A Good HVAC Technician Should Have These Certifications
When you hire an HVAC technician for your residential or commercial project, you want to make sure that the person who will be working on your HVAC equipment is skilled and knowledgeable. Among the better indicators of technician competence are certifications granted by professional organizations in the HVAC industry. The following are a few of the HVAC technician certifications that indicate technical knowledge, adherence to professional standards, and high levels of skill.
Why Look for HVAC Technician Certifications?
Many factors might influence your decision to hire a particular HVAC company: your specific needs, recommendations from friends or family, or company reputation, for example. While these can be reliable standards, HVAC technician certifications offer substantial proof of a technician’s knowledge and ability. Certifications are usually granted only after a technician meets well-defined requirements established by the certifying organization These requirements can include demonstrations of technical knowledge, the passing of rigorous examinations, or participation in professional or technical programs. When you hire an HVAC technician with industry-supported certifications, you can be sure you have hired an individual with demonstrated abilities and a proven level of competence.
NATE certification is among the most common, but also the most notable, of the available HVAC technician certifications.
NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. It is a testing and certification organization specifically geared to the needs of HVAC technicians. NATE’s certifications are recognized and accepted throughout the HVAC industry.
To gain NATE certification, HVAC techs must demonstrate thorough subject-specific knowledge, technical skills, and practical abilities. The certification process requires technicians to pass a test of general HVAC knowledge and at least one specialized exam in installation or service. NATE certifications are granted in areas such as air conditioning, gas or oil heating, air distribution, air-to-air heat pumps, ground-source (geothermal) heat pumps, and HVAC system efficiency.
HVAC Excellence Certification
HVAC Excellence is another industry group that offers credible certifications to HVAC technicians. Technicians can become certified at the professional level or the master specialist level. Each certification has different criteria. For example, the professional level certification requires that the technician have two years of industry experience. This credential also requires the passing of a comprehensive exam in areas such as residential air conditioning or heat pumps. Master specialist certification requires three years of field experience and passing of the professional-level exam.
HVAC Quality Installation Standard
The HVAC Quality Installation (QI) standard is administered by one of the HVAC industry’s most important professional and technical organizations, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). The ACCA is a nonprofit organization serving more than 60,000 individuals and 4000 businesses who work in the HVAC industry.
Certification in ACCA’s QI standard can be obtained in residential HVAC design or in light commercial HVAC design. Those who receive the certificate must demonstrate the ability to effectively design an HVAC system for either a residential or light commercial application. The system design must use proper techniques and the technician must demonstrate knowledge of factors such as duct design, load calculations, and the use of HVAC-specific software.
EPA 608 Certification
HVAC techs who routinely handle HVAC system refrigerants must hold the Environmental Protection Agency’s 608 Certification. Only those with this certification can legally buy, use, and handle refrigerants such as R-22 or R-410A.
State or Local Licensing
State and local licensing, while not technically certifications, are important qualifications that your HVAC technician should possess. State or local licenses indicate that your HVAC technician has met all the requirements for practicing in your state or local geographical area. As a minimum, any HVAC technician or company you deal with should hold the appropriate licensing from state or local agencies.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on HVAC technician certifications and what they mean, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!