ARLINGTON, VA.– North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the nation’s largest industry-endorsed, non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians released the 2013 edition of NATE Magazine, in conjunction with Penton Media at the 2013 AHR Expo in Dallas, TX. The free publication is also available on the NATE website.
NATE Chairman Donald Frendberg opens the publication with his experiences of the past year working with NATE staff, governmental agencies, trainers, and technicians. “I’m pleased to say I have found there is a deep loyalty and respect for NATE technician certifications,” he writes. “NATE certifications truly enhance the professionalism of and respect for the HVACR industry as a whole.” However, he doesn’t believe NATE can rest on those existing laurels, citing the need to increase awareness of the benefits of NATE certifications and continuing to advocate NATE’s involvement with relevant governmental agencies.
This year’s edition of the NATE magazine features articles on the importance of recertification, the benefits of continuing education, updates on NATE’s efforts to revise examinations, and upcoming plans to offer the Core exam, Air Conditioning Service, Heat Pump Service, and Gas Furnace Service specialty examinations in Spanish. The issue also celebrates “Top Techs” from around the country and a history of the Golden Toolbox Award, created in 2006 by Contracting Business.com magazine and NATE to recognize those who publicly support and advocate for NATE HVACR technician certification.
A highlight of the publication is an interview with 57-year HVACR industry veteran Gene Lockwood of Gene’s A/C in Virginia Beach, VA. Maintaining his certifications for decades, he says, “I respect NATE certification because I know what it takes to earn it. You have to study hard and pass a difficult test that asks all the important questions. If you don’t get recertified, why did you take it up in the first place? It doesn’t make any sense to put in all that work and just let it go.”
In the issue, HVACR contractors CroppMetcalfe Air Conditioning- Heating-Plumbing, Brennan HVAC, and Meyer & Depew Co discuss the value of NATE certification to their businesses, and how they recognize NATE-certified technicians on a “Wall of Fame” and in advertising. “NATE provides motivation for technicians to succeed [and] for customers, NATE certification signifies technician expertise,” says Mike Brennan, owner of Brennan HVAC. These contractors note that many customers now request that only NATE-certified employees visit their home for service calls. Annual NATE recertification also serves as a prerequisite for maintaining certain dealer statuses.
Wholesaler G.W. Berkheimer Company has been helping HVACR contractors get their NATE certifications for more than 15 years, offering testing at 16 of its store locations. Troy Rybicki, manager of technical training said in the issue that they promote testing to its more than 1,000 contractor customers by using the NATE window decals and by displaying banners and posters. “The biggest challenge the industry faces is to be able to distinguish between trained technicians and installers and untrained contractors,” Rybicki explains. “NATE gives employers and consumers peace of mind knowing that the technicians they employ are properly trained and will, in turn, provide a benefit to the homeowners.”
Headquartered in Arlington, Va., NATE was founded in 1997 as the nation’s largest industry-endorsed, non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians. NATE tests technicians while others train. Testing validates the technician’s knowledge and a training program’s instruction. NATE-approved testing organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada offer NATE tests. Candidates can earn installation and/or service certification in nine specialty areas: air-conditioning, air distribution, heat pumps, gas heating, oil heating, hydronic gas, hydronic oil, and commercial, light commercial refrigeration and senior efficiency analyst. NATE also offers the International Ground Source Heat Pump test. For more information about NATE, visit www.natex.org.