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To earn more in a market saturated by competitors, raising your credibility in the HVAC field is a great way to boost your income. In this regard, technicians in heating and cooling areas have the NATE certification to help them prove their job capabilities. Take our free NATE Practice Test (2021 updated) now to get a better score on your real test!
NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing certification for qualified technicians after assessing their skill through series of knowledge-based exams.
NATE certification is one of the most recognized credentials in the field of HVAC. To be certificated NATE, technicians must pass a knowledge exam that adjusts their real-world, working knowledge of HVAC systems. NATE certification is not easy to earn. It is not a compulsory requirement, but for an experienced HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) technician, securing this represents your competency in the industry.
Furthermore, contractors, employers, and customers seeking service from this field often look for a NATE certified technician for a quality job. In other words, achieving this status can put you a step ahead against your competitors and colleagues.
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The acquisition of this certification depends on the applicant's real-life working knowledge measured through a series of exams.
There is no experience or educational attainment required to acquire this credential. However, the test contents to obtain the NATE certification are not easy, and most of the time, only experienced HVAC techs can pass the exams. The recommended amount of experience is at least two years for the professional certification.
NATE tests have two pathways. Traditionally, to qualify for a NATE certification, the examinees need to take and pass two exams. First is the core exam then followed by the specialty exam.
NATE now offers a new way to obtain certification known as the Certified HVAC Professional (CHP-5) exam, covering five varying subject domains.
Examinees can freely choose between the two pathways, but keep in mind that it is required to pass all test sections to qualify for the certificate.
Aside from the professional certification, NATE also offers examinations for the following certificates:
Test duration may vary depending on which exam you are taking. For the core exam, the time limit is 1.5 hours, while for the specialty exam, an allotted time of 2.5 hours is given, totaling 4 hours for the traditional exam.
If you fail an exam, NATE will allow you to retake the failed test after 30 days. The given timeframe is to enable the examinee to study and review more. If you could not pass all the exams within two years, you'd need to retake even the test you already passed.
The core exam of the traditional pathway has 50 questions in total, while the specialty test has 100 questions in it.
If you have chosen the CHP-5 pathway, you will answer the same total number of questions, but it is now divided into five sections, having 30 questions each.
To pass and gain qualification for the NATE certification, examinees need to score at least 70% in each domain.
The NATE core exam consists of the following topics:
The specific topics in each domain within the test are different every year. To know more about these, please check the KATEs in NATEX.org.
The specialty exam's subcategory is further divided into specific expertise. You only need to take one among these choices.
The Installation specialty includes:
The service subcategory, on the other hand, includes:
The CHP-5 exam is comprised of five sections of brief comprehensive exams regarding HVAC vital concepts. These categories are:
There are no set prices for the examination fee as this would depend entirely on the authorized testing organization where you will take the assessment.
The next most important thing to possess next to the amount of experience in HVAC is knowledge.
NATE certification is valid proof that a technician knows more about the field compared to their peers. Furthermore, data shows that contractors and employers prefer NATE-certified technicians as they are more likely to complete a job the first time. Even customers who haven't heard of NATE certification tend to choose techs who have some credentials.
Before applying for a NATE certification, it is best to have at least some training; this will help you walk the test a bit easier and have an increased chance of passing.
Once you think that you are ready, follow the steps below.
Any HVACR Technicians, whether they are new to the field or a veteran of the industry, are welcome to apply for a NATE exam.
You can either take the exam online via live proctoring or on an official testing organization site. To know more about this, visit natex.org to learn about the available testing center and their schedule.
Examinees need to create a NATE account where they will receive the result of the tests. For paper-based exams, it would take 2-3 weeks to process the score, while for the computer-based exams, results will immediately be available after the test.