Who is NATE?
North American Technician Excellence (NATE), headquartered in Arlington, VA, was founded in 1997 and is the nation's largest non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians. NATE is the only technician certification organization governed, owned, operated, developed and supported by the HVACR industry.
What does NATE do?
NATE offers certification tests for installation and/or service in one or more specialty areas.
Who creates the NATE exams?
The NATE Technical Committee, comprised of industry experts nationwide, oversees the Knowledge Areas of Technician Expertise (KATEs) and all test development. KATEs are statistically proven job task analysis from which all questions are developed
Who can take NATE certification exams?
Anyone interested in obtaining NATE certification may take the tests by contacting a NATE-certified testing organization and paying the appropriate testing fees.
Are there educational or work experience requirements needed prior to taking exams?
No. NATE tests assess a candidate's applied knowledge of their field. Although there are no formal educational requirements for certification, NATE strongly suggests that examinees have some formal training provided by an employer, a technical school or other educational institution.
We recommend candidates have the following work experience as well as some experience with equipment in their SPECIALTY:
- One year of experience for installation technician tests
- Two years of experience for service technician tests
- Five years of experience for senior level technician
What tests should I take and what is covered?
To become NATE-certified, you must pass both the CORE exam (if required) and a SPECIALTY exam of your choice. The specialty certification will be in either INSTALLATION or SERVICE.
The CORE test covers a candidate's general knowledge, construction knowledge and HVAC/R specific knowledge. SPECIALTY exams cover a candidate's knowledge of the installation, service maintenance and/or repair of HVAC/R systems. Please review each KATE for specific requirements.
How long does NATE certification last?
Most certifications last 5 years. However, this is not true for all of them. For example, the Ground Source Heat Pump Loop Installer certification lasts 3 years. Please check the KATEs page for your certification's length. You can also check your certificate or wallet card for the exact expiration month.
What happens at the end of my certification?
To meet the requirements for recertification you should either complete 60 continuing education hours (CEH) in your specialty or retake your specialty exam before certification lapses. If you choose to use continuing education hours to re-certify, you must document your CEHs and submit an application for recertification.
How can I find out how many continuing education credits I have on file with NATE?
To view how many continuing education credits you have on file with NATE, click on My NATE at the top right corner of the home page and then follow the instructions to create a login using your NATE ID and PIN.
What is a NATE C3 contractor?
While NATE certification is reserved exclusively for individual technicians, NATE allows contractors of all sizes to participate in the NATE Consumer Contractor Connection (NATE C3) program at one of two levels.
1) NATE HVAC/R contractor: At least 50 percent of your technicians must be NATE-certified.
2) NATE Quality Circle Contractor: At least 80 percent of your technicians must be NATE-certified.
Who can be a NATE C3 Contractor?
One-man shops to multi-location businesses are eligible to become NATE C3 contractors.
How do I get my company listed on NATE C3?
The first step is to get your technicians certified. Once 50 percent of your technicians have passed the NATE exams and have received their NATE ID, you may be considered for NATE C3 Contractor status and be eligible to display the NATE logo and list your organization in NATE's Consumer Contractor Connection. Additionally, NATE produces and makes available to you a variety of free contractor marketing materials.
What is a Quality Circle C3 Contractor?
NATE HVAC/R Quality Circle Contractors are the elite group of NATE contractors. They must have at least 80 percent of their total technicians NATE-certified.
What does it cost to be listed on NATE C3?
Nothing. Once NATE C3 requirements have been met, NATE Contractors are listed on the Consumer Contractor Connection for free.
Who can offer NATE testing?
Any association, business or enterprise can sign up to be a NATE Testing Organization, including:
- Educators, trainers, colleges, technical schools
- Association partners and trade association chapters
What is the criteria for becoming a NATE Testing Organization?
Any organization applying to be a testing organization (TO) must agree in writing to follow the Polices and Procedures outlined for TOs and proctors and must have a minimum of one NATE-recognized proctor.
Who can be A NATE proctor?
Any person who is a member of the testing organization, conscientious and a good administrator can be a proctor. You or your designee does not have to be technical, nor do you have to hold NATE Certification. You DO need to be approved by NATE.
What preparatory materials will the proctor receive?
The Testing Organization's designated proctor will receive a packet of tests and materials from NATE/VGI Testing Services at least three working days before the test session. The package will contain the Proctor Master Pack plus all of the exam materials needed by your examinees.
A Proctor Master Pack contains:
- A checklist to use before and during the testing session
- A script to use during the testing session
- Extra envelopes and seals to secure the return of completed exams
- Extra answer sheets
- Extra comment sheets/scratch paper
- A Test Session Transmittal Form, to be completed by the proctor and returned with the exams from that session
- Proctor Materials Packet return envelope
- An 800 number in the event you have a question during a test session
If your Proctor Master Pack is incomplete in anyway, call NATE/VGI Testing Services at (800) 886-4109 (TEST) during business hours.
Can my organization use purchase orders?
If your organization works with purchase orders, be certain that you have acquired an approved purchase order before ordering NATE tests or giving an online test.
Please do not fax the purchase order to VGI or to NATE. You need to put the purchase order number on the Test Transmittal Form when returning exams for processing. When giving an online exam, record your purchase order number in the Proctor Setup section.
How do I set up billing?
The Test Transmittal Form includes billing information. If your organization requires a PO number to order tests, please include this number on the transmittal form. The other two payment options are:
- Enclose a check for the number of tests that were used.
- Give authorization to charge the credit card on file. To put a credit card on file please call VGI. The number is (817) 640-8333 X-200.
How can I get a replacement wallet card or certificate?
To obtain a replacement wallet card or certificate you can visit the NATE online store.
How can I purchase additional marketing merchandise?
The NATE Online Store offers a wide variety of merchandise to help industry professionals enhance their image. Available products include NATE-certified uniform patches, chevrons, quality shirts and hats, decals for company cars, NATE banners and customizable leave-behind appliance stickers.
If, after reviewing our FAQ’s, you have not found the information you are seeking, please contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.