NATE Certification: What Is It and How Do You Get It?

Why NATE Certification?

Who uses NATE certification?

Individual technicians who pass a knowledge exam testing their comprehension of HVAC systems are eligible for the NATE certification. You must pass the core service test and one specialty exam, such as one for a gas furnace, air conditioner, or air-to-air heat pumps, in order to obtain your NATE certification.

Along with other contractors, distributors, educators, technicians, utilities, and manufacturers, NATE is recognized and partnered with by a number of national organizations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

What is NATE certification?

The largest nonprofit independent certification body in the United States for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration technicians is called North American Technician Excellence, or NATE. It is a well-known organization that provides optional certifications created and backed by business experts.

When choosing technicians and businesses to install, maintain, or repair heating and cooling equipment in their homes or businesses, consumers can make more informed decisions thanks to NATE certification, which establishes a level of professionalism and high standards. Through a variety of NATE certification exams, you can become certified in installation and service, specialize in oil, gas, or other heating and cooling systems, and reach senior level technician status.

The following concepts are tested on a NATE certification exam for technicians:

What are the benefits of NATE certification?

Obtaining your NATE certification has numerous advantages, including the following:

How do you get a NATE certification?

Here are six steps to take to obtain your NATE certification if you are thinking about a career in HVAC:

1. Gain HVAC experience

Before registering for the support team test, NATE advises at least six months to a year of relevant work experience, and two years of experience for the professional level tests. You can gain experience by participating in internship programs, signing up for an apprenticeship, or working as a trainee for HVAC installation and repair businesses.

2. Consider taking courses

To help you prepare for the NATE certification exam, many online programs provide self-paced study and preparation courses with video presentations, study materials, and practice exams. You can obtain formal training to pass the NATE certification exam through these programs, an employer, or a technical college. Some vocational schools provide financial aid, scholarships, and reduced tuition for veterans of the armed forces.

Many courses review topics like:

3. Practice and prepare

It is advantageous and necessary to study for your NATE certification exam, and you can do so by using practice questions, exam materials, and online resources. Think about enlisting the aid of relatives, friends, or coworkers as you study. Additionally, you can access official NATE resources online to aid in test preparation. Pay close attention to the knowledge areas of technical expertise (KATE), as there are several of them for each exam section.

Find the most effective study strategy that will help you get ready. For instance, if you learn best visually, choose training that is more video-based. Reviewing the study guides and NATE literature may be best if you learn best through reading.

4. Sign up and take the test

You need to register to take the NATE certification exam. It is accessible in almost all states through more than 5,000 testing companies, or if preferred, live online proctored exam sessions. On the NATE website, you can register and locate testing locations.

You must receive a combined score of 70% or higher to pass. The core test has 50 questions, and the specialty test has 100 questions; both tests take about four hours to complete. You can retake any tests you do not initially pass.

Here are the specific focus areas for each specialty test:

You can choose an installation specialization certification in:

You can choose a service specialization certification in:

5. Maintain certification

Every two years, you must complete 16 hours of continuing education in order to maintain your NATE certification. In order to provide dependable, high-quality service, this helps to ensure that you stay current on the most recent HVAC technology, equipment, features, and repairs. You never have to retake the core exams as long as you keep your credentials up to date.

The annual training may consist of NATE-certified courses or other training components, such as OSHA safety training, electrical license classes, state licensing classes, and other licensing programs.

6. Earn senior level status

You can take a test to earn senior level technician NATE certification after accumulating at least five years of HVAC experience. You must have already passed the HVAC efficiency analyst test and two of the specialty exams, which cover the following topics:

What are some FAQs related to NATE certification?

The following are some NATE certification-related frequently asked questions:

What does the NATE certification test include?

The NATE certification test consists of 100 questions for each specialty test and 50 questions for the core exam. You can earn additional specialty certifications throughout your career, up to and including the senior level exam, and the full certification testing typically takes up to four hours to complete. All tests must be passed with a score of 70% or higher in order for you to retake them.

How much does the NATE certification cost?

Authorized testing organizations, who set their own prices, are used for the NATE certification. However, the entry-level support team technician exam is $50 and comes with a study guide that can be downloaded after registering. If you don’t pass, you can take the exam again for $35 each time. The average cost of a study guide purchased through the NATE organization is $20. The cost of recertification varies as well if you fail to keep your NATE certification up to date.

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


What is a NATE certification?

A nonprofit organization called NATE®, or North American Technician Excellence®, works to fulfill your desire for a fantastic technician. Through a series of knowledge- and experience-based tests, NATE accredits HVAC technicians. Every two years, it then launches follow-up training and testing.

How long is a NATE certification good for?

Recertification is the process through which certifications are renewed. NATE certifications must be renewed every two years.

What is a Nate?

North American Technician Excellence is referred to as NATE. This is the biggest non-profit organization in the country that certifies technicians in refrigeration, air conditioning, and ventilation.

Can I take the NATE exam online?

For the EPA 608 Exams, HVAC Support Technician Certificate Exam, and NATE Certification Exams, NATE now provides remote Live Online Proctored Exams. With our live, online proctored exams, you can take the test whenever it’s convenient for you, from the comfort of your home or office.

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