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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

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.

As our business evolves to meet the growing demands of the HVACR workforce, the company’s vision – to be the leader in developing and recognizing professional HVACR technicians – remains clear.

Learn more about NATE’s history here.

Who creates NATE exams?

The NATE Technical Committee, comprised of industry experts nationwide, advises NATE on the Knowledge Areas of Technician Expertise (KATEs) and all test item development. KATEs are statistically proven job task analysis from which all questions are developed. To view KATEs for each exam click here. To view a complete list of our technical committee click here.

Who can take a NATE exam?

Any technician working in the HVAC industry is welcomed to take our certification exams. NATE exams assess a candidate’s applied knowledge of their field. Although there are no formal educational requirements for certification, NATE strongly suggests that candidates 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

Why should I get certified?

Earning a NATE certification is proof of advanced level competency as a technician in the HVAC industry, helping you stand out from others in the job market. In addition to advanced training and attaining proficiency with growing trends in the industry, NATE-certification provides a sense of trust to:

Contractors prefer NATE-certified technicians because they remain in the industry longer, have the proven knowledge to do the job right the first time and are more productive than non-certified technicians.

Manufacturers and distributors know that NATE certification encourages proper installation and service, which means fewer warranty returns and, ultimately, a better bottom line.

Educators and trainers benefit from NATE certification’s uniform testing standard. Utilities appreciate NATE certification’s focus on correctly installing and servicing sophisticated HVACR equipment, which saves energy and money when operating at peak efficiency.

Homeowners look for NATE certification because it ensures that a knowledgeable, well-trained and highly experienced technician will service their home heating or cooling system.

How do I become certified?

NATE offers two pathways to earn NATE Certification, as well as multiple specialty and senior certifications. To earn NATE Certification, technicians will choose between the Certified HVAC Professional (CHP-5) pathway or the traditional Core and Specialty exam pathway.

Technicians that choose the traditional NATE certification pathway will take two exams – the NATE Core exam and a Specialty exam. NATE offers multiple Specialty exams for technicians to choose from, and will earn an Installation, Service, or Senior certification specialization depending on the exam the completed.

With the CHP-5 pathway, technicians earn their NATE certification through a series of five exams, each on a different subject domain: HVAC Fundamentals, Electrical and Controls, Comfort and Airflow, Installation, and Service.

Can I use the NATE logo?

NATE Logos may be sent with the completion of a NATE Logo Request Form found here. Once your request is granted, you may use our logo on your promotional materials following these brand guidelines.

Please email your request form to [email protected] or fax it to: (571)282-0973

How do I recertify?

See our recertification page here to learn how to maintain your NATE certification.

MyNATE Account

What is my NATE ID?

There are several ways to locate your NATE ID.

  • In your NATE account, click on “my profile” icon next to the yellow envelope at the top.
  • Locate your Badgecert email and your NATE ID will be displayed at the end of the email OR click on your unique URL in the email to go to your certification page.
  • Your NATE ID is also displayed on your electronic certificates and wallet cards.


If you are looking for a NATE ID to receive credit at a training class, please note that you cannot earn credit until you are already certified.

If you are taking an exam at a NATE testing organization for the first time, you will not need to provide the proctor a NATE ID; a NATE ID is generated for you after you are registered for your first exam.

I cannot log into my account

Most login issues are due to an incorrect password or username. You can reset your password by clicking on “forgot password” and you will be emailed a link to create a new password. If the username is incorrect or you do not have access to the email address on file please call customer service at (877) 420-6283 or [email protected].

If you have not yet activated your account, you will not be able to login without your activation code. Please check your email for an activation code that was sent to you when your exam was graded. If you cannot locate your activation code, please contact customer service at (877) 420-6283 or [email protected].

How many CEH’s do I have?

Every NATE certified technician has an account they can log into. Your account keeps track of CEHs accrued for each of your specialties so you are aware of your progress towards recertification every two years.

Account activation instructions were emailed to you when your exam was graded so that you can set-up a username and password. If you forgot your password, or need account activation instructions please contact customer service at (877) 420-6283.

How do I get my certificate?

New electronic documents and digital badges are created every time a technician earns a certification or recertifies.

When you receive the email from BadgeCert containing your digital badge for your NATE certification, click on “certificate” or “wallet” on the certification page to download the PDF. If you have earned many NATE certifications and would like to have a custom certificate or wallet card made for you to show all your certifications together, please visit the NATE Online Store here.

Please note that if you have earned an EPA 608 certification, the EPA requires that credentials be wallet cards only.

NATE Exams

What’s the best way to study and prepare for my exam?

See our How to Prepare page for our recommendations for preparing for your exam.

What are NATE exam policies?

See our How to Prepare page for more information on our exam policies

Where do I take the exam?

NATE exams are proctored exams. To find a NATE testing organization and schedule a test session with a proctor use the zip code search tool here.

If you have the proper system requirements, you may qualify to take certain exams from your home. To learn more about remote testing with a live online proctor, click here.

How much do exams cost?

Pricing will vary depending on which NATE testing organization you plan to go to. The best way to inquire about pricing at a specific location is to call the organization directly. You can find their business information here.

You can find pricing information for our Live Online Proctor (LOP) option here.

How much time do I have to complete my exam?

Certification exam times vary, so take a look at the exam information (KATE) for the exam you are interested in. KATES list how many questions are on the exam and the time given to complete them. You can access each KATE here.

Make sure to also arrive or sign into your session 30 minutes prior to your exam start time.

How is my exam scored?

NATE certification exams are Pass/Fail. For the NATE professional level certification exams, the Core and installation/service specialty exams, a score of 70% or higher is required to pass. For the Core exam, this means you must answer 35 of the 50 questions correctly to pass. For the installation and service specialty exams, you must answer 70 of the 100 questions correctly to pass.

If you fail an exam, a detailed score report will become available in your account with the percentage of correctly answered questions for each exam topic domain. Each domain does not have an equal number of questions. Please refer to the KATE for each exam to see how many questions are in each topic domain.

The Senior Level Efficiency Analyst exam has a passing score of 75%. The EPA Universal, Type I, Type II, and Type III exams have a passing score of 70%.

For the ICE (industry competency exam) exams: Residential: The Core section has a passing score of 70% and each specialty section has a passing score of 68%. Commercial and Light Commercial: Both exams have a passing score of 60%.

How do I check my exam results?

For Paper Exams:

Once we have received your exam from your proctor and begin processing, we will email you a notification that the grading process has begun. We expect technicians to activate their account and complete set-up with a username and password during this time. When exam results are released and entered into your account you will receive a second email letting you know your results are available. Please allow 2-3 weeks after testing for your results.

For Computer-based Exams:

Results are available immediately after completing an online exam. Please allow 24 hours for your NATE account to reflect changes in certifications.

What languages do you offer NATE exams in?

Currently, the only other language NATE exams are offered in is Spanish. The following exams are available in Spanish:

  • Ready-to-Work Exam
  • HVAC Support Technician Exam
  • CORE Exam
  • Air Conditioning Service Exam
  • Air to Air Heat Pump Service Exam
  • Gas Heating Service Exam


If you wish to take the exam with a translator, please complete the Request for Non-standard Accommodation form. Please note that translators cannot be used during remote Live Online Proctor (LOP) sessions.

If you are registering for a Spanish exam online using LOP, Examity proctors will speak English only. The proctors’ responsibilities will be to greet and set you up at the start of the exam, and to monitor the testing room for the duration of the exam.

If you are registering for an English exam using LOP, please note that candidates are not permitted to use online translation services, translation dictionaries or any other outside materials during the exams. To prevent cheating, the proctor monitors that prohibited materials such as smartphones and apps are not used.

How do I become a NATE Testing Organization?

Learn more about becoming a Testing Organization here.

How do I become a NATE exam proctor?

Learn more about becoming a NATE proctor here.

Certifications and Badges

How long does my certification last?

NATE certification lasts two years, except for the Ground Source Heat Pump Installer Certification which lasts three years. Your electronic certificates and wallet cards will have the exact expiration date. Please log into your NATE account periodically to track your continuing education credits so that you can recertify at the end of the two years.

Sign in here.

What is a digital badge?

Once you’ve become NATE certified, you’ll receive a digital badge that you can share on social media, your email signature, or website. Your digital badge is verification that you’ve passed NATE certification exams.

We will create a badge for each certification you’ve earned and email it to you directly from Badgecert. To learn how to promote your accomplishments across multiple platforms please view Badgecert’s sharing guide here. For login issues with Badgecert you will have to contact them directly at [email protected].

How do I get my NATE Certificates and Wallet Cards?

New electronic documents and digital badges are created every time a technician earns a certification or recertifies.

When you receive the email from BadgeCert containing your digital badge for your NATE certification, click on “certificate” or “wallet” on the certification page to download the PDF. If you have earned many NATE certifications, you can order a custom certificate or wallet card from the NATE Online Store that shows all your certifications together.

Please note that if you have earned an EPA 608 certification, the EPA requires that credentials be wallet cards only.

How do I verify a NATE ID number?

Anyone can verify a NATE ID number using our website. In the homeowners’ section and the contractors’ section of find “Verify a Technician’s NATE ID”. Entering the NATE ID will bring up the certifications the individual has earned and when they expire. To verify, click here.