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Career profile Refrigeration Technician

Also known as Certified Refrigeration Operator, Compressor Operator, Engine Room Operator, Freezer Operator, Freezer Person, Ice Cream Maker, Machine Operator, Refrigeration Operator, Refrigeration Technician

Refrigeration Technician

Also known as Certified Refrigeration Operator, Compressor Operator, Engine Room Operator

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$26,190 - $58,290 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mechanical
  • Food Production
Core tasks
  • Record temperatures, amounts of materials processed, or test results on report forms.
  • Monitor pressure gauges, ammeters, flowmeters, thermometers, or products, and adjust controls to maintain specified conditions, such as feed rate, product consistency, temperature, air pressure, and machine speed.
  • Measure or weigh specified amounts of ingredients or materials, and load them into tanks, vats, hoppers, or other equipment.
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What does a Refrigeration Technician do?

Refrigeration Technicians operate or tend equipment such as cooling and freezing units, refrigerators, batch freezers, and freezing tunnels, to cool or freeze products, food, blood plasma, and chemicals.

What kind of tasks does a Refrigeration Technician perform regularly?

Refrigeration Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Record temperatures, amounts of materials processed, or test results on report forms.
  • Monitor pressure gauges, ammeters, flowmeters, thermometers, or products, and adjust controls to maintain specified conditions, such as feed rate, product consistency, temperature, air pressure, and machine speed.
  • Read dials and gauges on panel control boards to ascertain temperatures, alkalinities, and densities of mixtures, and turn valves to obtain specified mixtures.
  • Start machinery, such as pumps, feeders, or conveyors, and turn valves to heat, admit, or transfer products, refrigerants, or mixes.
  • Correct machinery malfunctions by performing actions such as removing jams, and inform supervisors of malfunctions as necessary.
  • Assemble equipment, and attach pipes, fittings, or valves, using hand tools.

The above responsibilities are specific to Refrigeration Technicians. More generally, Refrigeration Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

What is a Refrigeration Technician salary?

The median salary for a Refrigeration Technician is $37,650, and the average salary is $39,610. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Refrigeration Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Refrigeration Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Refrigeration Technicians earn less than $26,190 per year, 25% earn less than $29,920, 75% earn less than $48,230, and 90% earn less than $58,290.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Refrigeration Technicians is expected to change by 6.0%, and there should be roughly 1,000 open positions for Refrigeration Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$37,650
Typical salary range
$26,190 - $58,290
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
6.0%

What personality traits are common among Refrigeration Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Refrigeration Technician are usually higher in their Realistic, Conventional, and Investigative interests.

Refrigeration Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Refrigeration Technicians typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Refrigeration Technicians typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Refrigeration Technician tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Refrigeration Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Refrigeration Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Refrigeration Technicians moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Refrigeration Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, self-control, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Refrigeration Technicians, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

What education and training do Refrigeration Technicians need?

Working as a Refrigeration Technician usually requires a high school diploma.

Refrigeration Technicians need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Refrigeration Technicians

  • 17.8% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 45.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 21.4% completed some college coursework
  • 7.0% earned a Associate's degree
  • 6.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Refrigeration Technicians

Refrigeration Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mechanical, or food production knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Refrigeration Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Important Abilities needed by Refrigeration Technicians

Refrigeration Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Refrigeration Technicians need abilities such as near vision, problem sensitivity, and deductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Refrigeration Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Perceptual Speed
The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

Critical Skills needed by Refrigeration Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Refrigeration Technicians frequently use skills like operations monitoring, operation and control, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Refrigeration Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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