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Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
SOC Code: 49-9021.02

Install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

Sample of reported job titles: Ammonia Refrigeration Technician; Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning / Refrigeration Technician (HVAC / R Technician); Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Service Technician (HVAC Service Technician); Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Technician (HVAC Technician); HVAC/R Service Technician (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning/Refrigeration Service Technician); Refrigeration Mechanic; Refrigeration Operator; Refrigeration Technician; Service Technician; Transportation Refrigeration Technician

Tasks

  • Observe and test system operation, using gauges and instruments.
  • Adjust valves according to specifications and charge system with proper type of refrigerant by pumping the specified gas or fluid into the system.
  • Test lines, components, and connections for leaks.
  • Dismantle malfunctioning systems and test components, using electrical, mechanical, and pneumatic testing equipment.
  • Adjust or replace worn or defective mechanisms and parts and reassemble repaired systems.
  • 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.
  • Supervise and instruct assistants.
  • Estimate, order, pick up, deliver, and install materials and supplies needed to maintain equipment in good working condition.
  • 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.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - Database software
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP
  • Facilities management software - Facility energy management software; Johnson Controls Metasys
  • Industrial control software - Building automation software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Adjustable widemouth pliers
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Air compressors
  • Air velocity and temperature monitors - Draft gauges; Velometers
  • Alignment jig - Material alignment jigs
  • Ammeters - Milliammeters
  • Anemometers
  • Blow torch - Acetylene torches
  • Bolt cutters
  • Calipers - Vernier calipers
  • Capacitance meters - Capacitance testers
  • Caulking guns
  • Chalk lines
  • Chemical test strips or papers - Litmus papers
  • Cold chisels
  • Conduit benders
  • Dial indicator or dial gauge - Dial indicators
  • Drill bit set - Drill bit sets
  • Electrical frequency meters - Electrical frequency indicators
  • End cut pliers - Side cutting pliers
  • Explosimeters - Combustion analyzers
  • Feeler gauges
  • Fish tape - Fish tapes
  • Flow sensors - Air volume test equipment
  • Flowmeters - Air flow hoods; Pitot tubes
  • Forklifts
  • Frequency calibrator or simulator - Current simulators; Voltage simulators
  • GFI circuit testers - Ground fault circuit interrupter GFCI testers
  • Glue guns
  • Goggles - Safety goggles
  • Grease guns
  • Hacksaw - Hacksaws
  • Hammers
  • Hand reamer - Reamers
  • Hand sprayers
  • Hand trucks or accessories - Hand trucks
  • Handheld refractometers or polarimeters - Portable refractometers
  • Handheld thermometer - Handheld thermometers; Water temperature gauges
  • Hex keys - Allen wrenches
  • Hoists
  • Hold down clamps
  • Hole saws
  • Hydraulic pumps - Transfer pumps
  • Infrared imagers - Infrared thermography cameras and display units
  • Jacks
  • Label making machines - Labeling machines
  • Ladders
  • Laser printers
  • Leak testing equipment - Smoke testers
  • Level sensors or transmitters - Transit levels
  • Levels - Bubble levels; Laser levels; Precision levels; Water levels
  • Lifelines or lifeline equipment - Fall arrest lines
  • Liquid leak detectors - Refrigerant leak detectors
  • Lug crimping tool dies
  • Manometers
  • Manual wire straighteners - Fin combs
  • Medical acoustic stethoscope or accessory - Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Megohmmeters
  • Metal band sawing machine - Bandsaws
  • Microcontrollers - Programmable logic controllers PLC
  • Micrometers
  • Moisture meters - Micron gauges
  • Multimeters
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Nut drivers
  • Ohmmeters - Volt-ohm meters VOM
  • Oil pumps - Refrigerant oil pumps
  • Open end wrenches
  • Oxygen gas analyzers - Oxygen testers
  • Personal computers
  • Phasemeters - Phase rotation meters
  • Pipe or tube cutter - Pipe cutters; Tube cutters
  • Pipe wrenches
  • Platform lift - Platform lifts; Staging equipment
  • Plotter printers - Plotters
  • Portable data input terminals - Computer diagnostic devices; Dataloggers
  • Potentiometers
  • Power drills - Cordless drills; Electric drills; Hand drills
  • Power flaring tool - Flaring tools
  • Power saws - Reciprocating saws
  • Pressure indicators - Gas pressure gauges; Magnehelic gauges; Pressure simulators
  • Pressure or steam cleaners - Power washers
  • Pry bars - Crowbars
  • Psychrometers
  • Pullers
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts - Knockout punches; Punches
  • Razor knives - Scrapers
  • Refrigerant compressors - Charging cylinders; Charging manifolds
  • Respirators
  • Rulers
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety harnesses or belts - Safety belts; Safety harnesses
  • Sampling manifolds - Service manifold sets
  • Scaffolding
  • Scales - Scale rules
  • Scanners - Image scanners
  • Screw extractors - Screw extractor sets
  • Screwdrivers
  • Scribers
  • Shackle - Shackles
  • Single gas monitors - Carbon dioxide CO2 testers; Carbon monoxide evaluators
  • Slings
  • Socket sets - Socket wrench sets
  • Soldering iron - Soldering guns; Soldering irons
  • Sound measuring apparatus or decibel meter - Decibel meters
  • Specialty wrenches - Valve wrenches
  • Spectrometers
  • Squares
  • Straight edges - Straightedges
  • Stripping tools - Wire strippers
  • Swaging tools
  • Tachometers - Strobe tachometers
  • Tape measures
  • Telescoping boom lift - Telescoping boom trucks
  • Temperature calibrator or simulator - Temperature simulators
  • Temperature gauge - Temperature gauges
  • Temperature humidity testers - Humidity simulators
  • Tension testers - Belt tension indicators
  • Thermocouple probes - Thermocouple testers
  • Threading dies - Pipe dies; Pipe threaders
  • Threading taps - Tap sets
  • Tinners snips - Tin snips
  • Torque wrenches
  • Two way radios
  • Ultraviolet UV lamps - Black lights
  • Utility knives
  • Vacuum cleaners - Industrial vacuums
  • Vacuum gauges - Compound gauges
  • Vacuum pumps - Recovery and recycle units
  • Vibration testers - Vibration analyis equipment
  • Wattmeters - Watt transducers
  • Welder torch - Brazing equipment
  • Winches - Staging winches
  • Wire brushes
  • Wire cutters

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • 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.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skills

  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Installation - Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Equipment Selection - Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Abilities

  • 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 there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Interests

  • Interest code: RCE
    • Realistic - 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.
    • Conventional - 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.
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Context

  • Contact With Others - 81% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 72% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 72% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 59% responded “Very important results.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 68% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 61% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to High Places - 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 67% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 65% responded “Very important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 46% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure - 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 55% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 45% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover - 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 30% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 35% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 32% responded “About half the time.”
  • Physical Proximity - 43% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Consequence of Error - 37% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 36% responded “Limited responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 45% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Letters and Memos - 32% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 39% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling - 40% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Level of Competition - 53% responded “Moderately competitive.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
56%Post-secondary certificate
22%Some college, no degree
12%Associate's degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $22.64 hourly, $47,080 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 333,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Much faster than average (15% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 38,700

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