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)

Government & Legislation

Help regulate our industry – and make quality the norm, not the exception.

Nationwide, there is a shortage of HVACR technicians. Worse, there is a more severe shortage of verifiably trained HVACR technicians. And it’s not just HVACR industry insiders taking note:

  • A recent American Home Comfort Study reports that 94% of homeowners believe having a certified technician repair or install their home comfort system is important to them.
  • Utilities note that poorly installed and badly serviced units waste energy and cause consumer electric bills to soar.
  • Half of consumers defer retro-fits or new installations because they don’t know which contractors have competent technicians. In other words, they are living in less than “comfortable” situations because they don’t know which contractors they can trust to do the job properly.
  • Manufacturers note that a third of units returned as “defective” are actually “installer error.”

Certification is not just about contractor professionalism; it’s about customer assurance. Contractors whose technicians are NATE-certified can legitimately claim that their technicians have passed a stringent certification test national in scope, ultimately leading to increased customer service and business profitability.

Why We Need NATE

Why redesign the wheel? NATE is already well-known in the HVACR industry.

  • NATE has a nationally recognized series of tests developed and backed by all segments of the HVACR industry and which cover:
    • Core competencies (fundamentals of electricity and heat transfer)
    • Air Conditioning
    • Air Distribution
    • Gas Heating
    • Oil Heating
    • Air to Air Heat Pumps
    • Hydronic Oil Heating
    • Hydronic Gas Heating
    • Light Commercial Refrigeration
    • Commercial Refrigeration
    • Ground Source Heat Pump Loop Installer
    • HVAC Efficiency Analyst (senior level)
  • Governmental entities using NATE get a valid, legally defensible test.

NATE believes that valid certifications must test the actual knowledge a technician needs to do a specific job. They should be relevant, derived from industry consensus and independently administered by a disinterested third party. All test and knowledge elements should be evaluated and validated by a psychometrician. Tests should have an appeals process and be analyzed regularly to keep current and accurate. Furthermore, there should be a firewall between training and testing, thus eliminating the specter of anyone “teaching the test.” NATE testing does all of this.

NATE Helps Legislate and Regulate

NATE regularly receives calls from individuals or groups who wish to use NATE certification testing as a component of city, state or county HVACR contractor licensing. Usually, their goal is to ensure that knowledgeable technicians are installing and servicing heating and cooling units in their area, thus raising the professional bar and keeping taxpayers and voters happy.

NATE does not lobby nor seek to directly influence legislation.  We often support and act as a resource to interest groups who wish to enact HVACR Contractor legislation using NATE as a component in the licensing process.

If you are interested in working to make NATE Certification a component of licensing, we recommend you use the following as guides: