Skip to main content


Industry Competency Exams (ICE)

Effective January 1st, 2024, the Industry Competency Exam (ICE) will no longer be available as a paper exam. Effective April 1st, 2024, the Industry Competency Exam (ICE) will no longer be available as an online exam. 

Over the years, ICE has served as a valuable assessment tool for industry competency, but evolving industry demands and advancements in assessment practices necessitate a reevaluation of our offerings. For questions, please contact us at [email protected].

In place of the ICE exam, we highly recommend technicians consider taking the NATE Ready to Work Certificate exam or the NATE HVAC Support Technician Certificate exam.

The Ready to Work certificate exam is designed for technicians who are just entering the HVACR field, with little to no formal education or training. This exam focuses on fundamental job knowledge and skills. This online only exam is $50.

The HVAC Support Technician certificate exam is designed for technicians with 6 to 12 months of experience and covers essential HVAC knowledge and skills. It provides a comprehensive evaluation of a technician’s expertise, ensuring they are well-equipped to excel in their roles and strengthens the foundation needed to pursue NATE’s professional certifications. In-person exams start at $75. The exam can be taken online using NATE’s Live Online Proctoring or in-person with a NATE Testing Organization.

The Industry Competency Exams, formerly the ARI/GAMA Competency Exams, are administered by NATE. The exams measure industry-agreed standards of basic competency for entry-level (one year or less) technicians. More than 300 schools nationwide require student participation in at least one of the Industry Competency Exams to graduate. If you are interested in taking the exam, please speak with your school’s instructors to see if they are able to offer the exams or are interested in becoming ICE Proctors. If you have already taken the exam, you can view your results online.

For paper exams, you can login at by using your existing username/password or creating a new one with the activation code you receive by email.

For online exams, you can login here, and click the check results. The username and password will be the same as you used for testing.

To earn a Residential ICE Certification, a technician would need to pass the Core section and at least one specialty section. The Light Commerical HVAC exam and the Commercial Refrigeration exam do not require the Core exam, and are not divided into specialty sections.

Content Areas

Below are the content areas covered by each exam:

Residential: (includes Core and one or more specialties)

  • Safety, Tools, Soft Skills
  • Heat Transfer & Comfort
  • Electrical
Specialty Sections (Air Conditioning, Air Distribution, Heat Pumps, Gas Furnaces, Oil Furnaces)
  • Installation
  • Service
  • Components
  • Applied Knowledge

Light Commercial A/C and Heating:

  • Start-up Heating
  • Start-up A/C
  • Service Heating
  • Refrigerant Recovery
  • Installation

Commercial Refrigeration:

  • System Design
  • Installation Start-up
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Service & Repair