Welcome to North American Technician Excellence, Inc. The leading non-profit certification program for technicians in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) industry and the only test supported by the entire industry.


2111 Wilson Blvd. Suite 510Arlington, VA 22201Phone: 703-276-7247Toll Free Phone: 877-420-6283 (NATE)

NATE Advantage March 2011

01 Aug 2011





NATE Launches Campaign to Educate the Consumer, Elevate the Contractor
ARLINGTON, Va. — North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is kicking off a campaign to educate homeowners throughout the country about the importance of selecting contractors who hire NATE-certified technicians. By obtaining NATE certification, a technician verifies that they possess the skills and knowledge to perform at the highest industry standards, demonstrating their value to both the customer and their hiring contractor.
In 2011, NATE aims to increase consumer awareness of this quality assurance offered by certification, while simultaneously elevating those contractors who demonstrate their commitment to excellence by demanding NATE certification. In addition, NATE is making it easier for contractors to promote their NATE-certified technicians and rewarding these efforts with the new “Showcase Your NATE” Sweepstakes.

Through network radio advertisements, mentions on national television,  and articles in newspapers and magazines, today’s homeowners will be informed of the protection and peace-of-mind that results from hiring NATE-certified HVACR professionals. For example, radio ads will air on programs such as CBS World News, Dennis Miller, and Bill O’Reilly, as well as NCAA and NFL football, driving homeowners to the NATE consumer website (www.hvacradvice.com) to find local HVACR contractors who employ NATE-certified technicians.

As an increasing number of homeowners learn about NATE and visit the site to find a qualified contractor in their area, it’s more important than ever for contractors to include their company information on the Consumer Contractor Connection — NATE’s online locator tool. If 50 percent of a contractor’s technicians are NATE-certified, they are eligible to post a free listing in the Consumer Contractor Connection, helping to attract new customers.

“The overall goal of this program is to educate homeowners about NATE certification; not only is this effort important in terms of consumer protection and quality assurance, but it also ultimately improves the business of those contractors who demonstrate their dedication to superior installation and service,” stated Peter Schwartz, NATE president and CEO. “As an industry advocate, NATE aims to promote the HVACR industry’s knowledge and commitment to excellence, which is exemplified by maintaining certification.”

To further assist contractors in capitalizing on these upcoming efforts and connecting to consumers seeking NATE-certified technicians, a new dime-sized logo is available for use in contractors’ advertisements. The new NATE logo clearly communicates that the contractor employs certified technicians, while leaving ample space for their company information and other important messages. Qualified contractors can visit NATE’s website (www.natex.org) to request the logo for use in their consumer communication.

Since many top contractors actively promote their NATE-certified technicians to highlight their expertise and increase their business, NATE is also launching the new “Showcase Your NATE” Sweepstakes to reward these efforts. To participate, contractors are invited to submit descriptions and pictures of the various ways that they use NATE to build consumer confidence and attract new customers. With each submission, the contractor is entered into a regular drawing for a chance to win $1,000 in free local advertising and/or NATE promotional materials. Many entries will also be featured online, offering the contractor additional exposure and recognition for their commitment to quality work.

The “Showcase Your NATE” entries can be submitted via email to sweepstakes@natex.org or by mailing them to “Showcase Your NATE” Sweepstakes, 2111 Wilson Blvd #510, Arlington, VA 22201. Many entries will be featured on NATE’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/natecertification) and in other communication materials. For more information about the sweepstakes, visit www.natex.org.


Which of the following differences between low voltage wiring and line voltage wiring is true when run between enclosures?

A. All wiring below 50V is considered low voltage, wiring for 50V or greater is  considered line voltage.

B. All wiring below 30V is considered low voltage, wiring for 30V or greater is considered line voltage.

C. All low voltage wiring must be done with 18-22 awg while line voltage wiring must use 14 awg or larger.

D. Low voltage wiring can only be used for electronic controls, while line voltage runs must be used for all others.

Scroll to the bottom of this e-newsletter to see the answer.



North American Technician Excellence (NATE) endeavors to make recertification as easy as possible for technicians and provides two different ways for technicians to recertify:

1. Retake your NATE specialty exam.
2. Earn continuing education hours.

Retaking a previously certified NATE Specialty Exam before it expires and is out of its 60 day grace period will renew technicians’ certification. It is not necessary to retake the core exam as long as the technician holds at least one active certification. Find an updated NATE Testing Organizations list at www.natex.org and access the “Find a Testing Organization” tool. There is not a special test for recertification.

Submitting a NATE Recertification Application with evidence of 60 completed hours of continuing education that applies to the specialty will renew technician certification. The application can be found at www.natex.org under “Technicians & Certification — Recertification.” There is a list of NATE Recognized Training Providers on the website as well. Click the “Find a Training Organization” tool. These are organizations that provide recognized courses for NATE recertification. These courses will be automatically tracked for technicians as a courtesy of NATE, as long as the technician’s NATE ID number is provided on the attendance forms when attending these classes and those that are relevant to the technician’s specialty. NATE will also accept any non-recognized technical education course that is relevant to a technician’s specialty. A certificate of completion, which outlines name of the course, a brief course description, provider, and the length of the course, must be included with the recertification application in order to receive credit for courses not recognized by NATE. View a sample certificate of completion on NATE’s website. Courses that cover multiple specialties can be used to receive credit hours for each specialty.

To assist busy technicians, NATE allows a 60 day grace period after the certification has expired to recertify. To recertify, technicians are required to take their specialty test within the 60 days. When the grace period expires, technicians are then required to take both the core and specialty exams again.

According to Ray Isaac, NATE chairman of the board, the importance of maintaining certification has never been clearer.

“Once a technician has taken the time to become NATE-certified, upholding that level of expertise by recertifying every five years is the obvious next step. Credentialing is an important element of any recognized profession, and maintaining those credentials is just as important as gaining them.”

Some contractors may have policies and practices in place to encourage the technician to maintain their NATE certification, but the responsibility ultimately falls on the technician. The NATE wallet card shows the technician’s specialties and the expiration dates, which can serve as a simple reminder to the technician of when they need to recertify.

“The easiest way to stay on top of certification is to avoid waiting until the last minute, and to absolutely avoid a lapse in certification,” said Isaac. “Once a technician has become NATE-certified, it’s undoubtedly in their best interest to maintain this recognition of expertise through regular recertification.”

NATE Test Answer:

Which of the following differences between low voltage wiring and line voltage wiring is true when run between enclosures?

A. All wiring below 50V is considered low voltage, wiring for 50V or greater is considered line voltage.


To find a NATE testing organization

To find NATE training resources

Information on NATE recertification

To sign up for the free NATE contractor locator as featured on
www.hvacradvice.com click here

To update your listing (recommended at least twice a year) click here

To visit the NATE consumer web site http://www.hvacradvice.com

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