There are several organizations that offer certification to HVACR technicians. These organizations require candidates to pass exams to earn certification. To become certified, a candidate typically has to have at least 1 year of installation experience and 2 years of maintenance and repair experience.
No matter what exam you take, there are certain things which will help you be better prepared. To start with, you should create a study plan and follow it. Ideally you will start studying at least a couple months ahead of time. Even experienced HVACR technicians can fail a written exam so it is critical that you create and follow a plan. Your plan should begin months before the test and should continue to the day of the test.
Most HVAC Excellence exams require a 70% score to pass. The results are reported with a percentage correct, as well as with a determination of pass/fail. Test-takers who take a computer-based test get their results immediately upon finishing the exam. Those who take a paper/pencil formatted test will receive their results in the mail five to seven business days after the exam. If one fails the exam, there are no restrictions on retaking the exam.
With about 6 times more certifications awarded than any other certifying body, the rest of this review will focus on HVAC Excellence.
About HVAC Excellence Certifications
An HVAC Excellence certification is an aid in identifying the scope and level of a technician's competency. Certifications available through HVAC Excellence include employment ready certifications, professional level certifications and master specialist certifications.
Employment ready certifications are utilized by schools, utilities, apprenticeship programs, corporate trainers, contractors and wholesalers in their evaluation processes. For example, a training program or apprenticeship program may use an HVAC Excellence employment ready certification exam to determine if a student in its program has the knowledge necessary to graduate. They are also used by technicians to show employers that one has the skills necessary for employment or advancement. To earn an employment ready certification, a candidate must pass a written series of discipline specific exams.
Professional level certifications are earned through taking and passing written exams where experienced technicians can demonstrate their knowledge. A technician must have two or more years of documented field experience to take a professional level certification exam. The candidate must also pass a Core exam with most specialty exams. The exams are given in both a paper and online format.
The master specialist certification is the highest credential available through HVAC Excellence. To obtain the master level certification, a technician must demonstrate competency through a hands-on and written exam. To be eligible for participation in a Master Specialist exam, one must hold a Professional Level certification and have 3 years of field experience.
Certifications by Technical Specialty Area:
• Residential Air Conditioning
• Light Commercial Air Conditioning
• Light Commercial Refrigeration
• Heat Pump Service
• Heat Pump Installer
• Gas Heat
• Electric Heat