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Career and Education Opportunities for Refrigeration Mechanics in Columbia, Maryland

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for refrigeration mechanics in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 7,500 jobs for refrigeration mechanics in Maryland and this is projected to grow by 15% to 8,630 jobs 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.

Income for refrigeration mechanics is about $22 hourly or $45,850 annually on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $19 per hour or $39,680 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Heating and Air, people working as refrigeration mechanics in Maryland earn the same. They earn the same as people working in the overall category of Heating and Air nationally.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a refrigeration mechanic. The most common level of education for refrigeration mechanics is a post-secondary certificate. You can expect to spend a short time studying 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 Columbia 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.
  • 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

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.

TESST College of Technology-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

TESST College of Technology-Baltimore, 1520 S Caton Ave, Baltimore, MD 21227-1063. TESST College of Technology-Baltimore is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,075 students. TESST College of Technology-Baltimore 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 74 students in 2008.
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician, one to two year which graduated 62 students in 2008.

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia 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 five and eight students respectively in 2008.

North American Trade Schools - Baltimore, MD

North American Trade Schools, 6901 Security Blvd, Suite 16, Baltimore, MD 21244. North American Trade Schools is a small school located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 550 students and an admission rate of 40%. North American Trade Schools has a one to two year program in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated sixty-eight students in 2008.

Lincoln Technical Institute - Columbia, MD

Lincoln Technical Institute, 9325 Snowden River Pky, Columbia, MD 21046. Lincoln Technical Institute is a small school located in Columbia, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,217 students. Lincoln Technical Institute has a one to two year program in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated 145 students 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.