In response to a recent HVACR Workforce Development Foundation study that estimates at least 115,000 new HVAC construction workers must be trained by 2022 to fill jobs, training organization North American Technician Excellence has introduced two new certification exams. 

The exams, called ready-to-work and HVAC support, were created to help HVAC market employers hire, train and develop technicians 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 NATE Chief Operating Officer John Lanier.

The ready-to-work certificate is an entry-level online exam designed for technicians who are just entering the HVAC market with little to no formal industry education or training. The certificate focuses on fundamental job knowledge and skills such as component and tool identification, basic heat transfer, and general and electrical safety.

The HVAC support technician certificate is for technicians who have been in the field for six months to one year. The exam covers topics linked to professional level certifications, but at a more fundamental skill level.

“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,” said the association’s manager of testing and education, said Anthony Spagnoli. “Having contractors on the NATE technical committee helped to ensure both exams cover what contractors need of their technicians out in the field.”