NATE, North American Technician Excellence Inc., is an independent, third-party certification body for HVAC/R technicians. NATE tests technicians; others train. Testing validates the technician's knowledge and a training program's instruction. NATE-approved testing organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada offer NATE tests. Candidates can earn installation and/or service certification in five specialty areas: air-conditioning, air distribution, heat pumps, gas heating & oil heating.
Who Supports NATE?
The entire HVAC/R industry supports NATE: manufacturers, utilities, wholesalers, educators, technicians, contractors and trade associations. The NATE coalition includes:
Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)
Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI)
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE)
Building Performance Institute (BPI)
Eastern Heating & Cooling Council (EHCC)
Edison Electric Institute (EEI)
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA)
Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI)
National Energy Management Institute (NEMI, an organization representing Sheet Metal Contractors and Sheet Metal Workers)
Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Contractors--National Association (PHCC--NA)
Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The D.O.E. endorses NATE. Consumer Reports said, “It’s a plus if a technician is NATE-certified.” EPA tells consumers to ask if a contractor’s technicians are NATE-certified. Under the Montgomery GI Bill, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) reimburses veterans who take the NATE tests. The U.S. Army recognizes NATE certification for promotion points. No other certification exam enjoys this industry support.