Importance Of Hiring Nate Certified HVAC Technicians
As you search for a contractor to service your home’s HVAC system in Charlotte, NC, there are several factors to consider. Rates, availability, and skill set are some. Efficiency, service area, and financing are others. Of course, you’ll want to be sure the team knows its way around an air conditioner, too. Ideally, the situation is going to be handled correctly the first time. This is why you are encouraged to ensure you hire a company that employs North American Technician Excellence-certified HVAC technicians. Here are a few reasons why checking for NATE certification is so important.
A professional who takes the trade career route is someone who has passion and experience within their skill set. While an HVAC professional might not go to a four-year college, they do acquire their knowledge through other methods. Some become an apprentice for a senior-level professional, while others attend a two-year college program. On-the-job training is also an important component. Ultimately, an HVAC professional will strive to obtain NATE certification.
Before a technician can take the NATE certification test, they are expected to have some hands-on experience. The test covers subjects that are general knowledge. There are several supplementary study guides, but industry insiders feel that work experience is the best teacher.
The North American Technician Excellence test is administered by a nonprofit organization. It is not mandatory, and as long as a technician is licensed, they can work in the industry. However, NATE certification shows that someone has gained core-subject knowledge.
There are no direct work experience requirements to take the test. Those who are eager to catapult their careers are encouraged to take the “ready to work” or “HVAC support technician” exams, which demonstrates initiative.
Technicians are also encouraged to gain two years of experience before attempting to test for certification. Until the two years’ worth of experience are gained, technicians can test to earn the certificate.
In 2018, it was estimated that there were about 128 million U.S. households. This potentially means that there are more than 100 million HVAC systems in the United States needing some sort of service or maintenance. While this seems like a large number, competition to service those units still exists. Technicians who take the time to prepare and pass the NATE certification test earn a competitive advantage.
NATE certification indicates proven core knowledge. It also shows that the technician took the time to study and prepare for the test. Earning a certification in a person’s field is great for moving up in a pay bracket. When faced with choosing a certified technician versus one who’s not, most customers will pick the professional who’s certified.
The NATE certification test takes into consideration the fact that the HVAC industry continues to evolve. New technology is improving heating, cooling, and ventilation units. Systems are becoming more efficient and smarter. Some sync up with the rest of the appliances in a smart home, for example. Others no longer have ducts where the norm for several decades was a ductwork attachment. To ensure that a technician is keeping up with industry news and trends, the tests evolve with the changes. Customers who are early adopters of technology, therefore, can rest assured that a certified technician will be able to confidently inspect, analyze, and maintain their equipment.
A NATE-certification test will cover:
- General HVAC knowledge
- Construction knowledge
- HVACR-specific knowledge
- Basic construction
Professionals will also need an understanding of:
- Basic science
- Achieving desired conditions
- Taking temperature and humidity measurements
- Basic electrical work
Keep in mind that certified technicians are truly knowledgeable in their fields. Among other responsibilities, they should take the time to beef up on their literacy of the industry.
Commitment to the Craft
Once a technician is NATE-certified, they’re expected to maintain it. The certification process takes two steps. The first is to pass the core test. The second is to select a specialty and pass the corresponding exam. Since this certification is not mandated, a professional who takes the time to maintain certification without a lapse is demonstrating a commitment to their craft.
Professionals are given two choices when it comes to certification. When it is not a mandate, they can go the extra mile or keep things as they are because they are comfortable. It does not mean that a person who prefers not to get certified is less adept at their craft. However, it could mean that the person who went after the certification is more self-motivated. This is a great characteristic to possess. The self-motivation characteristic help employers to make better hiring decisions.
For employers, they have an evaluation tool at their disposal. That tool can also be used to encourage their team to earn and maintain their certification because it keeps them on top of industry trends. Their reward is a bump in pay. When an employer hires a technician, its goal is to retain them for as long as possible. Certification demonstrates a commitment to the industry. Someone who has put in many hours into studying and taking the test is less likely to change professions in a short period.
After the core test has been passed, technicians move onto the specialization portion. They can pick from installation or service. If both exams are passed, they can then take the senior level technician test. The installation test puts a focus on AC, air distribution, and gas heating as well as air-to-air pump installation. The service test places a focus on AC, air distribution, and heat pumps as well as oil heating and commercial refrigeration service.
The point of this certification is to show that a technician is comfortable working on those components. That is why hiring a certified technician is to your advantage.
Keep Up With the Trends
Industry insiders believe the HVAC field is a technology-driven sector. Thus, things are constantly evolving. After a technician has been certified, they must keep their certification up to date. This means catching up on the latest changes on an annual basis. Regulatory changes are also covered in the material. This is important for both the technician and the customer. Since the technician will know the latest regulations, a customer receives peace of mind.
Hiring a NATE-certified HVAC technician means that you are getting a professional with demonstrated competency. HVAC maintenance requires a technician to enter the home. In some cases, they may be doing inspections within the walls or other hard-to-reach areas of a house. No one wants anything to go wrong. Plus, nobody wants a unit to be out of code since it can lead to fines. A certified technician understands the dos and don’ts of the industry, including those that involve regulatory agencies.
NATE-Certified Professionals Serving Charlotte
At Integrity Heating & Cooling, we employ a team of capable NATE-certified technicians who serve Charlotte and Denver, NC. Our crew can handle heating and air conditioning repairs, installations, and tune-ups. To make an appointment, give us a call today.Tags: HVAC Services, NATE Certified, Technicians