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NATE Changes Certification Program

Jan. 8, 2014
Adding new benefits Revising its certification period Will soon introduce new and updated certification exams
ARLINGTON, VA. — North American Technician Excellence announced major changes to its certification program for HVACR technicians. The organization is adding new benefits, including an online Career Center for NATE-certified technicians, revising its certification period and certification maintenance requirements, and will soon introduce new and updated certification exams.

“We asked technicians nationwide for feedback on how NATE can remain relevant to them and to the HVACR industry,” said John Lanier, NATE chief operating officer. “Based on their responses, we have updated the program to reflect changes in the industry and how times have changed in the personal and professional lives of today’s technicians. We believe these changes will increase the value of NATE certification and support technicians throughout their careers in the HVACR industry.”

The program changes and new offerings, to be rolled out throughout the year, are as follows:           

The group has launched a new NATE Career Center ( to match NATE-certified technicians to employers in industry who value NATE certification.

NATE is also serving as a sustaining member of the HVACR Workforce Development Foundation, recently formed to lead an industry effort to develop and promote educational projects, programs and partnerships to attract committed and skilled employees to a career in HVACR.

NATE will begin administering the NATE Industry Competency Exam for entry-level technicians with one year or less of professional experience. It intends to develop stronger ties with career and technical schools, distributors, and contractors to help direct technicians to appropriate continuing education when needed. NATE plans to enhance websites features to serve as HVACR industry information resources with blogs, community discussions, news feeds, and greater mobile capabilities.

NATE plans to update its exams, introduce new exams, and accommodate credentialing of military personnel. It plans to update NATE exams and introduce new exams, including revised NATE Core examination, combining previously individual Core Service and Core Installation exams into a single 75-question exam.

NATE will update Service and Installation exams for the Air Conditioning, Air Distribution, Heat Pump, Gas Heating, and Oil Furnace specialties. It will publish English and Spanish versions of the NATE Core exam, Air Conditioning, Heat Pump, and Gas Heating Service specialty exams. NATE is offering a credentialing opportunity with the U.S. Army for soldiers training in the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 91C, which includes air conditioning maintenance and repair. This will increase in importance as many of our country’s service men and women return home from deployment this year

NATE announced significant changes to its certification and recertification programs. The certification period changed from five to two years. Certification can be maintained with proof of 16 hours of specialty-related continuing education (CEHs) within the two-year period (reduced from 60 hours for five years). Certification maintenance application cost is reduced from $95 to only $25 per first certification; $5 for each additional certifications. NATE has extended the grace period available after the certification maintenance date has passed for technicians from 60 days to 120 days to allow additional time for technicians to send in documentation regarding CEHs earned.

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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. Candidates can earn installation and/or service certification in specialty areas including 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. Additional information is available at

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