What Is NATE Certification and Why Does It Matter?
Have you ever seen an HVAC company mention having “NATE-certified” technicians and wondered what that means? Properly certified professionals are certainly a benefit when you’re trying to get work done in your home, but it’s a good idea to know what that certification means in practical terms. Is NATE certification an industry standard you can count on — or a meaningless achievement anyone can get by spending a few dollars? Let’s look a bit closer at how technicians make the mark.
What Is NATE Certification?
NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence, the largest non-profit HVAC and refrigeration certification organization in the United States. NATE is wholly intertwined with the nation’s HVAC industry and has maintained the highest standards of expertise since 1997.
NATE certification is voluntary and not required by law for HVAC work, but it serves as a standard of excellence and a vital credential for any technicians in the industry wanting to prove their competence — to the degree that companies frequently invest in having their technicians train for the exam and pay for the testing both for the mark of pride and for the technical expertise their team members will gain.
What Does a NATE-Certified Technician Need to Know and Do?
NATE certifies different specializations with different tests and levels of competence. General NATE certification starts at basic “Ready-to-Work” entry-level certification and goes to “HVAC Efficiency Analyst,” but specialized certifications require experts to have at least two years in the industry working in their specialty. These specializations include things like air conditioning, heat pumps, gas heating, oil heating, air distribution, etc., rather than just being general-purpose coverage for HVAC as a whole.
NATE certifications all involve rigorous testing with detailed examinations on the related materials, with a pass rate under 60% despite the cost and effort involved — in other words, NATE certification is far more than just a rubber stamp acquired by paying the requisite fees, and it represents a genuine knowledge of the material tested.
Benefits of Working with NATE-Certified Technicians
When you hire NATE-certified technicians for a project, you can be sure you’re getting well-trained and -educated technicians who truly understand the technology they’re working with and how to make use of it. Non-certified technicians can be competent, but you might only be sure of the quality of their work years down the line when problems show up (or don’t).
NATE-certified technicians will know and follow current best practices in the industry, instead of relying on potentially outdated favorites and familiar techniques that don’t work as well. They’re also more likely to be long-term members of the industry, polishing their skills and developing their experience with an eye towards improvement.
Working in HVAC in Ogden
If you’re interested in a career in HVAC, studying for NATE certification and passing the exam is a great way to set yourself up with a set of skills you can rely on for work for years to come. Heating, cooling, ventilation, and refrigeration will always be important for homeowners and businesses alike in Ogden, meaning there will always be work for a certified expert.
If you’re interested, Mountain Air is hiring!
Want to learn more about the advantages of NATE-certified technicians, need to hire a technician, or have other questions for our team in Ogden, Utah? Contact Mountain Air Conditioning & Heating today by dialing (801) 416-2215!