Texas has the second largest economy in the U.S. and many of its key sectors continue to expand.1 The Lone Star State has new job opportunities for refrigeration technicians.
If you are considering a career in refrigeration and are curious about the job market in Texas, keep reading.
Are There Jobs for Refrigeration Technicians in Texas?
Yes, there are jobs for refrigeration technicians in Texas—much like in the rest of the country. Nationwide, the career outlook for refrigeration technicians is very positive. The employment of refrigeration technicians is projected to grow 13 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than average.2*
While the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan areas have some of the highest employment numbers for refrigeration technicians in the country3, the rest of the state also has plenty of promising opportunities.
H-E-B Opening in Lubbock
Supermarket chain H-E-B is set to open a new store in West Texas in late 2020. The 120,000 square-foot store will reportedly be built with sustainability in mind, including various energy-efficient elements like CO2 refrigeration units and LED lighting.4
Construction is supposed to start early next year, so the Lubbock-based supermarket will likely need qualified technicians with refrigeration training. H-E-B pays its refrigeration technicians quite well: for instance, the starting wage at its San Antonio, TX, location is $23.40 per hour.5
Green Refrigerant Production in Corpus Christi
The world’s largest factory for green refrigerants opened in Corpus Christi. This new
$300 million facility will allow chemical company Chemours to triple their capability to produce environmentally-friendly refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP).6
This could be a great opportunity for experienced refrigeration technicians who are well versed in green refrigeration technology.
Booming Economy in Midland
The Midland metropolitan area has the lowest unemployment rate in the state.7 Much of the workforce growth can be attributed to mid-size companies.7 Midland’s economy is thriving, thanks to the area’s mining, logging and oil and gas extraction sectors, and it also boasts a strong construction industry.7
Many skilled trade positions in Midland are only partially filled, including refrigeration technician positions.7
How Do I Become a Refrigeration Technician in Texas?
Nowadays, many refrigeration technicians obtain postsecondary training.8 The Refrigeration Technologies program, an HVAC and refrigeration training program at the TWS campus in Houston can be completed in as little as seven months. You’ll receive hands-on training in the fundamentals of refrigeration, electricity and green technology. You will also be instructed in safely handling refrigerants, troubleshooting HVAC/R problems and many other skills.
The program offers both day and night classes, so you can adapt your training schedule to your needs. Upon graduation, you receive a diploma and are ready for entry-level in positions in the Texas refrigeration job market.
HVAC Certification and Licensing in Texas
Refrigeration Technician License
Refrigeration technicians working under the supervision of a licensed air conditioning and refrigeration contractor must be licensed in Texas.
The licensing process is fairly simple: if you are at least 18 years old, you may fill out an application and submit it online, along with a $20 non-refundable fee.9
Refrigeration Contractor License
To work as a refrigeration contractor in Texas, you must have either a Class A or Class B air conditioning and refrigeration license. The Class A license allows you to work on a unit of any size. With the Class B license, you may only work on cooling systems that are 25 tons and under, and heating systems of 1.5 million BTUs/hour and under.10
To be eligible for an air conditioning and refrigeration license, you need at least 48 months of qualifying practical experience in the past 72 months, or you must have held a technician certification for the past 12 months, in addition to at least 36 months of practical experience. You may qualify for an exception to the practical experience requirements if you have a diploma in air-conditioning and refrigeration.10
Everything is Bigger in Texas—Including Job Opportunities
Texas is a great place to start your refrigeration career. It is a prime destination for skilled trade workers, due to robust industries and strong employment growth. Career prospects for refrigeration technicians in Texas are looking very good for 2020 and beyond.
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*Employment is expected to grow for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (499021) in Texas by 24% through 2026 http://www.careerinfonet.org/Occupations.