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Hey guys,

I have been in the HVAC industry for only about a year, and I wanted to see what your opinions are in terms of how important NATE Certification is. I've read some information about it online, for example, on this hvac training site and on the official website and I know it is not *required* by the US government, but in terms of job opportunities, do you think it is really important? Do you guys have any idea about, say, what fraction of HVAC technicians in the country are NATE-certified? How much more can I expect to earn if I get certified?

Any insight would be great! :)
 

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Hey guys,

I have been in the HVAC industry for only about a year, and I wanted to see what your opinions are in terms of how important NATE Certification is. I've read some information about it online, for example, on this hvac training site and on the official website and I know it is not *required* by the US government, but in terms of job opportunities, do you think it is really important? Do you guys have any idea about, say, what fraction of HVAC technicians in the country are NATE-certified? How much more can I expect to earn if I get certified?

Any insight would be great! :)

In short...NATE testing is not important for you personally, in the sense that it will not make you a better tech. NATE testing is more of a benefit to HVAC companies as many like to advertise that they provide NATE certified techs. This being said it can help you personally in terms of pay. Will you be a better tech after you take the test than before? No...the only difference is that you will have a piece of paper that says you are NATE certified.

Being able to offer NATE certified technicians from a marketing stand point adds "validity" to a company. It appeals to customers as authentic.

Advice here though would be for you to go ahead and get NATE certified...it isn't going to affect you negatively and companies do like to see it b/c it adds to their marketing ability. If you can add to a company postively in any way than you suddenly become worth a little more than before.
 

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NATE certification is meaningful to the individuals who are familiar with NATE. I'm still waiting on a customer to ask if I'm NATE certified, or even state certified for that matter. :001_unsure: With or without the card, all they want is a fast and accurate diagnosis, leading to a cheap fix. :laughing:

I will say the NATE tests are some of the more practical I've taken. If you can pass the test(s), it's a pretty good indicator you know something about the subject.

For me, the value is in having some "technical respect" from equipment mfg's. That's the only yardstick by which they can judge my competence.
 

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NATE certification is meaningful to the individuals who are familiar with NATE. I'm still waiting on a customer to ask if I'm NATE certified, or even state certified for that matter. :001_unsure: With or without the card, all they want is a fast and accurate diagnosis, leading to a cheap fix. :laughing:

I will say the NATE tests are some of the more practical I've taken. If you can pass the test(s), it's a pretty good indicator you know something about the subject.

For me, the value is in having some "technical respect" from equipment mfg's. That's the only yardstick by which they can judge my competence.
I hear you Saturatedpsi and agree....


The reality is that NATE testing, while it is a SMALL indicator of technical aptitude, for all intents and purposes it is more of a marketing tool for HVAC providers to present to their customers. The customers don’t know much about it other than it supposedly certifies that a particular company has credible service techs.

NATE testing is a bit of a rigged proposition much like the CFC license. They offer classes to teach you how to pass the exam or test. In addition NATE realizes that HVAC companies aren't keen about spending money on a losing proposition...so they work with "schools" that offer classes on how to pass the test. Many of the schools offer companies money back in the tech fails to pass. These schools offer the same for CFC testing and many for actual tradesman licenses.

In short the techs are learning simply how to pass the test...not so much how to become a better technician.

A technician will be just as capable of fixing a particular piece of equipment before NATE testing as after NATE testing. If he was good prior to NATE testing than he will be able to fix it......if he was not any good then he will not be able to fix it properly.

All that said...NATE certification is still a good thing to get simply because it will make you more appealing to a company that is using NATE certification in marketing to the customer. Same thing with the classes offered through supply houses. Take any of them you can. The more training/certifications you can add to your resume...well, regardless of how good you are as a tech, it still looks good.

For us here.., we do acknowledge these types of certifications and training but from our perspective it is more about showing the dedication, motivation, and involvement in the HVAC trade than it is technician aptitude level. While we do not believe that these certifications hold much weight in terms of tech capability...the chances are that an individual that is willing to sacrifice their time to go through the “procedures” is more likely to be a professional all the way around.

In terms of tech level...we do our own testing plus new hires are paired with a senor tech and tested on rigged equipment in the field and without any help from the senor tech they are required to isolate and fix the problem. This is the only true test of a techs level...real, hands on problems.
 

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It's not too difficult to become NATE certified. I don't see it as a good indicator of the technical capabilities of a technician. It's really just a marketing tool HVAC contractors use to build credibility in front of prospective clients. Prospective clients that have never heard of NATE and have no idea what it is. I think there might be better ways to spend your marketing dollars than with NATE.
 

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It's more of a "peace of mind" thing than something tangible. You can find equally skilled techs without NATE certification. We require our technicians to have NATE certification not because we think it makes a better technician, but because it sends a message of credibility to potential customers. As an HVAC contractor, It adds credibility to the work we provide and perception is, as they say, reality.




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In short...NATE testing is not important for you personally, in the sense that it will not make you a better tech. NATE testing is more of a benefit to HVAC companies as many like to advertise that they provide NATE certified techs. This being said it can help you personally in terms of pay. Will you be a better tech after you take the test than before? No...the only difference is that you will have a piece of paper that says you are NATE certified.

Being able to offer NATE certified technicians from a marketing stand point adds "validity" to a company. It appeals to customers as authentic.

Advice here though would be for you to go ahead and get NATE certified...it isn't going to affect you negatively and companies do like to see it b/c it adds to their marketing ability. If you can add to a company postively in any way than you suddenly become worth a little more than before.
Perfect answer :)
 

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In short...NATE testing is not important for you personally, in the sense that it will not make you a better tech. NATE testing is more of a benefit to HVAC companies as many like to advertise that they provide NATE certified techs. This being said it can help you personally in terms of pay. Will you be a better tech after you take the test than before? No...the only difference is that you will have a piece of paper that says you are NATE certified.

Being able to offer NATE certified technicians from a marketing stand point adds "validity" to a company. It appeals to customers as authentic.

Advice here though would be for you to go ahead and get NATE certified...it isn't going to affect you negatively and companies do like to see it b/c it adds to their marketing ability. If you can add to a company postively in any way than you suddenly become worth a little more than before.
Yea I agree with this.
 

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In short...NATE testing is not important for you personally, in the sense that it will not make you a better tech. NATE testing is more of a benefit to HVAC companies as many like to advertise that they provide NATE certified techs. This being said it can help you personally in terms of pay. Will you be a better tech after you take the test than before? No...the only difference is that you will have a piece of paper that says you are NATE certified.

Being able to offer NATE certified technicians from a marketing stand point adds "validity" to a company. It appeals to customers as authentic.

Advice here though would be for you to go ahead and get NATE certified...it isn't going to affect you negatively and companies do like to see it b/c it adds to their marketing ability. If you can add to a company postively in any way than you suddenly become worth a little more than before.
Thanks for great informatin :)
 
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