One of the many joys of bureaucracy is the need to get a certification to do just about anything. You need permits to cut hair, sell food, and even to busk; while some libertarians might rail against such injustice, regulation is quite helpful to most people. Self-regulating business ensures a high standard of quality because if those who have certification can’t perform their duties impeccably, the regulatory body loses authority; authority is such a body’s raison-d’être, so without it, the institution ceases to be.
Many self-regulatory organizations exist, and they all create a set of standards, often enforced by testing and oversight. Another model of enforcing standards is to have a third-party organization which can grant certification ensuring competence. Similar to self-regulating organizations, certifying institutions lose credibility if professionals bearing their certification are not capable; it is thus to their advantage to maintain rigorous testing standards. North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is the primary certifying body for HVAC technicians; they are partners with a large number of professional organizations in North America, so the certification is discussed and approved by a wide number of stakeholders.
NATE offers examination in steps in order to ensure the quality of those bearing its certification. The first step is the ready-to-work exam, given to those just entering the field; this exam does not bestow NATE certification, but rather a certificate of their general knowledge of the field. The second step is the HVAC Support Technician Certificate, to be taken within 6-12 months of joining the field. Again, this certificate does not complete the training but shows a strong foundation of knowledge. Finally, a technician must pass both a core and specialty exam to earn NATE-certified status; they can pursue more learning to gain senior certification.
There are a plethora of advantages to choosing a NATE certified technician, all of which lie in the experience the technician must have acquired to pass testing. You can check the technician’s specialty, to be sure they’re the best candidate for the project you need to hire them for. The skill they have as a technician means it’s less likely you’ll have errors in installation; additionally, they’ll do the job quickly and efficiently. Proper installation means you won’t have to worry about leaks, and their knowledge will ensure you get the best unit to suit your needs. You’ll save time, money, and energy.
You can verify a technician’s certification here; don’t hesitate to use the search tool if it makes you more comfortable. Due to their high standards of quality, Carrier requires that any Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer must employ NATE-certified technicians, among other stringent standards. That means that if you’re hiring a contractor certified by Carrier, you know they’ll have NATE-certified staff at the ready to help you with your HVAC needs. There are specialists for all kinds of possible HVAC installation, from air conditioning to heat pumps, so find the NATE specialist who’s right for you!