HVACR service technicians, and aspiring technicians, now have a comprehensive guidebook to assist them in gaining various certifications.

The HVAC Technician Certification Exam Guide by Norm Christopherson is designed to help technicians pass the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) exams, Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) certification exams, and HVAC Excellence exams, as well as aid students preparing to take the Industry Competency Exams (ICE). The book is also a useful study guide for portions of the state contractor licensing exams.

Author Norm Christopherson has been involved in the HVACR industry since 1970. A former HVACR instructor, he is currently a senior training specialist with York UPG. He is also a regular contributing writer for the online Extra Edition section of The News.

Diving Into Certification

Part one of the book begins by explaining why certification is important and highlights the differences between the certifying organizations and the various exams available. Each organization offers multiple exams covering different areas. Maintaining certification is then touched on.

The publication then provides some general test-taking strategies, and how to prepare and study effectively for the exams.

The author explains the concept of a core exam and discusses the "soft" questions covered. Many of these questions have to do with successful communication and interaction with customers and fellow employees. These include such things as English grammar and usage, spelling, vocabulary, reasoning ability, good judgment, and honesty. A core practice exam provides examples of these soft questions.

The next section covers math questions. It indicates the types of math problems that can be expected, providing a math practice exam with typical questions.

As the book notes, electrical knowledge is essential for an HVAC technician. Because HVAC electrical certification is the core exam for HVAC Excellence, and electrical questions will appear in every exam, the guide discusses electrical certification and provides a sample test.

Specialty Certification Areas

The book then delves into specific specialty certification areas: air conditioning; heat pumps; gas heating; and air distribution, measurement, and balancing. Each of these sections likewise includes a practice exam.

Two final practice tests - a 50-question exam and a full-length 100-question exam - are provided.

The book wraps up with answers to all the practice tests, a list of various HVAC equations, and several charts and general reference material.

Another benefit of the book is the brief tech tips provided in the left and right margins throughout most of the text. These tips cover such subject areas as safety, troubleshooting, refrigerants, instruments, electrical, and others, giving the reader additional helpful instruction.

This book is intended to be a practical guide to aid in gaining certification, and it provides a very focused and straight-to-the-point approach.

The book is published by Pal Publications and is available for $39.95. For more information or to purchase a copy of the guide, visit www.palpublications.com.

Publication date: 02/21/2005