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Talking Certification

May 3, 2010
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At the AHRI spring meeting last week, I heard Dave Pannier, interim president of North American Technician Excellence (NATE), say that certification through this program has reached a plateau. He wants to know why more technicians aren’t choosing to certify or recertify through NATE.

I want to know why, too. Are there any techs out there who can tell me your reasons for not bothering with certification? Post your comments - I want to hear your side because, frankly, I’ve heard stats that make it sound like it’s stupid not to get certified.

Pannier rattled off a few of these numbers at the meeting. The ones that stuck out to me were that NATE-certified techs have higher pay rates and fewer callbacks than non-certified techs.

So can you tell me what your perspective is as a tech? Why have you decided not to be certified? Or, if were previously certified, why didn’t you want to renew after your five years were up?

I know that NATE is planning to create an industry survey to find answers to these questions, but let’s get the discussion started here first.
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Which Certification

G Perakes
May 3, 2010
Regardless of the hype printed, NATE is but one of several groups that offer technician certifications. BPI, NOCTI, HVAC Excellence, RSES, the United Association, NCCER, etc. are some other examples. The other organizations offer certification coupled with training. The real question is why does the News only discuss one of the programs. It is my understanding that some of these groups have certified more people than NATE, offer higher levels of certification, etc. If we are to open any discussion, it should include all industry certifications, not just the one owned by the manufacturers.

Point taken

Kim Schwartz
May 4, 2010
Thanks for your comment. You make a good point that there are lots of options for where/how to get certified. But my question still remains: Is it worth it? Are you choosing to be certified or not? And if not, why?

Certs

Tom F
June 21, 2010
I am certified through the United Association. You ask is it worth it? Who really benifits? Not the techs. Our pay scale hasn't even kept up with the rate of inflation in my 25 years. We are not compensated for all that we need to know in this field. Elect, ac/refrig, balancing, hydro, DDC, Pneu, gas/oil, geo, and on and on. A plumber makes the same wages. Go figure. The only ones benefiting are the owners with the (3) homes and large motor boats. There were times when corporate responsibility meant something.

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