What does it mean if a Company is NATE-Certified?
NATE, short for North American Technicians Excellence, Inc. is the main organization for HVAC industry standard setting and certification. Since its inception, it has been the preeminent leader in the development and promotion of new and improved equipment and servicing standards, and its reach encompasses the various subset heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and refrigeration fields.
It is tough work for technicians to obtain NATE certification, whether working as an individually licensed contractor or for a corporate firm. The rigorous testing procedures are in place to ensure only veterans can pass. This more or less separates the less experienced technicians from the seasoned professionals who possess years of specialty expertise, which is precisely what customers look for when they go to hire a licensed heating and cooling business.
Why you want your technicians to have NATE certification
NATE has achieved a significant reputation in the HVAC industry, and is now recognized by a wide array of representatives, including but not limited to: manufacturers, utility companies, distributors, educators, and contractors. In other words, to be NATE-certified is a major accomplishment, and not one that clients take lightly, at least the ones who are well informed.
This alone can potentially make or break a business’ prospects of securing a contract, particularly those pertaining to commercial or industrial jobs where competition with high-level players is quite fierce. The problem with cut-rate contractors is far worse in the residential HVAC field, where hordes of so-called “professionals” are quick to take advantage of unaware homeowners.
The quickest way to distinguish legitimate companies from their shady counterparts is to simply ask, “Are you NATE-certified, and if so, can you provide proof?” Chances are, you are going to run into many businesses that will be completely blind-sighted by this question, which thereby is going to give you the answer you need!
How does the certification process work?
NATE is by far not the only business that provides extensive HVAC training, but it is one of the select few to test technicians on their working knowledge of a large range of systems and respective applications. The written tests created by the company cover a wide array of subject areas, and are geared towards gauging the applicant’s specific knowledge of everything from heat pumps to gas furnaces to air distribution to oil furnaces, and much more. To put it simply, NATE is arguably the most in-depth training resource available to those in the HVAC industry, and it is relied on by thousands of contractors all over the world. Once an individual has become NATE-certified, they have 5 years until they need to take the test again. This timeline is in accordance with changing heating and cooling technology and makes sure technicians are always up-to-date with the latest advancements and. So, the next time you need to hire an HVAC contractor, do not hesitate to ask them for proof of NATE certification. It is a worthwhile investment that gives you much-needed peace of mind!