How do I Become a Refrigeration Engineer?

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  • Written By: Jillian Peterson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 15 February 2019
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To become a refrigeration engineer, you will need formal engineer training, licensing, and possibly a degree in engineering. Despite their name, refrigeration engineers don’t just work with the machines that keep food cool in private homes; many work with heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems as well as commercial refrigeration systems. To start a career as a refrigeration engineer, you will have to learn about heating and cooling systems, thermodynamics, computer systems, mechanical engineering, and other engineering topics. Depending on your current situation, there are several different methods for finding the right refrigeration engineer training for you.

If you are just out of or still in secondary school, you should focus on subjects such as chemistry, computers, math, and electronics to get a solid educational basis for engineering. Many engineering organizations and refrigeration and HVAC companies offer apprenticeships and training to motivated individuals. Even if you don’t have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, you can enter into an apprenticeship to learn how work as a refrigeration engineer.


Some community and technical colleges offer two-year degrees and training programs in refrigeration systems, refrigeration engineering, and refrigeration repair. You can seek one of these associate’s degrees or a degree in general mechanical engineering to start you on your path to become a refrigeration engineer. These types of training programs may also prepare you to take a licensing exam or provide you with a refrigeration systems specialist certification. When choosing a community or technical college, make sure that the program offers certifications and job placement.

You can also become a refrigeration engineer by getting a four-year degree in engineering from a university. A bachelor's degree in engineering will allow you to fully understand mechanics and thermodynamics in a way that will help you in your career as a refrigeration engineer. After getting your engineering degree, you can train with a national engineers organization and learn how to design and repair complex commercial refrigeration systems. You can also seek advanced education and get a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

In most jurisdictions, refrigeration engineers are required to be licensed. When you have completed your training to become a refrigeration engineer your local training center, university, union, or other professional engineering organization will help you find the appropriate refrigeration engineer licensing agency.


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Post 2

Don't do it. It is a thankless, stressful job. There are lots of boring drives for hours on end, when you have to drop any private and family arrangements at any time. There are call outs any time of the day with little or no thanks.

I've been doing this for 14 years now and would love to get out of the trade but can't afford to retrain.

I find myself envious of litter men or bin men (no offense) as their job is so stress free.

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