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The Answer Guide

What is NATE Certification?


Why is it important?...
What does it mean to me?...
How do I know if a technician is NATE certified?

People want their comfort systems fixed fast, fixed right, and fixed the first time. But how do you pre-judge the quality of service you will receive?

No matter how reputable the company is that you call for service, the quality of your experience is ultimately dependent upon the quality of the technician dispatched to your home. How do you know whether a company employs qualified technicians?

One way is NATE certification.

A Few Facts

  • NATE is the North American Technician Excellence™ program. Modeled after the ASE certification program in the automotive industry, NATE is the industry standard for technician certification.
  • NATE is the industry’s national certification program and is supported by the entire industry.
  • Broad national surveys indicate that consumers overwhelmingly desire certified technicians. In fact, seven out of eight homeowners want their equipment serviced by a nationally certified technician.
  • NATE certification is far from certain, even for experienced technician. Nationally, passing rates for NATE certification exams are about the same as passing rates for the “bar” to earn a license to practice law.

Why is NATE Certification important?
Heating and air conditioning equipment gets more sophisticated with each passing year. Many of today’s comfort products include computer control boards and high tech sensor systems. Installing and servicing equipment requires more in-depth knowledge and training than ever before. NATE certification was designed to reflect a consensus of the knowledge industry experts determined technicians needed to be able to install and service equipment properly.

Should I allow a technician without NATE Certification to work on my comfort system?
NATE certification is voluntary and many excellent technicians have yet to sit for the NATE exams. In other words, there are good technicians who are not NATE certified. However, the odds of finding a good, qualified, competent technician increases when you insist on NATE certification. NATE certification means the technician is well-grounded in the knowledge he or she needs. NATE certification also reflects a commitment by the technician to the heating and air conditioning industry as a profession. NATE certified technicians are serious about their craft and self-motivated to perform well.

How do I know if a technician is NATE Certified?
For starters, ask for a NATE certified technician when you call for service. Beyond requesting one, identifying a NATE certified technician is often as simple as looking for the NATE patch on the sleeve of their uniform. If you unsure, ask the technician if he or she is NATE certified. NATE also maintains a database of contractors employing NATE certified technicians at
natex.org.

© 2003 Service Roundtable


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