A refrigeration apprentice is a person who is learning the trade of a refrigeration technician by working under the guidance and supervision of a more experienced technician or mechanic. This person is new to the field, though it is likely he or she has undergone some basic training. A refrigeration apprentice will take part in two types of training: on the job training, in which he or she will actually work on refrigeration elements, and classroom training, in which the apprentice will learn the science behind refrigeration and earn any necessary certificates or licenses required by law.
The duration of the apprenticeship can vary, lasting up to four years. In order to qualify for such a position, the candidate must have a high school diploma or equivalent qualification, and he or she must be over 18 years of age. This requirement can vary depending on the region or country in which the person will work. The candidate will have to fill out an application and go through an interview process in order to be considered for the apprenticeship, and the positions can be highly competitive, so the candidate may have to apply more than once.
Once he or she has been accepted to the program, a refrigeration apprentice will begin classroom training that focuses on the science of refrigeration repair as well as the safety techniques one needs to follow when working in such a position. Many of the job functions of the refrigeration apprentice will be learned during classroom periods, and these sessions will often last the duration of the apprenticeship. The apprentice will begin on the job training shortly after acceptance to the program. He or she will work with a more experienced technician to learn how to diagnose, repair, and maintain various refrigeration systems including air conditioning units, refrigerators, and industrial refrigeration units.
Unlike some internships, an apprenticeship allows the worker to earn money while learning the trade. A refrigeration apprentice is paid a wage that is usually based on a percentage of a full-time refrigeration technician's wage, so the apprentice will be able to earn a living as he or she learns the skills necessary to complete the internship. Health benefits and retirement plans are also sometimes included with the apprenticeship position, though this is not always the case. Once the apprentice finishes the program, he or she will be qualified for full-time work that pays better and often offers better benefits.