Training & Certification


Want to become HVAC certified in Spring, TX? Houston Admiral is now scheduling NATE training and certification classes; call (281) 876-9400 to schedule your NATE certification.

We also provide Intermediate through Advanced training for HVAC service technicians.

NATE Certification $ 175 per specialty exam.

  • Example: Core $175
  • Air Conditioning Service $175
  •  Heat Pump Service $ 175


What is NATE?
North American Technician Excellence (NATE), headquartered in Arlington, VA, was founded in 1997 and is the nation’s largest non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration technicians. NATE is the only technician certification organization governed, owned, operated, developed, and supported by the HVACR industry.

What does NATE do?
NATE offers certification tests for installation and/or service in one or more specialty areas.

Who creates the NATE exams?
The NATE Technical Committee, comprised of industry experts nationwide, oversees the Knowledge Areas of Technician Expertise (KATEs) and all test development. KATEs are statistically proven job task analyses from which all questions are developed.

Who can take NATE certification exams?
Anyone interested in obtaining NATE certification may take the tests by contacting a NATE-approved testing organization and paying the appropriate testing fees.

Are there educational or work experience requirements needed before taking exams?

No. NATE tests assess a candidate’s applied knowledge of their field. Although there are no formal educational requirements for certification, NATE strongly suggests that examinees have some formal training provided by an employer, a technical school, or other educational institution.

We recommend candidates have the following work experience as well as some experience with equipment in their SPECIALTY:

  • One year of experience for installation technician tests
  • Two years of experience in service technician tests
  • Five years of experience as a senior-level technician

What tests should I take, and what is covered?

To become NATE-certified, you must pass both the CORE exam (if required) and a specialty exam of your choice. The specialty certification will be in either installation or service.

The CORE test covers a candidate’s general knowledge, construction knowledge, and HVAC/R specific knowledge. Specialty exams cover a candidate’s knowledge of the installation, service maintenance, and/or repair of HVAC/R systems. Please review each KATE for specific requirements.

What is NATE changing its certification process?

We understand that with the increasing demand for technicians’ personal and professional time, we must adapt to continue to be of value to HVACR technicians and the industry.

To that end, we reviewed our policies, asked technicians and industry stakeholders what we can do to make NATE better, and thus made changes to the certification duration, CEH requirements, and costs based on that feedback. To see the details of these changes, click here.

When did this change begin?

January 1, 2014

How long do NATE certifications last?

As of January 2014, NATE certifications last 2 years, except for the Ground Source Heat Pump Loop Installer certification that lasts 3 years. Please check the KATEs page for your certification’s length. You can also check your certificate or wallet card for the exact expiration month.


What happens at the end of my certification?

To maintain NATE certification, you earn 16 hours of specialty-related continuing education (CEHs) within the two-year period. If you choose to use continuing education hours to maintain certification, you must document your CEHs and apply for recertification. Or you may choose to retake your specialty exam before certification lapses.

I recently became NATE-certified (or recertified) before January 2014. Does my period of certification now change from 5 years to 2 years?

No. If you earned NATE certification or recertified before January 2014, your current certification(s) will complete the previously awarded five-year duration. Furthermore, this includes those who successfully passed the NATE Core exam and at least one specialty exam in 2013, regardless of the exam processing date. Upon your maintenance date, when it is time for you to apply to maintain your certifications, you would renew for a two-year certification.

My certification ended in 2014, and I have already earned 60 hours of CEH. If I only now need 16 hours, can I use the extra hours towards my next recertification?

Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) must be earned during your current certification cycle to apply to your recertification. Additionally, hours earned in previous cycles cannot be used.

However, if NATE certifications expire in 2014 and 60 CEHs are earned, you as the technician, have the one-time option to maintain certification for a five-year certification period for $95 (plus varying fees for additional certifications) or to transition to the new two-year certification period for $25 (plus $5 per any additional certification).

If a technician chooses the five-year certification period, upon the maintenance date is 2019, the technician will automatically transition to the two-year certification period.

My certification expired in late 2013, and I am still in my grace period. What do these changes mean for me?

If your certification(s) expired in November or December 2013 and you are retesting in January or February 2014 per the previously allowed 60-day grace period, you will be granted a five-year certification if you successfully pass the exam(s). Upon your maintenance date, when it is time for you to apply to maintain your certifications, you would renew for a two-year certification.

How can I find out how many continuing education credits I have on file with NATE?

To view how many continuing education credits you have on file with NATE, click on My NATE at the top right corner of the home page and then follow the instructions to create a login using your NATE ID and PIN.

Do I need to submit documentation for courses that are already tracked on My NATE?

No, NATE Recognized Training Providers should submit attendance records to NATE, which are then automatically added to your record (you must provide NATE ID on the attendance sheet). Please remind them to do so. Documentation submitted with your recertification application is only for courses NATE has not tracked. You can find NATE Recognized Training Providers here.

What will NATE as documentation for continuing education hours?

NATE requires written documentation that you attended a course. Certification of completion generally works best. NATE will need to know the course name/topic, which you took the course with, the date of the course, and the length of the course.

What do I do if the instructor doesn’t give out certificates of completion?

You can use NATE’s Continuing Education Hours Attendance Form. You can complete this form and have the instructor of the training course sign it and submit it to NATE.

Training and Certification FAQs Continued

What is a NATE C3 contractor?

While NATE certification is reserved exclusively for individual technicians, NATE allows contractors of all sizes to participate in the free NATE Consumer Contractor Connection (NATE C3) program. To qualify, a contractor must have at least 25 percent of technicians employed with NATE certifications. Those contractors with at least 75 percent of technicians with NATE certifications are listed as NATE Quality Circle Contractors.

How do I get my company listed on NATE C3?

The first step is to get your technicians certified. Once 25 percent of your technicians have passed the NATE exams and have received their NATE ID, you may be considered for NATE C3 Contractor status and be eligible to display the NATE logo and list your organization in NATE’s Consumer Contractor Connection. Additionally, NATE produces and makes available to you a variety of free contractor marketing materials.

Who can offer NATE testing?

Any association, business, or enterprise can sign up to be a NATE Testing Organization, including:

  • Manufacturers
  • Wholesalers/distributors
  • Educators, trainers, colleges, technical schools
  • Contractors
  • Utilities
  • Association partners and trade association chapters

What are the criteria for becoming a NATE testing organization?
Any organization applying to be a testing organization (TO) must agree in writing to follow the Policies and Procedures outlined for TOs and proctors and must have a minimum of one NATE-recognized proctor.

Who can be a NATE proctor?

Any person who is a member of the testing organization, conscientious, and a good administrator can be a proctor. You or your designee does not have to be technical, nor do you have to hold NATE certification. You DO need to be approved by NATE. Proctors can be HVACR Trainers.

What preparation materials will the proctor receive?

The Testing Organization’s designated proctor will receive a packet of tests and materials before the test session. The package will contain the Proctor Master Pack plus all of the exam materials needed by your examinees.

A Proctor Master Pack contains:

  • A checklist to use before and during the testing session
  • A script to use during the testing session
  • Extra envelopes and seals to secure the return of completed exams
  • Additional answer sheets
  • Extra comment sheets/scratch paper
  • A Test Session Audit Form, to be completed by the proctor and returned with the exams from that session
  • Proctor Materials Packet return envelope.
  • An 800 number in the event you have a question during a test session

If your Proctor Master Pack is incomplete in any way, call NATE at (877) 420-6283 during business hours.

Can my organization use purchase orders?

If your organization works with purchase orders, be certain that you have acquired an approved purchase order before ordering NATE tests or giving an online test.

Please do not fax the purchase order to NATE. You need to put the purchase order number on the Test Transmittal Form when returning exams for processing. When giving an online exam, record your purchase order number in the Proctor Setup section.

How do I set up billing?

The Test Transmittal Form includes billing information. If your organization requires a PO number to order tests, please include this number on the transmittal form. The other two payment options are:

  • Enclose a check for the number of tests that were used.
  • Give the authorization to charge the credit card on file. To put a credit card on file, please visit

How can I get a replacement without my birth certificate or driver’s license? To obtain a replacement wallet card or certificate, you can visit the NATE online store.

How can I purchase additional marketing materials?

The NATE Online Store offers a wide variety of merchandise to help industry professionals enhance their image. Available products include NATE-certified uniform patches, chevrons, quality shirts and hats, decals for company vehicles, NATE banners, and customizable leave-behind appliance stickers.

If, after reviewing our FAQs, you have not found the information you are seeking, please contact us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.