These days a lot of air conditioning and refrigeration companies are looking for technicians that have a NATE certification. The reason for this is that the tests that they offer, are far from simple, and will really test the technicians aptitude when it comes to HVAC. It is not a test that you can guess your way through and pass, as compared to some other types of certifications that are out there.
Also, many colleges these days that offer Hvac Training, also offer NATE courses that you are able to take. The thing about these tests are, they are not cheap. Depending on where you are located, the tests range around the $130 at the time of writing this, and there are more than one type of Nate Certifications that you are able to acquire.
At this time – some of the Hvac certifications they offer are air conditioning, air distribution, heat pumps, gas furnaces, oil furnaces, hydronics gas, hydronics oil, light commercial refrigeration, commercial refrigeration, ground source heat pump, and senior HVAC efficiency analysis. These are offered in both installation and service certifications.
There is also a CORE section that must be completed in order to get any other type of ‘specialty’ certification. These tests though, are not just for the HVAC technician or installer, they are also for educators, contractors and also manufacturers.
Although NATE certification is not required to get a career in Hvac, it is highly encouraged. If you are in a supervisor stage, you would be expected to have it. Just by getting a Nate specialty certification is not going to mean that you will be able to fix everything pertaining to that specialty. Like with everything, that only comes with hands on experience.
It can though, help you determine and trouble shoot problems, especially when you understand how everything works, from the 24 volts to the refrigeration cycle. A lot of times when you understand how something works, it better helps when you come to trouble shooting.
For instance not just replacing a compressor, but trying to determine why the old compressor failed in the first place, as compressors, rarely fail if they are installed correctly. Some old school technicians will tell you that you don’t need NATE and it is a waste of money, in my opinion though, there is never enough training out there, and this is just another resource to help you in your career of HVAC training.