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Set Yourself Apart

NATE tests represent real-world working knowledge of HVACR systems. With NATE certification, technicians can differentiate themselves from the competition and demonstrate why they are among the finest in the industry. NATE offers full certification, entry level certificates, and specialized knowledge certificates so technicians with any level of experience can set themselves apart.

All NATE exams are based on Knowledge Areas of Technician Expertise (KATEs), statistically proven job task analysis from experts in the HVACR industry. KATEs represent a wide variety of perspectives on subject matter essential to contractors, technicians, distributors, educators, manufacturers, and utilities. KATEs outline all information tested in each exam and should be used as reference material. Review the KATE for each certification desired on our KATEs page.

You can find more information below about each of NATE’s certification options and the first steps you can take towards earning certification.

1. Choose the NATE Certification, Certificate, or Certification Exam Right for You

NATE Certification

NATE offers two pathways to earn NATE Certification, as well as multiple specialty and senior certifications. To earn NATE Certification, technicians will choose between the Certified HVAC Professional (CHP-5) pathway or the traditional Core and Specialty exam pathway.

With the CHP-5 pathway, technicians earn their NATE certification through a series of five exams, each on a different subject domain: HVAC Fundamentals, Electrical and Controls, Comfort and Airflow, Installation, and Service.

Technicians that choose the traditional NATE certification pathway will take two exams – the NATE Core exam and a Specialty exam. NATE offers multiple Specialty exams for technicians to choose from, and technicians will earn an Installation, Service, or Senior certification specialization depending on the exam they complete.

You can find more information about each certification pathway on our Certification Pathways page.

NATE Entry Level Certificates

NATE offers the Ready-to-Work Certificate and the HVAC Support Technician Certification for technicians with less than two years of experience. These exams are designed to support technicians that have recently entered the HVAC field. You can find more information about our entry-level exams on our NATE Certificates page.

NATE Professional Certification Exams

NATE offers a range of options for technicians to demonstrate their specialized knowledge. With certification exams in Low GWP Refrigerants, Ground Source Heat Pump Installer, and HVAC Performance Verifier, technicians can boost their resume and stay ahead of the competition. Additionally, technicians can take the EPA 608 exam and Industry Competency Exam (ICE) with NATE. You can find more information on our Professional Level Certification Exams page.

2. Prepare to Take Your NATE Exams

NATE recommends that you have some formal training provided by an employer, a technical school or other educational institution before taking NATE exams.

NATE recommends the following amount of experience for each exam:

  • 6 months to one year of experience for the HVAC Support Technician certificate
  • Two years of experience for CHP-5 and Traditional Pathway certification exams
  • Five years of experience for the Senior Level Efficiency Analyst exam

NATE provides both paperback and online training resources for technicians. NATE offers paperback study guides with graphics and practice questions at the end of each chapter. You can order study guides in the NATE online store.

NATE has also partnered with Interplay Learning to create the NATE Training Academy, a complete online training program. The comprehensive set of courses allow technicians to prepare for NATE exams at their own pace and from the comfort of home. Course subjects currently cover the CHP-5 subject domains – HVAC Fundamentals, Electrical and Controls, Comfort and Airflow, Installation, and Service; the Traditional Pathway Core exam and the Installation and Service specialty exams; the Low-GWP refrigerant certification exam; and NATE’s entry-level Ready-To-Work certificate exam.

3. Take Your NATE Exams

Technicians can take their exams in-person with a NATE Testing Organization (TO) or online with remote Live Online Proctoring.

Visit our Locate a Testing Organization page to find an exam session near you. If you are interested in becoming a TO, visit the Testing Organization Getting Started page.

4. Earn Your NATE Certification

Once you pass your required certification exams, you will receive your official NATE certification credentials, which include:

5. Track Recertification Progress

NATE certifications must be renewed every two years. Technicians can maintain their certification by completing 16 hours of continuing education hours (CEHs) during the two-year certification period and pay a renewal fee or re-take the specialty exam before the expiration date or in the 120-day grace period. You can find more information on our Recertification Overview page.