To become a refrigeration technician in the United States, you may need to have an associate's degree in a refrigeration technology discipline. Some employers might be willing to allow qualified candidates to substitute substantial work experience for an educational background. For the most part, employers look for candidates who have technical certifications in at least one specialized area.
In order to be hired, you may need to already have at least two or three years of experience, if you want to get a job as a refrigeration technician. Without this experience, you might have to begin your career by working as an intern, assistant, or apprentice. Your employer could also require you to have a valid driver's license for the state in which you are going to be working, particularly if the job requires you to travel between sites.
As a general rule, you need to be familiar with maintenance and repair practices in a variety of refrigeration systems. To become a refrigeration technician, you usually also need experience with troubleshooting and repairing plumbing and electrical systems. Depending on the specific job requirements, you may need to be adept at quickly calculating mathematical figures. Basic math skills are generally sufficient, though in some cases you could need to use advanced mathematical formulas in this work.
An ability to write legibly, so that you can create reports for customers and your employer, is also typically required. While some reports may need to be completed by hand, you might also be expected to create some documents on a computer. If you want to become a refrigeration technician, you should have a basic competency at operating word processing programs, and navigating the Internet.
Depending on your level of employment, you may be expected to read and understand drawings and blueprints while on the job. In order to become a refrigeration technician, and be successful in this career field, you could be called upon to work on equipment that you are not familiar with. In these situations, it may be necessary for you to review blueprints, or other existing documentation, and then determine the steps that need to be taken in order to resolve the problem.
Communication is generally thought to be a very important part of this type of position. Employers expect job candidates to speak clearly and intelligently for efficient communication with others. You should also be personable and have the ability to get along well with a variety of other people.