The average refrigeration operator salary is $50,937. The most common degree is a high school diploma degree with an heating and air conditioning major. It usually takes 2-4 years of experience to become a refrigeration operator. Refrigeration operators with a Certified Industrial Refrigeration Operator (CIRO) certification earn more money. Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 13% and produce 46,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Refrigeration Operator Do

There are certain skills that many refrigeration operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed customer-service skills, detail oriented and mechanical skills.

How To Become a Refrigeration Operator

If you're interested in becoming a refrigeration operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 8.2% of refrigeration operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.0% of refrigeration operators have master's degrees. Even though some refrigeration operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Refrigeration Operator

Refrigeration Operator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Refrigeration Operator

Refrigeration Operators in America make an average salary of $50,937 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $71,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $36,000 per year.
Average Refrigeration Operator Salary
$50,937 Yearly
$24.49 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Refrigeration Operator

There are several types of refrigeration operator, including:



As an operator, it's your job to know how specific equipment or machines work. You should know how to install and repair certain machinery as well as knowing how to use tools to help with the manufacturing process.

Operators often spend their time checking in on equipment and making sure it's properly working. Every problem that is detected, you'll often call upon an operators to come and save the day. They're essentially the superhero in an office setting.

In most cases, operators work full-time, normal hours. But when a client needs help, you'll need to be available. which means that sometimes duty calls at night or on the weekends.

  • Average Salary: $37,928
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Refrigeration Technician


We should be able to sleep well at night knowing that our appliances will not break down. This is why the moment an appliance seems to be exhibiting problems, we call on technicians right away. Some of us might have favorite appliances. Maybe you like the refrigerator because it stores food. Maybe you love the air conditioning system because it ensures proper ventilation and heating at home. If you are having problems with these appliances, you better call a refrigeration technician.

We might think that refrigeration technicians specialize only in refrigerators. They actually specialize in appliances that use the same technology, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) appliances, beverage equipment, and even ice machines. They install, maintain, diagnose, and fix these appliances and equipment. As such, they should be familiar with the basic mechanics behind those machines.

If you enjoy tinkering with appliances and have a special place for the aforementioned ones, this is a good role for you. You just need to secure experience in order to build a good client base.

  • Average Salary: $50,701
  • Degree: Associate Degree

Boiler Operator


Boiler operators are responsible for maintaining heating systems in the boiler, engine, and mechanical rooms. They operate, repair, maintain, and adjust boilers, turbines, and all related systems and equipment. Boiler operators work in industrial environments such as factories, power plants, warehouses, and in the equipment rooms of large buildings that run on boiler systems.

Some of the functions that they perform in this capacity include monitoring and maintaining boilers, inspecting fluids, repairing boiler machinery, replacing different boiler parts, recording daily readings, adjusting equipment, maintaining cleanliness, and reading blueprints. Essential skills required for the job include physical stamina, mental strength, math skills, problem solving, and communication. Boiler operators must have a high school diploma or GED to pursue this career. Employers are more likely to hire boiler operators who have previous experience either directly working with boilers or otherwise working in a boiler room environment. Some employers require formal boiler operation certification. There are several boiler certification options available, which require applicants to pay a fee and pass an exam.

The average hourly pay for this position is $27.80, which amounts to $53,387 annually. The career is projected to grow in the years to come and create new opportunities across the United States.

  • Average Salary: $49,782
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Refrigeration Operator Jobs

Number Of Refrigeration Operator Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
2New Jersey867$71,034
3Rhode Island152$75,277
10New York24$59,378
15North Carolina17$53,304
34South Carolina4$49,548
39New Hampshire2$72,410
40North Dakota2$60,518
41West Virginia1$64,587
49South Dakota0$56,999
50New Mexico0$50,085

Refrigeration Operator Education

Refrigeration Operator Majors

Refrigeration Operator Degrees

High School Diploma

36.7 %


34.7 %


10.2 %

Top Skills For a Refrigeration Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 20.5% of refrigeration operators listed ammonia on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and detail oriented are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Refrigeration Operator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Refrigeration Operator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Refrigeration Operator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Refrigeration Operator diversity

Refrigeration Operator Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among refrigeration operators, 1.7% of them are women, while 98.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among refrigeration operators is White, which makes up 63.8% of all refrigeration operators.

  • The most common foreign language among refrigeration operators is Spanish at 100.0%.

Online Courses For Refrigeration Operator That You May Like

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1. Basic Refrigeration and Troubleshooting


Learn about the refrigeration cycle and apply what you have learned to troubleshoot any refrigeration system...

2. HVAC Fundamentals and BMS Controls


Build your knowledge systematically, from the working principles of HVAC to optimizing a chiller plant operation...

3. Centrifugal compressors: Principles, Operation and design


A complete understanding of construction details and functioning of centrifugal compressors for successful operations...

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Top Refrigeration Operator Employers

Most Common Employers For Refrigeration Operator

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Fresh Express$61,962$29.792
3National Beef Leathers$61,141$29.393
4Buckeye Partners$60,712$29.192
5Boar's Head Resort$56,823$27.322
6General Mills$56,516$27.178
7Trident Seafoods$56,242$27.044
9Perdue Farms$54,814$26.3512
10Silver Bay Seafoods$54,709$26.302