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Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer

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What Does it Take to Be a Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer?

Job Description: Install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

A Day in the Life of a Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer

  • Schedule work with customers and initiate work orders, house requisitions, and orders from stock.
  • Mount compressor, condenser, and other components in specified locations on frames, using hand tools and acetylene welding equipment.
  • Fabricate and assemble structural and functional components of refrigeration system, using hand tools, power tools, and welding equipment.
  • Lay out reference points for installation of structural and functional components, using measuring instruments.
  • Drill holes and install mounting brackets and hangers into floor and walls of building.
  • Perform mechanical overhauls and refrigerant reclaiming.

Skills Needed to be a Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer

When polled, Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Equipment Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

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.

  • Commercial Service Technician
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning / Refrigeration Technician (HVAC / R Technician)
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Service Technician (HVAC Service Technician)
  • Refrigeration Operator
  • VRT Mechanic (Variable Retention Time Mechanic)

Job Demand for Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 332,900 jobs in the United States for Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 14.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 48,800 new jobs for Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer by 2026. There will be an estimated 38,700 positions for Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer per year.


The states with the most job growth for Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer are Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Vermont, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer Make?

Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers make between $29,460 and $76,230 a year.


Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers who work in District of Columbia, Alaska, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $41,020
Alaska $66,290
Arizona $46,040
Arkansas $40,270
California $58,130
Colorado $53,460
Connecticut $64,180
Delaware $51,360
District of Columbia $69,610
Florida $42,630
Georgia $41,940
Hawaii $61,670
Idaho $42,640
Illinois $59,590
Indiana $47,770
Iowa $51,330
Kansas $51,250
Kentucky $42,150
Louisiana $43,640
Maine $50,280
Maryland $58,900
Massachusetts $59,890
Michigan $49,030
Minnesota $52,920
Mississippi $40,890
Missouri $47,710
Montana $48,740
Nebraska $48,580
Nevada $51,590
New Hampshire $51,320
New Jersey $59,630
New Mexico $46,200
New York $59,780
North Carolina $43,190
North Dakota $56,120
Ohio $47,640
Oklahoma $43,810
Oregon $49,940
Pennsylvania $51,870
Rhode Island $52,270
South Carolina $45,240
South Dakota $46,600
Tennessee $43,720
Texas $46,070
Utah $47,950
Vermont $49,980
Virginia $50,210
Washington $58,290
West Virginia $41,110
Wisconsin $52,020
Wyoming $47,320

What Tools & Technology do Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • SAP
  • Database software
  • Building automation software
  • Facility energy management software
  • Johnson Controls Metasys

How do I Become a Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer?

Are there Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers education requirements?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers?


The table below shows the approximate number of Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers employed by various industries.


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Refrigeration Mechanic or Installer sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Andrew Moua via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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