How to Become a Refrigeration Technician

refrigeration technician

What Is a Refrigeration Technician?

A refrigeration technician represents one job of a larger industry called HVAC/R. HVAC/R stands for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration. 1 Some techs work on heating and cooling units. Refrigeration techs work on refrigerators and freezers.

Common Steps to Become a Refrigeration Technician

refrigeration repair

Step 1: Choose a Trade School

Employers are increasingly looking to hire refrigeration techs with formal training. 2  Finding a trade school depends on certain factors.

  1. Reputation – How long has the school been around?
  2. Curriculum – Does the school teach the skills employers are looking for?
  3. Staff- Does the school have knowledgeable staff that can help with areas like financial aid and career preparation?
  4. Instructors – Do they have field experience? Are they able to translate that knowledge to the classroom?

Step 2: Complete Refrigeration Training

Trade school programs can typically be completed in two years or less. 3 At The Refrigeration School (RSI), you can finish your refrigeration training in as little as six months.

Refrigeration Technologies Training Program Courses Offered at RSI:

  • Fundamentals of Electricity
  • Commercial Comfort Systems
  • Residential Comfort Systems
  • Fundamentals of Refrigeration
  • Refrigeration Systems and Practices
  • Advanced Troubleshooting

Earning your diploma can help prepare you enter a career in industrial, retail, or commercial refrigeration.

Step 3:  Get EPA Certification

Many refrigerants are harmful to the ozone layer or contribute to global warming. Before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will allow you to handle them, you’ll have to get Section 608 Technician Certification. 4 You can choose from four types of EPA certification.

EPA Certification Options:

Type 1: Small Appliances

Type 2: High-Pressure Appliances

Type 3: Low-Pressure Appliances

Type 4: All Appliances

You’ll need to pass an EPA-approved test for each type of certification.

Step 4: Get Licensed

Depending on which state you work in, you may need a license. 5

States Without License Requirements:

states that require refrigeration license

  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming 6

Some of the cities and localities in these states do require you to have a license.

Step 5: Polish Your Resume

You may already have a resume, but you’ll want to add your new qualifications to it. Usually, you can find help with HVAC resume writing at your trade school’s career services department.

Step 6: Network

While many job postings are online, meeting people in the industry can get you past other candidates without the connections. HVAC trade shows and conferences can be a great place to network.

Step 7: Use HVAC/R Job Resources

Many schools have employer partnerships for job leads. For additional resources, use job boards created for the industry and skilled trades.

Job Boards:

Persistence Pays Off

Be persistent. Stay positive. Keep applying. Your efforts will pay off.

Additional Sources:

1 – https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/heating-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-mechanics-and-installers.htm
2 – http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-refrigeration-technician.htm
3 – https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/career-planning-for-high-schoolers.htm
4 – https://www.epa.gov/section608/section-608-technician-certification
5 – https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/heating-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-mechanics-and-installers.htm#tab-4
6 – http://www.nationalcontractors.com/hvac.htm