In 1997, a group of HVACR experts aiming to develop standards of excellence in the heating and cooling industry got together to chart a way forward. The result of this discussion was the establishment of the North American Technician Excellence, NATE. NATE, a large non–profit independent consortium headquartered in Arlington, VA, is a certification body established, operated, and supported by the entire HVACR industry.
What is NATE Certification?
NATE certified technicians are HVAC installation and service professionals who have sat for and passed the rigorous and comprehensive multiple–choice questions and knowledge–based tests meant to validate their skills, knowledge and experience. A technician who is NATE certified has superior working knowledge of all aspects of heating and cooling installation and service, and can work on any make or model of HVAC equipment.
NATE is a nationally recognized and respected certification. Although it is voluntary, technicians who choose to pursue it are regarded as ambitious, professional, and dependable. The candidates may either earn an installation, service, or senior–level certification in one or more specialty areas, including:
1. Air Conditioning
2. Air Distribution
3. Heat Pumps
4. Ground Source Heat Pump Loop Installer
5. Hydronics Gas
6. Hydronics Oil
7. Gas Heating
8. Oil Heating
9. Commercial Refrigeration
10. Light Commercial Refrigeration
11. Senior HVAC Efficiency Analyst
What Does NATE Certified Mean to Industry Stakeholders?
The benefits of NATE certification are extensive and positively impact various stakeholders in the HVAC industry, including manufacturers, contractors, distributors, utilities, and educators. When it comes to benefits to customers, homeowners and owners of commercial buildings often prefer certified and experienced technicians when it comes to installing and attending to their comfort needs. Increased awareness about energy efficiency has resulted in many people looking for technicians who have the required experience and knowledge, and NATE is the most respected proof of expertise.
In addition to benefiting property owners, the NATE certification allows the technicians themselves to enhance their own market value and command a higher income when compared to non–certified technicians. The certification also gives an implicit signal to employers about the technician’s long–term commitment to the HVAC field.
Industry experts recommend hiring a certified technician to perform a maintenance inspection to make sure that the cooling and heating system is working at peak efficiency.