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Career and Education Opportunities for Refrigeration Mechanics in Charleston, West Virginia

There are many career and education opportunities for refrigeration mechanics in the Charleston, West Virginia area. Currently, 1,880 people work as refrigeration mechanics in West Virginia. This is expected to grow 6% to 2,000 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for refrigeration mechanics are expected to grow by about 28.1%. In general, refrigeration mechanics install and repair industrial and commercial refrigerating systems.

Refrigeration mechanics earn approximately $13 hourly or $27,640 annually on average in West Virginia. Nationally they average about $19 hourly or $39,680 annually. Incomes for refrigeration mechanics are the same as in the overall category of Heating and Air in West Virginia, and the same as the overall Heating and Air category nationally.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Charleston 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 Charleston include:

  • Boat Mechanic. Repairs and adjusts electrical and mechanical equipment of gasoline or diesel powered inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.
  • 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.
  • Outdoor Power Equipment Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, and related equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Refrigeration Mechanic Training

Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV

Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated two students in 2008.

Carver Career Center - Charleston, WV

Carver Career Center, 4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, WV 25306-6397. Carver Career Center is a small school located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 391 students. Carver Career Center has a less than one year program in Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology/Technician (ACH/ACR/ACHR/HRAC/HVAC which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

Ben Franklin Career Center - Dunbar, WV

Ben Franklin Career Center, 500 28th St, Dunbar, WV 25064. Ben Franklin Career Center is a small school located in Dunbar, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 390 students. Ben Franklin Career Center has a one to two year program in Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated ten 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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.