NATE Introduces Changes to Certification Program
A New Year Ushers in a New NATE that is Necessary, has Added-Value, is Timely and Earned
North American Technician Excellence (NATE) announced major changes to its certification program for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (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. 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,” said John Lanier, NATE Chief Operating Officer.
The program changes and new offerings, to be rolled out throughout the year, outline the new NATE as:
N is for Necessary
- A new NATE Career Center (jobs.natex.org) to match NATE-certified technicians to employers in industry who value NATE certification
- 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.
A is for Added-value
- Administering the NATE Industry Competency Exam for entry-level technicians with one year or less of professional experience
- Developing stronger ties with career and technical schools, distributors, and contractors to help direct technicians to appropriate continuing education when needed.
- Plans to enhance websites features to serve as HVACR industry information resources with blogs, community discussions, news feeds, and greater mobile capabilities.
T is for Timely
- Plans to update NATE exams and introducing new exams, including:
- Revised NATE Core examination, combining previously individual Core Service and Core Installation exams into a single 75-question exam
- Updated Service and Installation exams for the Air Conditioning, Air Distribution, Heat Pump, Gas Heating, and Oil Furnace specialties
- English and Spanish versions of the NATE Core exam, Air Conditioning, Heat Pump, and Gas Heating Service specialty exams
- A credentialing opportunity with US Army for their soldiers training in the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 91C, which includes air-conditioning maintenance and repair as many of our country’s service men and women return home from deployment this year
E is for Earned
- Certification period changed from five to two years
- Certification maintained with proof of 16 hours of specialty-related continuing education (CEHs) within the two-year period (reduced from 60 hours for 5 years)
- Certification maintenance application cost reduced from $95 to only $25 per first certification; $5 for each additional certifications
- 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.