Expand mobile version menu

Refrigeration Mechanic  What They Do

Just the Facts


Installs and repairs industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway, Maintenance/Operations pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Observes and tests system operation, using gauges and instruments.
  • Adjusts valves according to specifications and charges system with proper type of refrigerant by pumping the specified gas or fluid into the system.
  • Tests lines, components, and connections for leaks.
  • Dismantles malfunctioning systems and tests components, using electrical, mechanical, and pneumatic testing equipment.
  • Adjusts or replaces worn or defective mechanisms and parts, and reassembles repaired systems.
  • Brazes or solders parts to repair defective joints and leaks.
  • Performs mechanical overhauls and refrigerant reclaiming.
  • Keeps records of repairs and replacements made and causes of malfunctions.
  • Installs expansion and control valves, using acetylene torches and wrenches.
  • Installs wiring to connect components to an electric power source.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work
  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Mechanic (HVAC Mechanic) --
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Service Technician (HVAC Service Technician) --