Even though you are not required to take any specialized training to take the exams, let’s be realistic. You’ll have to get some kind of training, and will want NATE certification. There are a few ways you can get the proper training you will need in order to pass either the CORE exam, NATE exam and or the KATEs exam.
- Enroll in a HVAC technician training program. You will find several programs at community colleges, technical training schools as well as online programs.
- If you are working in the HVAC industry in some capacity already, you can gain valuable on the job training.
Each of the suggestions will give you the knowledge and ability you need to pass the exam. If you wish to take the KATEs exam and NATE exam, The NATE organization also suggests that you have a certain amount of experience in your area of specialty. This is very important for NATE certification.
For example if you want to specialize in the area of service, NATE suggests having at least two years of service technician experience.
If you want to specialize in installation they recommend at least a year of actual real world experience.
Finally,if you’ve been in the HVAC industry for a number of years, you should take the exam for senior level technicians after 5 years of work experience.
EPA HVAC Certification
While NATE certification is not required, the Environmental Protection Agency Certification is. The reason EPA certification is mandatory is due to the contact of potentially hazardous material. Specifically refrigerants that are known to damage the ozone layer. Without this certification you cannot legally purchase or work with refrigerants.
There Are 4 Types of EPA Certification each based on pressure levels and refrigerant classification.
- Type I – This certification level covers all appliances with 5 pounds or less of refrigerant.
- Type 2 – Appliances described as high pressure and very high pressure would include refrigerants classified as 12, 22, 114, 500, and 502 and boiling points between -50 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 degrees Fahrenheit for high pressure. Very high pressure boiling are those below -50 degrees F. Refrigerant classification for very high pressure refrigerants would be 13 and 503.
- Type 3 – HVAC certification under this EPA type would cover all low pressure appliances with refrigerant boiling points below 50 degrees F. The refrigerant classification levels for Type 3 EPA certification include 11, 113 and 123.
- Universal Certification – This an EPA certification that qualifies you to work in all of the above types. This means you will have to take and pass all three of the above certification types in order to get your Universal Certification.
If you’re ready to get into the HVAC industry, it’s an exciting career. The HVAC industry continues to grow thanks to technological advances. With more and more modern HVAC systems being controlled by computers, the need for individuals with HVAC and NATE certification will continue to be in big demand.
Visit the official NATE site here.