The NATE Certified HVAC Technician (apprentice) Program (NCT) is a comprehensive HVAC apprentice education program encompassing a well-rounded set of skills used by heating and air conditioning installers and technicians who are seeking entry-level apprentice positions.
Just starting out as an apprentice in the HVAC and Refrigeration trade, you might not know the importance of NATE Certification.
NATE is an industry-valued credential that proves to employers that you have learned critical skills and that you can demonstrate what you’ve learned. (Show me, don’t tell me). NATE is managed by groups of HVAC and Refrigeration manufacturers. The manufacturers drive the certification process in response to the existing untrained workforce. (Tremendous skills gap).
- Existing technical skills among the existing technicians and apprentices in the field are embarrassing.
- Apprentice technicians are needed as soon as they can complete the program.
Developed by a committee of industry experts nationwide, all the NATE exams are knowledge-based, multiple-choice tests designed to validate a technician’s knowledge. Rest easy, the NATE Certified Technician Program thoroughly prepares you for every exam. The program has been successfully completed before you 1000’s of times with a first-time pass rate exceeding 90%.
Tidbit: Your first trade-slang-term is “north of.” Translated, new technicians successful pass the NATE exam “north of” 90% the first time around. NICE!
In many cases, NATE certification lowers barriers to apprentice HVAC technicians for entry into the HVAC and Refrigeration career. Stated another way, having NATE certification sets you far apart from 65% or more of the existing workforce.
Optionally, after completion of the academic portion, you have access to hands-on technical development programs.
- 10 days of everyday hands-on training and competency demonstrations. (approximately 80 hours)
- Sign-off from an HVAC professional instructor that you have demonstrated each task.
- The fee for each optional program varies and is quoted after completing the NATE HVAC Certified Technician Program
The NATE Certified Technician (NCT) program covers all the NATE Core areas focusing on Air Conditioning as your first specialty. The content presented in the program homes in on learning objectives that have been identified by influential HVAC industry groups (HVAC Excellence, AHRI, NATE, RSES, HARDI, PAHRA, and ACCA) as critical knowledge areas for an HVAC technician.
Remember that existing technical skills among the existing technicians in the field are embarrassing. After satisfactory completion of the program, your skills are in demand.
There is a caveat that you usually need to pass a background check before employment. Field technicians enjoy quite a lot of freedom:
- Gasoline (fuel) card (criminal record)
- Company provided service truck (driving record)
- Entry to businesses and homes (criminal record)
- Exposure to the public (grooming, appearance and social skills)