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Career and Education Opportunities for Refrigeration Mechanics in Elgin, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for refrigeration mechanics in the Elgin, Illinois area. Currently, 9,590 people work as refrigeration mechanics in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 10% to about 10,580 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for refrigeration mechanics, which sees this job pool growing by about 28.1% over the next eight years. In general, refrigeration mechanics install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

The income of a refrigeration mechanic is about $22 hourly or $47,580 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $19 per hour or $39,680 yearly on average. Refrigeration mechanics earn the same as people working in the category of Heating and Air generally in Illinois and the same as people in the Heating and Air category nationally.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree as a refrigeration mechanic. Given that the most common education level for refrigeration mechanics is a post-secondary certificate, it will take a short time to learn to be a refrigeration mechanic if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Refrigeration Mechanic

In general, refrigeration mechanics install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

Refrigeration mechanics adjust or remove worn or faulty mechanisms and parts, and reassemble repaired systems. They also observe and test system operations, using gauges and instruments. Equally important, refrigeration mechanics have to test lines and connections for leaks. They are often called upon to braze or solder parts to repair faulty joints and leaks. They are expected to set up expansion and control valves, using acetylene torches and wrenches. Finally, refrigeration mechanics dismantle malfunctioning systems and test parts, using electrical and pneumatic testing equipment.

Every day, refrigeration mechanics are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to visualize how things come together and can be organized. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for refrigeration mechanics to schedule efforts with customers and initiate work orders, house requisitions and orders from stock. They are often called upon to drill holes and install mounting brackets and hangers into floor and walls of building. They also set up wiring to connect parts to an electric power source. They are sometimes expected to fabricate and assemble structural and functional parts of refrigeration system, using hand tools and welding equipment. Somewhat less frequently, refrigeration mechanics are also expected to insulate shells and cabinets of systems.

Refrigeration mechanics sometimes are asked to perform mechanical overhauls and refrigerant reclaiming. They also have to be able to insulate shells and cabinets of systems And finally, they sometimes have to set up wiring to connect parts to an electric power source.

Like many other jobs, refrigeration mechanics must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin include:

  • Bus or Truck Garage Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul trucks, buses, and all types of diesel engines. Includes mechanics working primarily with automobile diesel engines.
  • Camera Repair Technician. Repair and adjust cameras and photographic equipment, including commercial video and motion picture camera equipment.
  • Heating Equipment Installer. Install, service, and repair heating and air conditioning systems in residences and commercial establishments.
  • Household Appliance Repairer. Repair, adjust, or install all types of electric or gas household appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, and ovens.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Refrigeration Mechanic Training

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated twenty and seven students respectively in 2008.

Environmental Technical Institute - Itasca, IL

Environmental Technical Institute, 1101 W Thorndale Ave, Itasca, IL 60143-1334. Environmental Technical Institute is a small school located in Itasca, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 258 students. Environmental Technical Institute has 2 areas of study related to Refrigeration Mechanic. They are:

  • Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology/Technician (ACH/ACR/ACHR/HRAC/HVAC, one to two year which graduated 137 students in 2008.
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician, less than one year which graduated 118 students in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated 193, twenty-six, and nine students respectively in 2008.

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated eighty-two, fourteen, and four students respectively in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated sixty-five and two students respectively in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated twenty and four students respectively in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-two and six students respectively in 2008.

Waubonsee Community College - Sugar Grove, IL

Waubonsee Community College, Rte 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554-0901. Waubonsee Community College is a medium sized college located in Sugar Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,218 students. Waubonsee Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated seven and two students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Commissioning Agent: Commissioning Agents perform functional performance tests and acceptance of HVAC systems in the building commissioning process.

For more information, see the Associated Air Balance Council website.

Test and Balance Technician: Test and Balance Technicians perform field testing and analysis of HVAC systems; make system adjustments; record readings; and prepare test and balance reports for approval by the agency TBE.

For more information, see the Associated Air Balance Council website.

Standard Journeyman Plumber: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an independent testing program designed to provide licensing agencies with information regarding.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Certified National Appliance Service Technician - Refrigeration and Air Conditioning: NASTeC is a national certification program for technicians who service major home appliances.

For more information, see the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians website.

Certified National Appliance Service Technician - Universal Technician: NASTeC is a national certification program for technicians who service major home appliances.

For more information, see the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians website.

NAFA Certified Technician: The NAFA Certified Technician (NCT) Program was first introduced to NAFA members in January 1999 as an effort to add more credibility and professionalism to the air filtration industry.

For more information, see the National Air Filtration Associaton website.

Journeyman Air Conditioning & Refrigeration: Originally a P.

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Bulk Medical Gas Systems Installer 6015: Certification to this standard shall be through a method approved by the firm's Quality Control Unit (QCU).

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

PV Installer Certification: The target candidate for NABCEP certification is the person responsible for the system installation (e.

For more information, see the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners website.

Solar Thermal Installer Certification: The NABCEP solar thermal installer certification is a voluntary certification that provides a set of national standards by which solar thermal installers with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from their competition.

For more information, see the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners website.

Gas Heating (Air) Service: Tests a candidate's knowledge of the installation, service, maintenance, and repair of HVAC systems.

For more information, see the North American Technician Excellence, Inc. website.

Hydronics Gas Service: Tests a candidate's knowledge of the installation, service, maintenance, and repair of hot water heating systems.

For more information, see the North American Technician Excellence, Inc. website.

Hydronics Gas Installation: Tests a candidate's knowledge of the installation, service, maintenance, and repair of hot water heating systems.

For more information, see the North American Technician Excellence, Inc. website.

Hydronics Oil Service: Tests a candidate's knowledge of the installation, service, maintenance, and repair of hot water heating systems.

For more information, see the North American Technician Excellence, Inc. website.

Hydronics Oil Installation Certification: Tests a candidate's knowledge of the installation, service, maintenance, and repair of hot water heating systems.

For more information, see the North American Technician Excellence, Inc. website.

Certificate Member: Certificate Membership is a classification of RSES membership, which originated in 1935.

For more information, see the RSES - Refrigeration Service Engineers Society website.

Certificate Member Specialist: Certificate Member Specialist is a classification of RSES membership.

For more information, see the RSES - Refrigeration Service Engineers Society website.

HVACR Electrical Specialist: Fundamental Concepts of Electricity.

For more information, see the RSES - Refrigeration Service Engineers Society website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.