In order to work as an HVAC technician, individuals must complete training at an accredited trade school or with an approved apprenticeship program. After completing one of these programs, technicians are eligible to apply for official HVAC certification ( αποφραξεις αθηνα ), the final step in the HVAC education and training process. Certification is granted by either the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or by a group called North American Technicians Excellence (NATE).
Prerequisites of HVAC Certification
Before receiving HVAC technician certification, individuals must complete an approved HVAC training program. This might take the form of an HVAC associate’s degree from an accredited technical school or university, which typically takes around two years to complete, and is then followed by at least one year of on-site training. This requirement might also be met by completing an apprenticeship program at an HVAC company, which involves simultaneous classroom education and hands-on training with industry professionals. The latter option will take approximately four years to complete.
NATE Certification Process
To receive the prestigious NATE certification, technicians must take an exam after completing their educational training, which covers what each state’s NATE committee has deemed essential knowledge. This multiple-choice exam can be taken online or at a specified testing site, and it tests technicians on their breadth of knowledge—the NATE committee’s official stance is that the exam should cover 80% of what most HVAC technicians will encounter each year. Technicians take one core exam, and then choose one or more specialty exams, of which there are over 20 different options.
KATE stands for Knowledge Areas of Technician Expertise, and is the title given by the North American Trade Excellence committee to the testing areas required for HVAC certification. These areas are divided into four groups: core installation, core service, senior technician, and miscellaneous credentials. Each of these groups includes a number of different sub-areas; for example, core installation requires a knowledge base in air conditioning installation, gas pump installation, refrigeration installation, etc. The KATEs are generally used as outlines for those studying for certification.
EPA Certification Process
While the EPA does not offer the same exam as NATE, the organization does require that all technicians receive CFC certification before they can receive their HVAC certification. CFC certifications focus on the environmental hazards surrounding heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units, and test technicians on their knowledge of these potential hazards as well as the proper methods for disposing of any chemical waste that is produced by these systems. The EPA certification process is broken up into four sections, each of which covers a different kind of HVAC appliance.
Often, the best HVAC jobs (and the highest pay grades) are offered to HVAC technicians who have received official certification. Additionally, those who have received Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning technician certification also demonstrate a dedication to their craft, and can prove that they know their way around the industry. While certification is not a universal prerequisite for hire, for quality control and safety reasons many states have made licensed certification mandatory for technicians.