Refrigeration Engineer

Introduction

As a Refrigeration Engineer, you will install, service and repair fridges and freezers.

Also known as

  • Refrigeration Installer
  • Refrigeration Mechanic
  • Refrigeration Operator
  • Refrigeration Service Inspector
  • Refrigeration Specialist
  • Refrigeration Technician

Work Activities

As a Refrigeration Engineer, you will install, service and repair fridges and freezers.

You could be servicing fridges and freezers in:

  • offices
  • people’s homes
  • factories
  • schools
  • supermarkets
  • refrigerated transport

Refrigeration Engineers usually will write reports on each fridge/freezer they attend to and keep accurate records for the business they work for.

You could demonstrate the new equipment to clients. You might demonstrate:

  • the buttons and lighting
  • any technological aspects
  • panel displays

Once you have installed the equipment, you will have to complete a risk assessment as part of the service.

If you are carrying out a routine service and it does not meet the standards, then you might have to install and fit new equipment to get it to a safe standard. The risk assessment will include writing reports, legal and insurance documents for the business that you are working for as well.

You might be called out for emergencies such as a school’s fridge/freezer breaking down. This could be on a freelance basis.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Refrigeration Engineer, you need:

  • a willingness to keep up to date with advances in technology
  • an understanding of electrical health and safety regulations
  • excellent problem-solving skills
  • a logical, accurate and methodical approach to your work
  • strong communication skills
  • strong technical and computer skills
  • practical skills

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £28,000 - £30,500
  • With experience: £32,000 - £37,000
  • Senior Refrigeration Engineers earn £42,500

Hours of work

Most Refrigeration Engineers work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Early starts, late finishes, and some weekend work may be required. Some Refrigeration Engineers may be required to work shifts.

Where could I work?

Employers are firms in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, communications and transportation.

Opportunities for Refrigeration Engineers occur throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

You may also be able to enter employment as a trainee, receiving day- or block-release to go to college part-time.

Training

You will need to be able to work towards a relevant work-based qualification.

To become a Refrigeration Engineer, you will need to complete a qualification in refrigeration handling.

It is a legal requirement that all Engineers who handle types of fridges complete this qualification.

It is a five day block course where you will have a mix of practical and knowledge assessments.

Some of the practical assessments include:

  • to identify refrigerators, air conditioning and heat pump system components, functions and leakage risks
  • to examine pipework which includes pressure testing, evacuation, charging, recovery and record keeping.
  • pressure test the system for strength and leak tightness
  • carry out visual check for leaks and leak test using an electronic leak detector
  • fit and disconnect gauges on the running system
  • recover the refrigerator
  • drain oil from a compressor

In your knowledge assessment, you will need to know about:

  • basic refrigeration theory and function of components
  • monitoring system performance and indications of leakage
  • requirements of regulation/legislation
  • to identify the hazards and safe working practices for refrigerant handling
  • relate to causes and effects of global warming and climate change
  • record keeping
  • potential leak points
  • handling of contaminated refrigerators and oil
  • component function and associated leak risk

Progression

With further education and training, you could start up your own business on a self - employed basis.

Work Experience

Previous experience in plumbing, or mechanical or electrical work may be useful for this career.

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Semta

Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001

Email: customerservices@semta.org.uk

Website: www.semta.org.uk

City & Guilds

Address: 1 Giltspur Street, London EC1A 9DD

Tel: 020 7294 2468

Email: learnersupport@cityandguilds.com

Website: www.cityandguilds.com

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP

Tel: 01923 260000

Email: ecitb@ecitb.org.uk

Website: careers.ecitb.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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