NATE Certification 101
There is not a single NATE test--there are 21 NATE tests. The knowledge areas of technician expertise are divided into tests for installation, service and senior technicians. Click Here to view the Knowledge Areas of Technician Expertise (KATEs). The KATEs are outlines of the information covered in each exam. They should be used as reference material while preparing for the NATE exams as they represent the knowledge, skills and abilities a technician should possess to pass.
How do I become NATE-Certified?
To become NATE-certified, you must pass both a CORE and a SPECIALTY test of your choice. The specialty certification would be in either the INSTALLATION or SERVICE path.
The Core test covers the candidates general knowledge, construction knowledge and HVACR specific knowledge in the areas of safety/tools/soft skills, heat transfer/comfort, and electrical systems. Specialty exams cover the candidates knowledge of the installation, service maintenance and or repair of HVAC/R systems. Please review each KATE for specific requirements.
The exams cover information that eight out of ten technicians have an 80 percent chance of encountering at least once in a 12-month period.
What Are the Requirements to be Certified as A Senior Technician?
A senior technician is required to hold two NATE service level certifications.
Who Can Take the NATE Certification Exams?
Anyone interested in obtaining NATE Certification may take the tests, provided they have contacted and made arrangements with the Testing Organization conducting it and pay the appropriate testing fees.
Are There Educational or Work Experience Requirements?
No. NATE tests assess a candidate’s applied knowledge of their field. Both knowledge and experience are necessary to pass the stringent NATE exams. There are no formal educational requirements for certification, but NATE strongly suggests that examinees have some formal training provided by an employer, a technical school, or other educational institution.
How Long Does Certification Last?
Once certification is obtained it lasts for five years.
What Happens at the End of Five Years?
To meet the requirements for recertification you should either complete 60 continuing education hours (CEH) in your specialty or retake your specialty exam, before certification lapses. If you choose to use continuing education hours to re-certify you must document your CEHs and submit an application for recertification.
Who Developed These Exams?
The NATE Technical Committee oversees the Knowledge Areas of Technician Expertise (KATEs) and all test development. The KATEs are the statistically proven job task analysis from which all questions are developed. All exams are developed by subject matter experts from across the HVAC/R industry representing a wide variety of perspectives and includes contractors, technicians, distributors, educators, manufacturers, and utilities.