ARLINGTON, Va. - Gary Hodges, service manager at Carthage Heating & Cooling in Carthage, Miss., took first-place honors as the nation’s top home comfort technician during the ninth annual Certified Technician Competition conducted by North American Technician Excellence (NATE).

NATE selects finalists for its Certified Technician Competition based on their scores on their previous NATE-qualifying exam - a rigorous test that evaluates practical knowledge of heating and cooling system installation and maintenance.

Part of the HVACR industry for more than 15 years, Hodges won the competition by achieving the best combined score from a series of timed, hands-on events that simulated various real-world heating and cooling challenges. Started in 2000, the Certified Technician Competition serves as a means of recognizing the knowledge and skill necessary to service today’s sophisticated heating and cooling systems. NATE President Rex Boynton said, “NATE certification benefits not only professional technicians and contractors, but also consumers. Certification provides assurance that a technician excels in the knowledge and skills necessary to be among the best in the heating and cooling industry.”

Hodges, who has earned a number of NATE certifications, said that certification also adds credibility to the industry. “The exam proves that a technician fully understands HVACR. NATE certification improves confidence among contractors and customers and benefits the HVACR industry. It’s a great asset for the entire industry.”

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Publication date:10/13/2008