What exactly does "NATE certified" mean? A lot of contractors may post these qualifications online, but what does it really mean?
Well, a NATE certification is something you should always look for when you are hiring a contractor to work on heating or cooling issues in your home. Here's what you should know about it.
NATE Certification Meaning and Origins
A few decades ago, the HVAC industry was going through a period of change. The technology was being updated, fuels were being changed, older units were falling into disrepair, and so on. The growing field of HVAC technicians was struggling to meet the demand. There was a lot to learn, and many workers didn't really know what they were doing. Left on their own, most HVAC service companies didn't have the resources or the time to provide all the proper training. As a result, consumers were becoming unhappy.
As a result, leading voices in the industry held conferences and eventually, in the late 1990s, created the North American Technician Excellence standard, or NATE. NATE was directed by a coalition of representatives from the HVAC industries and made up of committees, each with their own specialization, that could offer recommendations for certification and exams that technicians could take to guarantee a certain skill level.
NATE Certification Requirements
NATE quickly grew after its development, adding more exams and developing partnerships with a variety of different organizations, including many trading partners and even the U.S. Army. Today, there are a number of different NATE certifications in installation, service and other areas. Once a specialization is chosen, the technician must pass the necessary exams to qualify for certification. These exams test a variety of work-related information and situations, going through everything from safety and science to electrical work and construction.
Over time, technicians can maintain their certification by keeping up on industry standards and taking any classes required by the NATE standard. There are different exams for senior technicians as well, for those who want certification to recognize their experience (usually at least several years) in the industry. Today there are around 35,000 NATE-certified technicians active.
Benefits of Being NATE Certified
NATE certification is a great entry-level process for a technician. With some on-the-job training and the right amount of study, most workers can pass their NATE exams. This allows you to know that a particular technician is ready for the job – but it's also only one facet in guaranteeing an experienced, professional contractor that will provide the best possible service. Remember to review a company as a whole and look at other important factors including testimonials, insurance, and guarantees.
Now that you know what to look for, do you have any additional questions in mind? Are you ready to have an expert diagnose your system for problems? Call or click today to get a fast response from us!