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Occupation Profile

Learn details about any occupation including what you might do on the job, how much you might earn, and how much education or training you might need.

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Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
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Overview


Employment


Wages

Education





Job Details






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Description: what do they do?
Install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.
Also known as:
Refrigeration Technician, Service Technician, Transportation Refrigeration Technician, Refrigeration Mechanic, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Service Technician (HVAC Service Technician), Refrigeration Operator, HVAC/R Service Technician (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Service Technician), Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning / Refrigeration Technician (HVAC / R Technician), Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Technician (HVAC Technician), Ammonia Refrigeration Technician

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Kentucky
4,170
2016 Employment
4,590
2026 Employment
10%
Percent change
460
Annual projected job openings
United States
332,900
2016 Employment
381,700
2026 Employment
15%
Percent change
38,700
Annual projected job openings
You’re seeing projected employment information for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers because we don’t have information for Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers* in Kentucky
* You’re seeing wages for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers because we don’t have information for Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers.
LocationKentuckyUnited States
10%$24,610$29,120
25%$32,050$36,150
Median$41,510$47,080
75%$53,250$60,270
90%$65,130$75,330


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Postsecondary certificate
  • No work experience
  • More than 1 year on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
  • Inspect systems to determine if they are operating properly.
  • Repair pipes to stop leaking.
  • Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
  • Disassemble equipment to inspect for deficiencies.
  • Test mechanical systems to ensure proper functioning.
  • Braze metal parts or components.
  • Repair worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
  • Maintain repair or maintenance records.
  • Install machine or equipment replacement parts.
  • Connect electrical components or equipment.
  • Install heating, ventilation, or air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
  • Schedule repair, installation or maintenance activities.
  • Travel to work sites to perform installation, repair or maintenance work.
  • Supervise employees.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
  • Install home appliances.
  • Train others in operational procedures.
  • Cut materials according to specifications or needs.
  • Lay out work according to specifications.
  • Interpret blueprints, specifications, or diagrams to inform installation, development or operation activities.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
  • Fabricate parts or components.
  • Install hardware or other interior fixtures.
  • Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
  • Install insulation in equipment or structures.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the right tools.
  • Troubleshooting - Figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Planning and doing the basic maintenance on equipment.
  • Installation - Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs.
  • Operation and Control - Using equipment or systems.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Testing how well a product or service works.
  • Equipment Selection - Deciding what kind of tools and equipment are needed to do a job.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Visualization - Imagining how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Extent Flexibility - Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Finger Dexterity - Putting together small parts with your fingers.
  • Hearing Sensitivity - Telling the difference between sounds.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - Noticing the difference between colors, including shades and brightness.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Adjust valves according to specifications and charge system with proper type of refrigerant by pumping the specified gas or fluid into the system.
  • Observe and test system operation, using gauges and instruments.
  • Test lines, components, and connections for leaks.
  • Adjust or replace worn or defective mechanisms and parts and reassemble repaired systems.
  • Dismantle malfunctioning systems and test components, using electrical, mechanical, and pneumatic testing equipment.
  • Braze or solder parts to repair defective joints and leaks.
  • Perform mechanical overhauls and refrigerant reclaiming.
  • Keep records of repairs and replacements made and causes of malfunctions.
  • Install expansion and control valves, using acetylene torches and wrenches.
  • Install wiring to connect components to an electric power source.
  • Mount compressor, condenser, and other components in specified locations on frames, using hand tools and acetylene welding equipment.
  • Schedule work with customers and initiate work orders, house requisitions, and orders from stock.
  • Estimate, order, pick up, deliver, and install materials and supplies needed to maintain equipment in good working condition.
  • Supervise and instruct assistants.
  • Cut, bend, thread, and connect pipe to functional components and water, power, or refrigeration system.
  • Lay out reference points for installation of structural and functional components, using measuring instruments.
  • Read blueprints to determine location, size, capacity, and type of components needed to build refrigeration system.
  • Lift and align components into position, using hoist or block and tackle.
  • Fabricate and assemble structural and functional components of refrigeration system, using hand tools, power tools, and welding equipment.
  • Drill holes and install mounting brackets and hangers into floor and walls of building.
  • Insulate shells and cabinets of systems.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.