"Earn while you learn" is a unique approach to teaching apprentices. It entails learning on the job, applying knowledge you already have and gaining new skills while earning money at the same time. That means you will be required to complete real tasks for a real employer, as if you were already working in the industry.

One earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship that's offered at Centennial College concerns itself with the field of the refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic. Known as the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic program, its major focus is on offering students knowledge of design, installation and service techniques of heating and air conditioning systems in residential and commercial buildings. This is achieved through three years. Each year sees topics increase in difficulty with the first year looking at basic level topics, the second year delving into intermediate level topics and the final year rounding out the apprenticeship with advanced topics. It is worth noting that the structure of the program consists of sessions into which the Ministry of Training schedules students.

At Centennial College, instructors who have years of experience in the industry as well as current knowledge of the field teach students. This is beneficial, as it allows students to gain a personal perspective on the industry and receive anecdotal advice that will come in handy once they enter the field and begin to apply for jobs. Further enhancing the training offered in this program is the facility from which it is delivered. Not only is Progress Campus Centennial College's largest location, it is also one of the province's largest trades training centres. That means it features state-of-the-art labs that are equipped with tools of the trade and a mock environment that will give students an idea of what they can expect once they are in the industry.

Once students complete each air conditioning mechanic course in the program, they receive a certificate of completion. Additionally, once they complete all experience training they are ready to write their exam for their certificate of qualification. Passing this exam means students qualify for a certificate of apprenticeship from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and that you are certified as refrigeration and air conditioning systems mechanics.

Graduates have a range of options available to them, including becoming building systems mechanics, installers, servicepersons, sales representatives, and parts counter clerks with a variety of employers, such as residential and commercial air conditioning/refrigeration contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers, and government and public utilities.