Association of Air Conditioning Professionals


EPA Section 608 Certification

EPA regulations under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act require that technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere must be certified.

Technicians are required to pass an EPA-approved test to earn Section 608 Technician Certification. The tests are specific to the type of equipment the technician seeks to work on. Section 608 Technician Certification credentials do not expire.

Types of Certification

To pass any EPA type, a candidate must pass a CORE section of the test plus one of the technician types [I, II, III or Universal]. Once CORE is passed, it need not be taken again and it may be used for additional EPA types.

The EPA developed four types of certification:

  • Type I - To service small appliances   
  • Type II - To service or dispose of high- or very high-pressure appliances, except small appliances and MVACs
  • Type III - To service or dispose of low-pressure appliances
  • Universal - To service all types of equipment

More information about EPA Section 608 Certification:

    NATE Certification

    North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is the leading certification program for technicians in the heating ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry.

    NATE is more than a technician certification program. Led by the leading trade associations in the HVAC industry, it is part of a comprehensive industry initiative to:

    • recognize technicians who meet high industry standards
    • promote education and improve technical proficiency in the industry
    • give the industry a clearly defined structure, so that the consumer can easily identify qualified technicians.

    When a technician is certified in an area, it’s clear they meet a broad, comprehensive set of expectations - not just some standards for one kind of equipment or one model.

    Those taking this test should have a basic and working knowledge of HVAC equipment, installing and/or servicing, and prior related theory instruction (at least 240 hours).
    The Core Exam covers safety, tools, soft skills, principles of heat transfer, total comfort, and electrical.

    An HVAC technician must pass the Core Exam and at least one of the Specialty Exams to become a Certified Technician.

    There are five separate Specialty Exams — air conditioning, air distribution, gas heating, heat pumps, and oil heating. There are two types: installation and service (service technicians are automatically certified as installation technicians as well).

    The NATE Air Conditioning Excellence HVAC exams are an industry-approved test of knowledge meaningful to HVAC technicians. The exams are designed to test what 80% of technicians need to know 80% of the time in a given year. It’s not an easy test, but nothing worth earning is.

    More information about NATE testing:

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