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The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Certification

September 28, 2020

When hiring an HVAC service technician, there are many credentials you should look for to ensure quality work. A contractor that is committed to excellence will employ NATE-certified technicians. So, what is NATE certification anyway? 

What is NATE Certification?

The non-profit organization North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is an independent association serving the HVAC industry. NATE is primarily a certifying organization, so their primary purpose is to certify installation and service technicians. 

NATE is the only nationally accepted certification program for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians. It is endorsed by the entire HVACR industry, the technicians themselves, manufacturers, contractors, and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, ACCA. It is the culmination of years of effort by the ACCA and other industry stakeholders to come up with a single, nationwide certification.

Although NATE is a voluntary certification, tens of thousands of technicians are certified to date, and the number continues to grow. However, not all candidates who attempt the test pass it the first time; in fact, close to 35% of all those who take it fail. This is a strong indication that those who pass are the very best in the trade in terms of skills, experience, and knowledge of heating and cooling installation and service.

What Are The Levels of NATE Certification?

There are many types of certificates awarded by NATE:

  1. Ready-to-Work Certificate – this is the first step of the certification and is for entry-level technicians just beginning their career in the industry.
  2. HVAC Support Technician Certificate – once a technician has worked in the field for 6-12 months, they will have gained enough knowledge and experience to earn the HVAC Support Technician certification.
  3. Specialty Certificates – technicians can earn certificates in specialty topics. These certificates can then be used to qualify for NATE certification or HVAC Efficiency Analyst certification.
  4. NATE Certification – this is the gold standard of the certifications that NATE offers. Technicians must pass a rigorous series of exams and demonstrate a deep level of knowledge on speciality topics.
  5. HVAC Efficiency Analyst – this is a senior certification and is intended for the most experienced of technicians. To qualify for this level, a technician must already hold two NATE specialty topic certificates.

Homeowners should ensure professionals they hire have earned NATE certification. Individual certificates are not the same as NATE certification. You can verify a technician’s certifications on NATE’s website.

Earning NATE Certification

Technicians earn NATE certificates by passing  several knowledge–based tests. To reach NATE certification, technicians must pass a core exam. The core exam is 50 questions and covers topics like construction safety, HVAC science, tools, and measurement taking.  In addition, candidates must take a specialty test with 100 multiple–choice questions focused on one or more of the following specialties:

Installation Specialties: 

  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Distribution
  • Air to Air Heat Pump
  • Gas Heating (Air)

Service Specialities:

  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Distribution
  • Commercial Refrigeration
  • Heat Pump (Air to Air)
  • Gas Heating (Air)
  • Hydronics Gas
  • Hydronics Oil
  • Light Commercial Refrigeration
  • Oil Heating (Air)
  • Efficiency Analyst

What Does NATE Certified Mean to Homeowners?

Homeowners who hire NATE certified technicians can enjoy greater peace of mind and home comfort. Other benefits to the homeowner include:

  • A job done right the first time
  • Lower power bills due to proper installation and service
  • Fast, reliable and efficient service
  • Fewer warranty returns and callbacks
  • The HVAC system will run at peak efficiency
  • Expert advice from an experienced and knowledgeable technician

NATE certification tests take the form of real working scenarios of HVACR systems, and they positively impact contractors, manufacturers, distributors, trainers, utilities, consumers, and the technicians themselves. An NATE certificate is an impressive addition to a technician’s resume, since up to 90% of homeowners prefer working with certified technicians.

If you want to get the most out of your cooling and heating system, call an NATE certified technician and schedule a maintenance inspection. Brody Pennell proudly employs NATE-certified technicians and supports their continuing education requirements. For HVAC service you can trust, call your friends at Brody Pennell! 


About The Author

Brody Pennell

Since 1945, Brody Pennell Heating & Air Conditioning is the committed to helping homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area experience total home comfort. In 2021, the readers of the Los Angeles Times voted Brody Pennell the Best HVAC Company in the area.

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Edith S.
1718319972
Kevin Lopez and Cesar Corrales were absolutely perfect! They were competent, courteous and professional and we have used the company for decades.
Jeff H.
1718318576
Tristen c was terrific from Brody Pennell ac company. Very thorough/a real expert. And a super nice guy/extremely respectful. Highly highly recommend
Donna M.
1718315642
Enrique D. & JoNATHAN CAME TO INSTALL NEW HEATING IN MY HOME AND THEY DID A VERY EXCELLENT AND PROFESSIONAL JOB. THANK YOU BRODY PENNELLJose Rivera & Alessandro A. came to take care of my problem and were excellent and professional in their service. They also installed the thermo and solve the problem. Thank you.
Ron K.
1718314540
David E and Steven were professional, informative and courteous
mirna G.
1718309130
Jose Castillo was great today. Thank you Brody Pennell
Rico R.
1718308635
James H. Was great!!!
yvonne M.
1718305888
Angel was exceptionally polite, informative, and hard working. Great service. Very professional company to work with !!
Michelle C.
1718301994
Excellent service maintenance of heating and air conditioningUpdate 06/13/2024Kevin Lopez and Cesar corrales did a fantastic job
patricia S.
1718299616
Leo H. Very efficient and polite. Will request him for next time ive loved all your workmen, but he is the best! He actually did. His homework and came with a previously ordered filter! Je explained everything thorougjly! Even my dig loked him!
Melissa B.
1718298689
Great service. Ivan was super friendly and professional.
Heidi B.
1718231317
Juan Molina came for my biannual HVAC tune up today. He thoroughly cleaned up the AC unit and made thoughtful recommendations about how to optimize my HVAC function. I highly recommend him as his service standards and professionalism were excellent.
Don R.
1718226782
Jose Rivera and Alessandro did a great job and very nice as well
Ethan M.
1718226072
Anthony Manzo was great
Isabella Hubay C.
1718225167
Ivan was very professional, patient and explained the problem and solutions very clearly. Thank you!
Stephen S.
1718224586
The whole experience of having my HVAC system serviced has been more pleasant than I could have ever imagined. Brody Pennell offers a level of service that is increasingly hard to find in the modern marketplace. My tech, Richie Salazar, went above and beyond — not just providing the standard filter change, but running a complete diagnostic of the system and hand cleaning the whole unit. Made me wish I had purchased the unit from Brody Pennell in the first place. As a homeowner, moving forward, I wont work with another SoCal HVAC contractor. Thanks to the whole team.
Hazel J.
1718224209
Leo H . And Dan are excellent!Explained everything I highly recommend their services .
Caleb S.
1718223078
Amazing and efficient work from the team. They have always been a pleasure to have out and take care of our HVAC systems. Thanks Daniel A, Tristen C, Ruben, Armando, and Steven J.
Robert S.
1718214891
Kevin came to do our annual check up and was awesome! Made sure everything was working right and did it all quickly.
Aricka G.
1718211928
Rene was quick, friendly and efficient. Very helpful with all my questions. Our vents and AC unit are like new!!
JESSICA Z.
1718211752
Ashton and Juan Molina were great in explaining what needed to be fixed and what options I had. My AC unit was not blowing cold air, and the machine was over heating - the unit was at the end of its life expectancy and suggested it be replaced, as even repairing it would only be a short term fix, which he showed me what temperature it would still be at if we did replace. Everything was communicative and quick process. Would recommend. Thank you both!
francisca G.
1718210647
We had a maintenence done in our AC wall unit by Anthony Manzo who showed up right on time, was kind, professional and thorough. Really great service!
Christian O.
1718210408
Anthony Manzo did exactly what we needed and left everything clean and organized! He was also super nice and friendly! Went above and beyond. Thank you 👍
Carrie-ann P.
1718153691
Marco is the best. I run a school with 9 AC units in an old building so we are complicated. It's a real detective situation, trying to identify sources. Marco is very professional and a great communicator. highly recommend.
Tom T.
1718153264
Our technician Juan Romo was fantastic! He was knowledgable and extremely professional. We are very happy with the quality of service provided by Brody Pennell and its staff!
Danny D.
1718148347
David M came to service our AC but walked me through how our Unit was on its last leg and we should consider replacing. His supervisor Bret came out and walked me through all the options. No high pressure tactics at all. Feels great to work with such a professional company.
Britta S.
1718138594
Octavio Delgado was very professional. I really appreciated how he walked me through all the testing he completed. And he was very helpful answering all of my questions.
Jennifer C.
1718129470
My technician, Anthony Manzo, was very professional and did a thorough inspection before preparing different quotes for the repair of my AC unit. He was able to answer all of my questions and explained everything with photographs to make sure that I understood what was going on. 10/10 would recommend!
Darren B
1718075036
Juana, Leo H, David E, all worked on my office AC unit and they come with a positive attitude and very informative about everything going on. Of course it was not an easy job but they didn’t stop until all was fixed and back up and running. I would for sure have them back for any future projects.
Linda K.
1718068089
Leo H. Juan J Carbajal were great and I hope that when I need service they will be the guys to come.
Jamie T.
1718067838
Steven and Christian F were excellent! Great communication and lovely demeanor
Toby Ann C.
1718061319
Jason and Alejandro A. were at our home today to perform maintenance on our cooling system. They explained everything, answered all my questions, which were many and were professional and pleasant throughout. Thank you for such good people!
dylan P.
1718060760
Shawn was a helpful person and made the entire experience quick and pain-free. Thank you Brody for sending a great employee.
Mr. H.
1718051986
6/10/2024Leo H. and Juan C, great and effective service highly recommend.Juan Carbajal and César corrales did a great job fixing my unit was here on time and very informative would recommend these guys 10005/16/2024Daniel B. and Maurice did a great job andgave us a lot of information on our units. They should be in an office.
Gustavo M.
1718050225
Juan Romo was awesome! This was the friendliest most educational air-conditioning service I’ve ever had. I highly recommend! Thanks !
jenn R.
1718050119
Juan Romo was extremely knowledgeable and very helpful . Great customer service
Teresa de jesus Solorzano de M.
1718048394
Juan Cho Maurice anda Philip alano did a good job witt themaintannnce
Pete C
1718047182
I had Brody Pennell A/C service performed at my home today, and was very happy with the customer service provided by my technicians Anthony Manzo and Rafael Granados. Anthony and Rafael answered all my questions, performed a double check on my systems freon level (no leaks) cleaned out the condenser to like new again and made sure the temperatures in the house were in speciation. Thank you Brody Pennell.
Manuel M.
1718044756
Juancho Maurice and Philips Alano did a great job today
Robert K.
1718044063
Barbara M.
1717969368
Ivan gave us excellent routine air conditioning service, and explained clearly what he had done and what we should pay attention to.
Stacie C.
1717902602
From the beginning of the service, Marco showed the utmost professionalism and customer service. I’m satisfied with the service I received on my air conditioning equipment maintenance.
Madeline S.
1717893340
6/8/24 Leo H very honest and courteous. Good service.Hugo and Juan C. we’re both courteous and professional. They are both five star service people and did their job. I would call them to come back again.
Dave
1717878966
Leo H is a nice person, good experience 👍
Evan W.
1717870422
Brody Pennell offered some of the best service I’ve ever gotten from a repair vendor. Their staff showed up quickly, diagnosed my problems and made the difficult process of replacing my HVAC system as easy and problem-free as possible. Christian, Alex, Bryan, Ashton and Marco were all friendly, professional, knowledgeable and quick to answer any questions or concerns. Our new system is installed and running well, and I’d recommend them to anyone at anytime.
H. Annita Z.
1717869338
Leo H. is great. Highly recommend it.
R. Z.
1717814409
Juan J Carbajal & Leo H were amazing technicians and they explained everything precisely and serviced my unit. I’m very happy with their service.Great company!
Kyle J.
1717809706
Ruben was great. Friendly, professional, and communicated well.
Hector M.
1717807316
Juan Molina was here. Great customer service and very knowledgeable.
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Edith S.
1718319972
Kevin Lopez and Cesar Corrales were absolutely perfect! They were competent, courteous and professional and we have used the company for decades.
Jeff H.
1718318576
Tristen c was terrific from Brody Pennell ac company. Very thorough/a real expert. And a super nice guy/extremely respectful. Highly highly recommend
Donna M.
1718315642
Enrique D. & JoNATHAN CAME TO INSTALL NEW HEATING IN MY HOME AND THEY DID A VERY EXCELLENT AND PROFESSIONAL JOB. THANK YOU BRODY PENNELLJose Rivera & Alessandro A. came to take care of my problem and were excellent and professional in their service. They also installed the thermo and solve the problem. Thank you.
Ron K.
1718314540
David E and Steven were professional, informative and courteous
mirna G.
1718309130
Jose Castillo was great today. Thank you Brody Pennell
Rico R.
1718308635
James H. Was great!!!
yvonne M.
1718305888
Angel was exceptionally polite, informative, and hard working. Great service. Very professional company to work with !!
Michelle C.
1718301994
Excellent service maintenance of heating and air conditioningUpdate 06/13/2024Kevin Lopez and Cesar corrales did a fantastic job
patricia S.
1718299616
Leo H. Very efficient and polite. Will request him for next time ive loved all your workmen, but he is the best! He actually did. His homework and came with a previously ordered filter! Je explained everything thorougjly! Even my dig loked him!
Melissa B.
1718298689
Great service. Ivan was super friendly and professional.
Heidi B.
1718231317
Juan Molina came for my biannual HVAC tune up today. He thoroughly cleaned up the AC unit and made thoughtful recommendations about how to optimize my HVAC function. I highly recommend him as his service standards and professionalism were excellent.
Don R.
1718226782
Jose Rivera and Alessandro did a great job and very nice as well
Ethan M.
1718226072
Anthony Manzo was great
Isabella Hubay C.
1718225167
Ivan was very professional, patient and explained the problem and solutions very clearly. Thank you!
Stephen S.
1718224586
The whole experience of having my HVAC system serviced has been more pleasant than I could have ever imagined. Brody Pennell offers a level of service that is increasingly hard to find in the modern marketplace. My tech, Richie Salazar, went above and beyond — not just providing the standard filter change, but running a complete diagnostic of the system and hand cleaning the whole unit. Made me wish I had purchased the unit from Brody Pennell in the first place. As a homeowner, moving forward, I wont work with another SoCal HVAC contractor. Thanks to the whole team.
Hazel J.
1718224209
Leo H . And Dan are excellent!Explained everything I highly recommend their services .
Caleb S.
1718223078
Amazing and efficient work from the team. They have always been a pleasure to have out and take care of our HVAC systems. Thanks Daniel A, Tristen C, Ruben, Armando, and Steven J.
Robert S.
1718214891
Kevin came to do our annual check up and was awesome! Made sure everything was working right and did it all quickly.
Aricka G.
1718211928
Rene was quick, friendly and efficient. Very helpful with all my questions. Our vents and AC unit are like new!!
JESSICA Z.
1718211752
Ashton and Juan Molina were great in explaining what needed to be fixed and what options I had. My AC unit was not blowing cold air, and the machine was over heating - the unit was at the end of its life expectancy and suggested it be replaced, as even repairing it would only be a short term fix, which he showed me what temperature it would still be at if we did replace. Everything was communicative and quick process. Would recommend. Thank you both!
francisca G.
1718210647
We had a maintenence done in our AC wall unit by Anthony Manzo who showed up right on time, was kind, professional and thorough. Really great service!
Christian O.
1718210408
Anthony Manzo did exactly what we needed and left everything clean and organized! He was also super nice and friendly! Went above and beyond. Thank you 👍
Carrie-ann P.
1718153691
Marco is the best. I run a school with 9 AC units in an old building so we are complicated. It's a real detective situation, trying to identify sources. Marco is very professional and a great communicator. highly recommend.
Tom T.
1718153264
Our technician Juan Romo was fantastic! He was knowledgable and extremely professional. We are very happy with the quality of service provided by Brody Pennell and its staff!
Danny D.
1718148347
David M came to service our AC but walked me through how our Unit was on its last leg and we should consider replacing. His supervisor Bret came out and walked me through all the options. No high pressure tactics at all. Feels great to work with such a professional company.
Britta S.
1718138594
Octavio Delgado was very professional. I really appreciated how he walked me through all the testing he completed. And he was very helpful answering all of my questions.
Jennifer C.
1718129470
My technician, Anthony Manzo, was very professional and did a thorough inspection before preparing different quotes for the repair of my AC unit. He was able to answer all of my questions and explained everything with photographs to make sure that I understood what was going on. 10/10 would recommend!
Darren B
1718075036
Juana, Leo H, David E, all worked on my office AC unit and they come with a positive attitude and very informative about everything going on. Of course it was not an easy job but they didn’t stop until all was fixed and back up and running. I would for sure have them back for any future projects.
Linda K.
1718068089
Leo H. Juan J Carbajal were great and I hope that when I need service they will be the guys to come.
Jamie T.
1718067838
Steven and Christian F were excellent! Great communication and lovely demeanor
Toby Ann C.
1718061319
Jason and Alejandro A. were at our home today to perform maintenance on our cooling system. They explained everything, answered all my questions, which were many and were professional and pleasant throughout. Thank you for such good people!
dylan P.
1718060760
Shawn was a helpful person and made the entire experience quick and pain-free. Thank you Brody for sending a great employee.
Mr. H.
1718051986
6/10/2024Leo H. and Juan C, great and effective service highly recommend.Juan Carbajal and César corrales did a great job fixing my unit was here on time and very informative would recommend these guys 10005/16/2024Daniel B. and Maurice did a great job andgave us a lot of information on our units. They should be in an office.
Gustavo M.
1718050225
Juan Romo was awesome! This was the friendliest most educational air-conditioning service I’ve ever had. I highly recommend! Thanks !
jenn R.
1718050119
Juan Romo was extremely knowledgeable and very helpful . Great customer service
Teresa de jesus Solorzano de M.
1718048394
Juan Cho Maurice anda Philip alano did a good job witt themaintannnce
Pete C
1718047182
I had Brody Pennell A/C service performed at my home today, and was very happy with the customer service provided by my technicians Anthony Manzo and Rafael Granados. Anthony and Rafael answered all my questions, performed a double check on my systems freon level (no leaks) cleaned out the condenser to like new again and made sure the temperatures in the house were in speciation. Thank you Brody Pennell.
Manuel M.
1718044756
Juancho Maurice and Philips Alano did a great job today
Robert K.
1718044063
Barbara M.
1717969368
Ivan gave us excellent routine air conditioning service, and explained clearly what he had done and what we should pay attention to.
Stacie C.
1717902602
From the beginning of the service, Marco showed the utmost professionalism and customer service. I’m satisfied with the service I received on my air conditioning equipment maintenance.
Madeline S.
1717893340
6/8/24 Leo H very honest and courteous. Good service.Hugo and Juan C. we’re both courteous and professional. They are both five star service people and did their job. I would call them to come back again.
Dave
1717878966
Leo H is a nice person, good experience 👍
Evan W.
1717870422
Brody Pennell offered some of the best service I’ve ever gotten from a repair vendor. Their staff showed up quickly, diagnosed my problems and made the difficult process of replacing my HVAC system as easy and problem-free as possible. Christian, Alex, Bryan, Ashton and Marco were all friendly, professional, knowledgeable and quick to answer any questions or concerns. Our new system is installed and running well, and I’d recommend them to anyone at anytime.
H. Annita Z.
1717869338
Leo H. is great. Highly recommend it.
R. Z.
1717814409
Juan J Carbajal & Leo H were amazing technicians and they explained everything precisely and serviced my unit. I’m very happy with their service.Great company!
Kyle J.
1717809706
Ruben was great. Friendly, professional, and communicated well.
Hector M.
1717807316
Juan Molina was here. Great customer service and very knowledgeable.
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