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How do I Choose the Best Refrigeration Courses?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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When selecting a refrigeration course, take the time to evaluate your prior learning experience. Courses designed for licensed refrigeration mechanics are widely available from community and career colleges. These programs typically provide credit for prior learning, even if the learning occurred on the job. Refrigeration courses are available in two streams: general interest and career-oriented study.

A general interest refrigeration course may be applicable to a general facilities maintenance technician, maintenance mechanic, or someone in a related field. This type of course provides important information about how refrigeration works, simple maintenance, and the different design options. The cost for this type of course varies, but is typically between $450 and $600 US Dollars (USD).

The vast majority of refrigeration courses are offered as part of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional program. This type of program is usually two to three years in length, and is required to become a licensed HVAC mechanic. Upon successful completion, candidates can find employment opportunities in facilities management, HVAC installation and service companies, or open their own HVAC repair shop.

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If you are taking a refrigeration course toward a professional certification, make sure the course is appropriate. People who are taking a refrigeration course as part of a facilities technician program should confirm the course with his or her registrar. Although the facilities technician will not be required to maintain this type of system, a solid understanding of how it works is very useful when dealing with an HVAC mechanic. Correctly describing the issues, parts, and different aspects of the system will speed up diagnosis of the problem and may reduce time and cost of repairs.

Most professional refrigeration courses include the cost of specialized tools in the tuition fee. These tools are common to this type of equipment, but not used often in other areas. Recent developments in technology have allowed many schools to add computer simulation to their refrigeration courses. These programs offer students the unique opportunity to fine tune diagnostic skills without any physical risk. This type of tool also allows the instructors to better evaluate actual job performance, and provide correction and guidance where needed.

Refrigeration courses should be taught by a licensed HVAC master mechanic. As a skilled trade, working experience repairing and installing refrigeration equipment is more valuable than academic credentials. The more experience the instructor has, the greater the depth of knowledge he or she can draw upon to share in class. Anecdotal stories and real life examples are often the best way to share important knowledge.

Another option for refrigeration courses are vendor-specific training sessions provided when new equipment is installed. These courses are typically offered on site and are taught by an instructor or salesperson from the installation company. There is no accreditation associated with this type of course, but they provide valuable information required when maintaining or managing a large, complex refrigeration system.

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