, commissioning, servicing and maintaining: commercial refrigeration and/or air conditioning equipment; industrial single or multi-stage refrigeration systems, or heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems for industrial and office buildings.

This qualification also covers supervisory, business and administrative skills.

Click here for the NZQA qualification overview.