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Career and Education Opportunities for Refrigeration Mechanics in Portland, Maine

Refrigeration mechanics can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Portland, Maine area. Currently, 1,950 people work as refrigeration mechanics in Maine. This is expected to grow 8% to about 2,100 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. Refrigeration mechanics generally install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

A person working as a refrigeration mechanic can expect to earn about $18 per hour or $39,350 annually on average in Maine and about $19 hourly or $39,680 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Heating and Air, people working as refrigeration mechanics in Maine earn the same. They earn the same as people working in the overall category of Heating and Air nationally.

The Portland area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland 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, you can expect to spend a short time training to become 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 Portland include:

  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Refrigeration Mechanic Training

Southern Maine Community College - South Portland, ME

Southern Maine Community College, 2 Fort Road, South Portland, ME 04106-1698. Southern Maine Community College is a medium sized college located in South Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 5,654 students and an admission rate of 68%. Southern Maine Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology/Technician (ACH/ACR/ACHR/HRAC/HVAC which graduated five and eight 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: Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.