NATE: Stands for North American Technician Excellence
NATE is the leading non-profit certification programs for technicians in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration industry and the only test supported by the entire industry.
NATE certifies only those technicians who achieve mastery of an industry-approved level of knowledge. The tests are developed by industry leaders and reflect a consensus opinion of what the average technician should know to effectively install and service HVAC systems.
NATE certification is designed for installation and service technicians who work on residential and light commercial equipment and systems: Air Conditioning, Air Distribution, Gas Heating, Heat Pumps and Oil Heating.
There are no experience or educational requirements, but NATE recommends that installation technicians have at least one year of field experience and service technicians have at least two years of field experience. Those with less should have taken and passed ICE - the Industry Competency Exam. The more education and training a technician has received, the more likely he or she is to pass the exam of their choice.