Refrigeration Mechanic

Industrial refrigeration mechanics install, repair and maintain the air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment used in a wide range of applications.


This involves reading and understanding mechanical, electrical and architectural drawings and the use of hand and workshop tools, brazing and soldering equipment and measuring instruments.

Refrigeration mechanics install units, make the necessary electrical connections and also undertake the maintenance and repair of the units. A good knowledge of electrical principles is essential as these mechanics must be able to trace a fault and make repairs and adjustments, which may be electrical or mechanical.

In more detail, they schedule work with customers and initiate work orders, house requisitions and orders from stock, estimate, order, pick up, deliver and install materials and supplies needed to maintain the equipment in good working condition, read blueprints to determine the location, size, capacity and type of components needed to build the refrigeration system and fabricate and assemble structural and functional components of refrigeration systems, using hand tools, power tools and welding equipment. 

Other tasks they need to do are to lift and align components into position, using a hoist or block and tackle, lay out reference points for the installation of structural and functional components, using measuring instruments, drill holes and install mounting brackets and hangers into the floor and walls of the building, and mount the compressor, condenser and other components in specified locations on frames, using hand tools and acetylene welding equipment.  Wiring is installed to connect the components to an electrical power source. 

They need to test lines, components and connections for leaks, dismantle malfunctioning systems and test the components, using electrical, mechanical and pneumatic testing equipment, braze or solder parts to repair defective joints and leaks and perform mechanical overhauls and refrigerant reclaiming.  Assistants need to be supervised and instructed and records of repairs and replacements made and causes of malfunctions need to be kept. 


Personal Requirements

  • at least 16 years old
  • mechanical aptitude
  • able to think logically
  • enjoy working with your hands
  • able to liaise well with clients
  • mathematical aptitude
  • able to pay attention to detail
  • interested in problem-solving
  • accurate and work carefully
  • able to work without direct supervision


Employment

  • air-conditioning and refrigeration contracting companies
  • wholesalers and manufacturers
  • large industrial plants
  • public service sections
  • carbonated soft-drink industry
  • self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can start own business


Getting Started

  • visit construction sites, technical schools and service shops
  • take shop courses to help become familiar with the use of tools
  • try to obtain vacation work as an assistant to a refrigeration mechanic
  • arrange to speak to a refrigeration mechanic about his type of career
  • contact the Department of Labour about learnership possibilities in your area


Programmes

Boston City Campus and Business College does not offer a programme that leads directly to this occupation. Please take a look at the related occupations below to see whether any of these appeal to you. Alternately, please send an email to taryn@boston.co.za and a Student Advisor will call you back.


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