What is HVAC Certification And Why is it Important?

The HVAC industry is vast, right?

There are thousands of options available to choose from.

Your competitors are planning new strategies to upgrade themselves and get more leads. 

What unique steps can you take to mark your move against your opponents? 

How about becoming an authentic dealer in the HVAC industry? 

HVAC certification is a mark of authenticity.

This might sound more like a complex procedure, but getting HVAC certification is rather simple.

Here’s how:

Introduction to HVAC Certification

HVAC certification, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning certification, is more important than just clearing a level of education. 

The HVAC industry involves a lot of skillful work and knowledge. 

Any person looking forward to pursuing a good career in the HVAC industry needs certain specified skills, good hold over technology, up-to-date education, and information about HVAC functioning.

HVAC certification ensures that the person holding it has taken specific training, acquired an extra set of skills, and can run an HVAC business as an HVAC contractor/employee under a reputed HVAC company.

For any heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system required at a residential or commercial building, an HVAC technician is responsible for:

  • Installation
  • Maintenance
  • Repairing

The complexities involved in HVAC technology require the aspirant to have certification to cater to a potential employer’s or customer’s need.

Although having an HVAC certification is not mandatory, it is important to showcase that the aspirant has the credentials to be employed as an expert HVAC technician.

Types Of HVAC Certification

There are three basic HVAC certifications:

  1. EPA Certification
  2. NATE Certification
  3. HVAC Excellence Certification

 1. EPA Certification

EPA stands for Environmental Protection Agency. 

This certification is under authorization from section 608 of the Clean Air act established by the US environmental protection agency. 

This is a mandatory program that instructs all the technicians to be certified before performing the following functions:

  • Maintenance
  • Service
  • Repair
  • Disposal

Certification is a must to perform the above actions with an appliance that contains refrigerant chemicals.

A sub-division can be seen in the types of EPS certification as well. The agency has further developed four types of certifications for the technicians to master in.

They are:

  • Type I – For servicing small appliances
  • Type II – For servicing high and very high-pressure appliances
  • Type III – For servicing low-pressure appliances
  • Universal – For servicing all appliances

2. NATE Certification

The abbreviation NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. This certification ensures your potential to be able to perform HVAC technician duties. 

NATE certification is proof of your adequate training to perform the chief actions dealing with technology in the case of the HVAC industry.

Getting a NATE certificate might involve:

  • Installation test
  • Servicing test
  • Speciality parts
  • Refrigerants
  • Course units

Good HVAC technicians are supposed to have the credentials to pass through the certification process and become certified HVAC technicians.

3. HVAC Excellence Certification

The HVAC Excellence certification is among the most prominent certifications in the HVAC industry.

This Excellence certification promotes technicians with more experience than more scores in exams. 

There are two main levels of HVAC Excellence certification:

  • Professional level certification
  • Master specialist level certification

In the case of professional-level certification, the technician is expected to have 2 years of field experience.

For the master specialist level certification, the technician is expected to have a minimum of 3 years of field experience and professional-level certification experience. 

HVAC Certification Process

The HVAC certification process involves different stages that run sequentially. They are:

1. Having a high school diploma

The first step to pursuing a career as an HVAC technician is to get a high school diploma with a robust approach in physics and mathematics.

2. HVAC industry training

A classroom training program is the beginning of gaining skills in case of any profession. 

It is important to have a solid base in HVAC-related subjects. 

The training can be taken through classroom settings or by completing any HVAC program from a trade school or a vocational college.

3. HVAC contractor apprenticeship

The HVAC apprenticeship involves training programs that typically last for 3 to 5 years. These training programs are run by the contractors of air-conditioning services or associated builders.

4. Real-world experience

Most of the certifications involved in HVAC require a minimum of 12 months of practical experience. 

So to get employed by a potential employer of a certified HVAC company, on-the-job training is necessary.

5. Additional certification

Additional certifications are the last and final step of obtaining certificates that are considered when looking for a career in the HVAC industry.

The certificates involve agencies like NATE, RSES, and RETA, which provide specialty certificates that highlight your skill set and potential to be hired as a certified technician for HVAC tasks.

Importance of HVAC Certification

HVAC certification is an important step to ensure a fruitful career in a rewarding field like HVAC technician. 

Just like buying things from a certified website feels relevant, similarly getting services from a certified HVAC technician feels appropriate. 

A certified technician is of utmost importance when it comes to recruitment for the HVAC industry. The certificates mark the technician’s credentials and add to his advantage over a non-certified technician.

The key benefits and importance of getting certified are: 

  • You get a clear understanding of the fundamental principles of HVAC systems
  • You can develop a wide range of skill sets in heating, ventilation,  air-conditioning, and refrigeration.
  • You develop the analytical power to analyze air quality, gauge humidity levels, and understand temperature control mechanisms.
  • You get the opportunity to work on large-scale projects showcasing your skills and competencies.
  • You become a master of both theoretical as well as practical proficiency, which are a must for the job of an HVAC technician.
  • You have an advantage over your uncertified counterparts.

Being a certified HVAC technician brings you the opportunity to increase your earning potential, as a certified HVAC technician tends to command a better remuneration.

HVAC License

In addition to HVAC certification, an HVAC license is another authentication requirement to practice or work as a technician.

HVAC license requirements vary from state to state. An HVAC license, just like certification, is not mandatory unless the government of that particular state/country has issued requirements to practice as an HVAC technician.

Some common license types for HVAC are:

  • Refrigeration contractor license
  • Local licensing
  • State license

HVAC licensing requirements or not that complex. To obtain a refrigeration contractor license, the local licensing, or a state license to practice as an expert HVAC technician, one must give the licensing exam.

The licensing exam is meant to check the subjective knowledge of the technician and the capabilities to handle situations in written format. 

An HVAC license can ensure freedom to practice technical work in the state or country without violating the HVAC license requirements of that region.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is HVAC certification?

HVAC certification is a procedure that ensures an aspirant’s competency to work as an expert HVAC technician.

What is the highest certification for HVAC?

The EPA 608 certification, or the environmental protection agencies 608 certifications, is considered the highest certification for an HVAC technician.

How long is the HVAC school?

The HVAC training program usually lasts from 6 to 24 months. The basics of the HVAC trade are taught during this training program.

What is NATE certification?

The NATE certification is the organization that certifies technicians to perform heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration tasks after completing a series of tests.

Is HVAC a good career option?

HVAC is a good career option, without a doubt, as it provides a wide range of employment opportunities with a big payout.

Is an HVAC technician a stressful job?

Although the workload demands your physical strength and involves working in tight, dark, and dirty spaces, exposing the technician to mental and physical challenges. But for an aspirant with the right training, becoming an HVAC technician shall not be a stressful profession.


The HVAC industry is a widespread industry, with many opportunities to put young minds at work with some most complex equipment, mastering the latest technology. 

Certification becomes a must for an industry that deals with complex modern-day technology, as handling the technical aspects is not an easy job.

But this never makes the HVAC technician’s life a chaotic course. For a person who has mastered the skills of a technician or has a keen interest in handling complex machinery, the job of an HVAC technician proved to be the best. 

Since the HVAC industry involves a lot of latest technical advancements, a certified HVAC technician shall always have an advantage over just the skilled technician. 

You have a skill-set and you have proof that the skill-set is upgraded, which are two different things. 

HVAC certification ensures that the potential employer knows your credentials and expertise. 

Having certificates puts you in power to choose the right HVAC company that promises to pay for your skill set appropriately. 

You have an advantage over a non-certified technician, but you also have an advantage over an experienced yet outdated HVAC technician.

Hence, acquiring HVAC certification is of great importance.

Being an HVAC business owner, along with certified HVAC technicians, you will also need the best HVAC tools, HVAV apps, and the best HVAC software to manage and organize your HVAC business.

Gaurang Bhatt

Written by

Gaurang Bhatt

Guarang Bhatt has 15+ years of experience in serving different businesses through advanced technology-based solutions. He has special expertise in Saas-based software solutions and solving complex business problems and challenges. Passionate about HVAC software solutions, he shares his knowledge and learnings on HVACsoftware.com.