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Summary Report for:
49-9021.02 - Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

Install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

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

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

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.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Flowmeters — Air flow hoods; Pitot tubes
Handheld thermometer — Handheld thermometers; Temperature gauges; Water temperature gauges
Levels — Bubble levels; Laser levels; Precision levels; Water levels
Pipe or tube cutter — Pipe cutters; Tube cutters
Platform lift — Platform lifts; Staging equipment
Power drills — Cordless drills; Electric drills; Hand drills
Pressure indicators — Gas pressure gauges; Magnehelic gauges; Pressure simulators
Soldering iron — Soldering guns; Soldering irons

Technology used in this occupation:

Data base user interface and query software — Database software
Facilities management software — Facility energy management software; Johnson Controls Metasys

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Work Activities

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Work Context

Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — How often does this job require working outdoors, exposed to all weather conditions?
Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — How often does this job require exposure to hazardous conditions?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Exposed to Contaminants — How often does this job require working exposed to contaminants (such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors)?
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?
Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in non-controlled environmental conditions (e.g., warehouse without heat)?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

There are 3 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Refrigeration Mechanic; Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Maintenance; Refrigeration Unit Repairer

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information external site website.

For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship external site website.

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
56   Post-secondary certificate Help
22   Some college, no degree
12   Associate's degree

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Related Occupations

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47-4021.00 Elevator Installers and Repairers Bright Outlook
49-2094.00 Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment Green Occupation
49-2095.00 Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay
49-3011.00 Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians
49-3023.01 Automotive Master Mechanics Bright Outlook
49-3042.00 Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except Engines
49-9021.01 Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook     Green Occupation Green
49-9044.00 Millwrights Green Occupation
49-9071.00 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General Bright Outlook Green Occupation

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages data collected from Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers.
Employment data collected from Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers.
Industry data collected from Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers.

Median wages (2012) $20.98 hourly, $43,640 annual
Employment (2012) 268,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 123,700
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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