Arlington, Va. - Gary Hodges, service manager at Carthage Heating & Cooling in Carthage, Miss., took first-place as the nation's top home comfort technician during the ninth annual Certified Technician Competition recently conducted by North American Technician Excellence in Atlanta, Ga., at Comfortech 2008.
NATE's Certified Technician Competition showcased technicians competing for Top Tech. Finalists were selected based on their scores on their previous NATE-qualifying exam - a rigorous test that evaluates practical knowledge of heating and cooling system installation and maintenance.
Hodges was one of seven finalists whose skills and knowledge in the home comfort field already placed him in the top 1% of home comfort technicians in the country as measured by NATE testing and certification. He was already one of the nation's best technicians, among the thousands throughout the United States, who took a NATE exam in 2007.
“It's a real honor to win this award because it reassures me that I can apply my knowledge to everyday heating and cooling problems,” said Hodges after winning the competition. “I definitely credit the NATE series of tests for helping to prepare me for this competition.”
Part of the HVAC/R industry for more than 15 years, Hodges won the competition by achieving the best combined score from a series of timed, hands-on events that simulated various real-world heating and cooling challenges. Started in 2000, the Certified Technician Competition serves as a means of recognizing the knowledge and skills necessary to service today's heating and cooling systems.
“NATE Certification benefits not only professional technicians and contractors, but also consumers,” said Rex Boynton, NATE president. “Certification provides assurance that a technician excels in the knowledge and skills necessary to be among the best in the heating and cooling industry.”
According to Hodges the certification also adds credibility to the industry. “The exam proves that a technician fully understands HVAC/R,” commented Hodges. “NATE certification improves confidence among contractors and customers and benefits the HVAC/R industry. It's a great asset for the entire industry.”