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Is Hiring a NATE-Certified Technician Important?

Originally published
Originally published: 9/1/2015

Ensure your customers get the best possible service through technician certification.


Keeping a home comfort system running in Southwest Florida’s hot, humid climate takes some real skill. Hiring NATE-certified technicians assure us the person caring for our customers’ systems has the technical and interpersonal skills necessary to do the job right.

When potential clients are evaluating HVACR contractors, one of the first things I tell them to look at is their qualifications. The contractor they choose should be fully licensed and have experience, and should also be a member of professional industry organizations that set standards for licensing and best practices. This indicates a level of expertise that sets the certified contractor apart from the rest.

There are many third-party certifications that HVACR technicians can get, the most prestigious of which is NATE certification. We’re proud of the fact that we employ many NATE-certified technicians. But, what does this designation mean for the average customer?

For starters, this is the only certification accepted by the entire HVACR industry. In addition, NATE is a voluntary program — passed by only 20,000 technicians since it first began testing. It is designed to ensure that qualifying technicians have a core set of competencies and can be trusted by the consumers who hire them.

Yes, NATE certification isn’t legally required, so your customers can be assured when you send NATE-certified technicians to their homes, you have invested in and are dedicated to their career and truly care about providing them with the best possible service.

This tells your clients and potential clients that your technicians have achieved a level of technical excellence above and beyond what is required.

The additional training NATE-certified technicians receive helps them spot developing problems early while they’re still quick and inexpensive to correct. This not only keeps costs down, it also reduces the chance of surprise breakdowns.

Manufacturers and distributors also support NATE certification because it encourages proper installation and service of equipment, which ultimately means fewer service calls and warranty returns down the line.

Other advantages include:

  • Certified technicians stay in the industry longer and are more productive than non-certified technicians.
  • NATE provides a uniform standard of knowledge trainers can use to prepare the future HVACR workforce.
  • Properly trained and tested technicians can ensure the correct installation and servicing of HVACR equipment, which saves homeowners on energy bills.

With upwards of 300 employees, 70 of whom are technicians, I find it necessary to be in the teaching business. At Conditioned Air, we run in-house, accredited courses on various industry topics that are transferrable to many certification programs.

I have confidence in my NATE-certified technicians to commission every single system so it operates at peak efficiency, saving our customers money and energy.

When a system does need repair work, NATE-certified technicians have the advanced skills needed to get the work done as fast as possible. They’re also more likely to do the job right the first time — and both your customer and your company saves time by eliminating the need to send the technician back to do the job over again.

NATE training also helps technicians stay up to date on the latest approaches and technology for keeping homes comfortable and energy bills low. If a homeowner needs advice on how to better maintain their system, reduce energy bills or when they should upgrade to a new model, they can trust your technician to provide thorough, current information. Technicians who haven’t developed and up-dated their knowledge may not be able to provide as much guidance.

The NATE program is rigorous, and the pass rate is relatively low, so certification is meaningful for both technicians and the homeowners who hire them. We believe in the program and feel this really sets us apart from the competition, both in terms of professionalism and the ability to maintain a strong, competent workforce.


Theo Etzel is the CEO of Naples, Fla.-based Conditioned Air. He is a seasoned business executive and passionate entrepreneur who believes in providing the highest level of customer care, services and products to his clients. For additional information, visit


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