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The Association


What is RETA?

The Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA), founded in 1910, is an international society of individuals and companies involved in the design, operation and service of industrial refrigeration systems. Its purpose is to provide education and training, as well as networking benefits, to both experienced operators and those who have recently entered this rapidly expanding field.

In what year was RETA established?

RETA was founded in 1910 as the National Association of Professional Refrigeration Engineers (NAPRE) — in the year following its first convention in 1909.

What is RETA’s structure as an association?

RETA is governed by a member-elected Board of Directors consisting of a Chairman, President, Executive Vice President, Vice President, and Treasurer, plus Directors and National Committee Chairs.
RETA’s structure provides for localized Chapters as well as members at-large (members located in a geographic location where a Chapter has not yet been established). RETA is managed by its HQ staff, headed by Jim Barron, Executive Director, and located in Albany, OR.

Membership is comprised of individual members, corporate, student and retired members.

What is the RETA Mission Statement?

To enhance the professional development of industrial refrigeration operating and technical engineers.

How do I contact RETA?


RETA offices are open from 8 am to 5 pm (PST) daily, Monday through Friday.

Click here to contact via e-mail

Toll Free - 844.801.3711 
Phone - 541.497.2955
Fax - 541.497.2966

Mailing Address:

1035 2nd Ave SE
Albany, OR 97321



How do I join RETA?


Click here to join online.

We also accept paper applications (and payment) via mail or fax.

What benefits come with membership?

            See our Member Benefits page for full details.

            What is the difference between an individual membership and corporate membership?


            An individual membership is self-sustaining by the member; corporate is controlled by the member’s company.

            How many RETA Chapters are there?


            44 across 24 states


            What is the current total active membership?


            6,011 as of December 31, 2014

            Do you have members in countries other than the USA?


            Yes, RETA has members in:






            Costa Rica







            New Zealand


            RETA Certification


            What is RETA Certification? 

            RETA certification requires meeting eligibility criteria and demonstrating knowledge of industrial refrigeration concepts, principles and practices.RETA certification exams and other requirements assess competencies in the realm of industrial refrigeration operation. RETA training materials provide the fundamental knowledge needed to understand these concepts and operating principles.


            The exams were developed based on surveys of experienced industrial refrigeration operators, managers and consultants. They also are consistent with recommended training objectives established in the Ammonia Refrigeration Training Guideline (ARTG) document developed in 2005, an industry project sponsored by RETA, IIAR and IARW in which benchmarks were established with regard to industrial refrigeration operation.


            What is ANSI and why is it important? 

            RETA certification exams are accredited by ANSI (American National Standards Institute), which requires that they are continually scrutinized by an organization whose sole mission is to establish, maintain and assure that the highest industry standards are set and met in a continuous and ongoing basis.


            ANSI is certainly recognized and often highly regarded by regulatory agencies such as EPA and OSHA in the establishment and maintenance of the highest industrial and safety benchmarks.


            RETA’s ANSI accreditation assures to its members and industry that those who meet requirements to earn RETA credentials have met an established competence level to operate ammonia refrigeration systems in a safe and efficient manner.

            RETA is the sole provider of ANSI-accredited certification in industrial refrigeration in the world. 


            What certification programs does RETA offer? 

            Currently offers two levels of ANSI accredited certification


            CARO – Certified Assistant Refrigeration Operator


            CARO is an entry-level credential that is designed to demonstrate that an operator has sufficient knowledge to work under supervision in industrial refrigeration.


            There is no minimum experience requirement for CARO. The exam assesses mastery of concepts and principles in RETA’s Industrial Refrigeration I and the ammonia safety chapter in Industrial Refrigeration IV (chapter 7).


            CARO includes 110 questions and allows three hours for completion.


            CIRO – Certified Industrial Refrigeration Operator


            CIRO requires documentation of at least two years of experience as a industrial refrigeration operator. It assesses more advanced concepts, principles and applications required to supervise industrial refrigeration operations.


            CIRO measures mastery of applied refrigeration system operations and troubleshooting based on principles and knowledge addressed in RETA books: Industrial Refrigeration (IR) I · IR II (systems) IR IV (plant operation and safety) Basic Electricity (BE) I · Basic Electricity (BE) II (ladder diagrams)


            The CIRO exam consists of 135 questions and allows three hours for completion.


            Other RETA credentialing programs


            RETA also provides certification for two additional programs that are not ANSI-accredited.


            CRES — Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialist


            CRES was added in November 2013 to assess mastery of refrigeration system operations and energy management strategies. While no other RETA credentials are required to qualify for the CRES credential, CRES candidates do need to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of refrigeration operations to offer energy management strategies without compromising the safety or integrity of refrigeration systems.


            CRES candidates should be familiar with the operating concepts and principles addressed in IR-1 in addition to energy management strategies and techniques in the Industrial Refrigeration Best Practices Guide published by Cascade Energy and the Energy Conservation Manual – Industrial Refrigeration Consortium published by University of Wisconsin.


            The CRES exam consists of 135 questions and allows three hours for completion.


            There is also a performance aspect related to CRES which includes the documentation of five energy management activities related to refrigeration system operations and their facilities whereby energy savings can be quantitatively documented.


            Certification of CRES occurs after successful completion of the exam and documentation of five activities. Additional activities must be documented to maintain CRES certification.

            Other RETA credentialing programs 

            RAI —RETA Authorized Instructor


            This exam is designed to assess mastery of advanced refrigeration system concepts and operations at a level that qualifies a candidate to assist CARO, CIRO and CRES candidates with their preparations and activities required to earn RETA credentials.


            RAI candidates must demonstrate both teaching experience and knowledge of the content in all RETA publications that are designed to prepare operators and others to meet RETA certification requirements.


            The RAI exam consists of 85 questions and allows three hours for completion.


            How long is my certification valid? 

            For all RETA certification programs, certification is valid for three years from test passage date or date of last three-year renewal cycle.


            How do I renew my certification? What are certification renewal requirements? 

            RETA certification holders are notified of renewal requirements within one year of renewal date.


            Documentation of 24 Professional Development Hours (PDH) or 2.4 Continuing Education Units (CEU) is required to renew certification. (It is the certified individuals responsibility to collect and submit required documentation to RETA HQ.)


            A published list of many acceptable training activities is available from the RETA website, Appendix 500A-PDH Table.


            Examples include: 

            • PDH earned at the annual RETA national Conference.
            • PDH earned by attending monthly Chapter meetings. 
            • PDH earned by attending a Safety Day. 
            • Most any documented training or schooling that can be shown to relate to industrial refrigeration is acceptable. 

            There is a fee required at the time of renewal.


            Once reviewed and approved at RETA HQ, a new certificate and membership card reflecting updated certification

            (and expiration date) is issued.


            How do I apply to take RETA certification exams? 

            All RETA certification candidates must begin by submitting a completed certification application to RETA HQ with payment.


            After review and approval by RETA, an email notification is issued to the candidate with directions for completing any steps needed to qualify to take the required examination.


            A study copy of the examination supplement that includes information that will be required during a test can be downloaded from the RETA website.


            Candidates are encouraged to use the required supplement and other test preparation materials on the RETA website to help them prepare for an exam.


            After a candidate has met all eligibility requirements and has scheduled an exam, RETA will provide a sealed, secure copy of the appropriate supplement that can only be opened at a RETA-approved test center on the day of a test.


            RETA Certification Practice Tests. 

            RETA offers CARO and CIRO candidates online access to 50-question practice tests that cover the same content areas that are in the full CARO and CIRO examinations.


            Click here to access the CARO and CIRO practice exams.


            From the link, a candidate may enter existing account information or create a new account to schedule the RETA CARO or CIRO practice exams for a fee.


            Practice exam score reports provide direct feedback to reference materials for further study.


            In recent years, 86% of RETA candidates who completed both the appropriate practice test and the full RETA certification examination have earned a RETA credential.


            Online Training

            Learn at your own pace in the convenience of your home or office — the highest training standards in the industry are now available to you online!


            Why choose online training?
            What modules are available?
            What does it cost? 


            See our Online Training page for the most current information.


            National Conference & Exhibition


            When and where are the upcoming annual Conferences?  


            2017 – Hershey, PA – Sept. 26-29


            2018 – Dallas, TX – Nov. 6-8


            2019 – Las Vegas, NV – Oct. 8-11


            2020 – Orlando, FL


            Chapter Safety Days


            What is a Chapter Safety Day? 

            This is a regional event sponsored by a local RETA Chapter that provides participants access to educational and safety training relevant to the industrial refrigeration industry.



            1035 2nd Ave SE Albany, OR 97321

            Toll Free 844-801-3711

            Phone - 541.497.2955
            Fax - 541.497.2966

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