ARLINGTON, Va. — A recent study conducted by the HVACR Workforce Development Foundation estimates at least 115,000 new HVACR workers must be trained by 2022 to fill jobs due to industry growth and retirements. In response, North American Technician Excellence (NATE) has launched two new certificate exams: Ready-To-Work and HVAC Support, designed to help HVACR employers hire, train, and develop the best technicians possible and create a pathway to professional development and certification.

“As the HVACR industry braces for a significant predicted workforce shortfall in the next few years, NATE is pleased to offer these two new levels of testing and training to help contractors recruit and retain new talent, including from outside of the HVACR industry,” said John Lanier, COO of NATE. “We are proud to add these new certificate exams to our ever-developing suite of testing to support technicians and the contractors who employ them.”

The Ready-to-Work Certificate is an entry-level exam (complete with study guide included) designed for entry-level technicians with little to no formal education or training. It focuses on the fundamental job knowledge and skills a technician needs to enter the HVAC workforce, such as component identification, tool identification, basic heat transfer, general safety, and electrical safety and can be used as a tool to ensure technicians have the basic skills necessary to start on the job and begin their training. The online exam can be taken without a proctor at the technician’s convenience, such as from a home computer.

The HVAC Support Technician Certificate is designed to be taken by a technician who’s been in the field for six months to one year. The exam covers topics linked to NATE’s current professional-level certifications at a more fundamental skill level and provides career-focused technicians the opportunity to advance and demonstrate their increased knowledge and skills to pursue NATE professional-level certifications in the future. It follows the same proctored exam process as other NATE exams.

As with the NATE certification exams, these two new certificate exams were developed by the NATE technical committee, comprised of experts from various industry sectors, including manufacturing, distribution, education and training, and contractors. The committee is led by Anthony Spagnoli, manager of testing and education for NATE.

“While the current NATE certification exams are generally for more senior, advanced technicians, these new exams provide a pathway to those certifications via a tiered exam structure. Having contractors on the NATE technical committee helped to ensure both exams cover what contractors need from their technicians out in the field,” said Spagnoli.

For more information about NATE, visit

Publication date: 2/8/2016 

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!