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Top 11 Refrigeration Technician Certifications

This article explores the top certifications available for refrigeration technicians, including their requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for refrigeration technicians in the job market because they demonstrate a technician’s commitment to their profession, as well as prove their expertise and proficiency. Certifications show employers that the technician has met industry standards and is qualified for the job. They also provide evidence of experience and knowledge in specific areas, such as installation, repair, and maintenance of refrigeration systems. Employers may be more likely to hire a certified technician over one who is not certified because they know that the technician has taken the time to learn and master their craft.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the top certifications for Refrigeration Technicians and explain how they can help to advance a Refrigeration Technician's career.

What are Refrigeration Technician Certifications?

Refrigeration technician certification is a credential that is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated proficiency in the installation, maintenance, and repair of refrigeration systems. Refrigeration technicians are responsible for ensuring that refrigeration equipment operates safely and efficiently.

Having certification can help refrigeration technicians further their careers by providing them with an official recognition of their skills and abilities. It also gives employers assurance that their employees are qualified to work on refrigeration systems. Certification can also provide technicians with access to additional training opportunities and a competitive edge when applying for jobs. With certification, technicians may be able to negotiate higher salaries or advance more quickly in their field. Additionally, some employers may only hire certified technicians due to the high level of knowledge and skill required for working on refrigeration systems.

In order to earn certification, technicians must pass an examination administered by a recognized certifying body such as the National Refrigeration Technician Certification Program (NRTCP). The exam covers topics such as safety procedures, troubleshooting techniques, electrical principles, and system design. After passing the exam, technicians must complete continuing education requirements every two years in order to maintain their certification status.

Overall, obtaining refrigeration technician certification provides many benefits for both employers and employees alike. With this credential, technicians can demonstrate their knowledge and skill level while employers can rest easy knowing they are hiring qualified personnel who have been properly trained on how to handle refrigeration systems safely and effectively.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research the requirements for refrigeration technician certification in your area, as they may vary from state to state. Also, look into any continuing education or refresher courses that may be available in order to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and trends in the industry.

Related: What does a Refrigeration Technician do?

Top 11 Refrigeration Technician Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Refrigeration Technicians today.

1. Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) Certification

The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. RSES provides certification programs for technicians and contractors in the HVACR industry.

RSES Certification is designed to assess a technician's knowledge and skills in the areas of installation, service, maintenance and repair of residential and commercial HVACR systems. The certification process includes a written exam as well as hands-on performance evaluations.

It typically takes about six months to complete the certification process. To get started, applicants must first submit an application form along with payment of a fee. Upon approval, applicants must then take a written exam which covers topics such as safety practices, system components, system operation and troubleshooting techniques. After passing the written exam, applicants must then demonstrate their technical skills by completing a series of hands-on performance evaluations.

The cost for RSES Certification varies depending on the type of certification being sought. For example, the cost for Technician Certification is $195 USD while Master Certification costs $295 USD. Additional fees may also apply for retesting or late registration fees.

2. HVAC Excellence Certified Refrigeration Technician (CRT)

HVAC Excellence Certified Refrigeration Technician (CRT) is a certification program designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the field of refrigeration. The CRT program provides technicians with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, as well as to gain recognition from employers and peers.

To obtain the CRT certification, applicants must first pass an exam that covers topics such as safety, installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of refrigeration systems. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete. After passing the exam, applicants are required to submit proof of at least two years of experience working in the field of refrigeration.

The cost for taking the CRT exam is $125 USD. Additionally, there is an annual fee of $50 USD for maintaining the certification once it has been obtained.

Overall, obtaining HVAC Excellence Certified Refrigeration Technician (CRT) certification can take up to three months depending on how quickly you complete the application process and pass the exam.

3. North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Refrigeration System Technician

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Refrigeration System Technician is a certification program for technicians who work with refrigeration systems. It is the leading certification program in the United States and Canada for HVAC/R technicians.

To become a NATE-certified Refrigeration System Technician, you must pass two exams: one on core knowledge and one on specialty knowledge. The core exam covers topics such as safety, tools, electricity, and basic refrigeration principles. The specialty exam covers topics such as system installation, service, maintenance, and troubleshooting of commercial and residential refrigeration systems.

The exams are administered by independent testing organizations throughout the United States and Canada. To take the exams, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. You also need to have at least two years of experience working with refrigeration systems or have completed an approved HVAC/R training program.

It typically takes about four to six weeks to prepare for the exams. You can purchase study materials from NATE or from other sources such as books or online courses.

The cost of taking the NATE Refrigeration System Technician certification exam varies depending on where you take it but generally ranges from $100-$200 per exam plus any applicable taxes or fees.

4. Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Certification

The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is a non-profit trade association that provides certification for products in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. AHRI certification is designed to ensure that HVACR products meet certain performance standards as established by the industry.

It typically takes between four to six weeks to complete the AHRI certification process. The first step is to submit an application form along with a fee of $1,000 per product type. This fee covers the cost of testing and evaluation of the product. Once approved, manufacturers must send samples of their products to an AHRI-accredited laboratory for testing. The lab will then evaluate the product against specific criteria set out by AHRI and issue a report verifying whether or not it meets these requirements. If approved, manufacturers will receive an official certificate from AHRI confirming their product’s compliance with industry standards.

AHRI certification is an important part of ensuring quality in HVACR products and helps protect consumers from purchasing substandard equipment. It also helps manufacturers differentiate their products from competitors who may not have gone through the same rigorous testing process.

5. EPA Universal Certification for Refrigerant Handling

EPA Universal Certification for Refrigerant Handling is a certification program administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is designed to ensure that technicians who handle, service, and dispose of refrigerants are properly trained and certified. The certification is valid for five years from the date it was issued.

To become EPA-certified, individuals must pass a written exam at an accredited testing facility. The exam covers topics such as safety practices, environmental regulations, and proper handling of refrigerants. Once an individual has passed the exam, they will receive their EPA Universal Certification card in the mail.

The cost of the exam varies depending on the testing facility and can range from $50 to $100. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with studying materials or retaking the exam if necessary.

6. National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) Refrigeration/HVAC Technician

The National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) Refrigeration/HVAC Technician assessment is a comprehensive assessment of knowledge and skills related to the installation, service, and maintenance of residential and light commercial refrigeration and heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The test consists of multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as safety protocols, system components, electrical circuits, troubleshooting techniques, and more.

The NOCTI Refrigeration/HVAC Technician assessment typically takes two to three hours to complete. It is available online or in paper format at authorized testing centers. To take the assessment online, you must first register with NOCTI. Once registered, you will be able to access the test from any computer with an internet connection.

The cost for the NOCTI Refrigeration/HVAC Technician assessment varies depending on where you take it. Online assessments are typically priced at $50 per attempt while paper tests are usually around $100 per attempt. Some states may also offer discounted rates for certain groups of individuals such as veterans or students.

7. International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) Appliance Repair Technician

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) Appliance Repair Technician certification is a professional credential that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and proficiency in the repair and maintenance of household appliances. This certification is designed to help protect consumers from potential appliance-related problems by ensuring that technicians have the necessary skills to properly diagnose, repair, and maintain these systems.

In order to obtain this certification, applicants must pass an online examination that covers topics such as electrical safety, appliance installation and troubleshooting, gas safety, refrigeration safety, and more. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours. After passing the exam, applicants receive their certificate within one business day.

The cost for the InterNACHI Appliance Repair Technician certification varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of InterNACHI. For members, the cost is $150 USD; for non-members it is $200 USD.

8. National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) HVAC/R Maintenance Technician

The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) HVAC/R Maintenance Technician certification is a nationally recognized credential that demonstrates the holder's knowledge and understanding of the principles, practices, and procedures of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R) systems. This certification is designed to provide employers with assurance that their technicians are qualified to install, maintain, troubleshoot, repair and service HVAC/R systems.

To obtain this certification you must complete an NCCER-accredited HVAC/R Maintenance Technician program. This program is typically offered through community colleges or technical schools or through online learning programs. The length of the program will vary depending on the institution offering it but generally takes between 6 months to 1 year to complete.

In order to be eligible for the NCCER HVAC/R Maintenance Technician certification exam you must have completed at least 500 hours of classroom instruction in the subject area as well as at least 250 hours of hands-on experience in a lab setting. Once you have met these requirements you can then take the exam which consists of both written and practical components.

The cost of obtaining this certification will depend on where you take your classes or if you choose an online learning program. Generally speaking, tuition costs range from $2,500-$4,000 for a full program including both classroom instruction and hands-on experience. Additionally there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam such as registration fees or other administrative costs which can range from $100-$200 depending on where you take your exam.

9. Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analyst Professional

The Building Performance Institute (BPI) is a nationally recognized organization that sets the standards for home energy efficiency and building performance. BPI provides certifications to individuals who have met the requirements of their training program, which includes courses in building science, energy auditing, and home performance contracting. The BPI Building Analyst Professional certification is designed to train professionals to assess and diagnose problems in residential buildings, including air leakage, insulation levels, combustion safety, ventilation, moisture management, and more.

It typically takes between four and six months to complete the training required for the BPI Building Analyst Professional certification. This includes completing an online coursework module as well as attending a hands-on field training session with a qualified instructor. After completing the training requirements, candidates must pass both a written exam and a field exam in order to become certified.

In order to become a BPI Building Analyst Professional, you must first purchase the required training materials from BPI or one of its approved providers. The cost of these materials varies depending on provider but typically ranges from $600-$1,000 USD. Once you have purchased the materials you can begin your training process.

To maintain your certification status with BPI you must complete continuing education credits every two years. These credits can be earned by attending approved courses or workshops through BPI or one of its approved providers. The cost of these courses varies depending on provider but typically ranges from $100-$500 USD per credit hour.

10. Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Refrigeration System Installer/Technician

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Refrigeration System Installer/Technician certification is a professional credential that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting commercial and industrial refrigeration systems. The MCAA Refrigeration System Installer/Technician certification is designed to help employers identify qualified technicians who can install, maintain, and repair refrigeration systems.

To obtain the MCAA Refrigeration System Installer/Technician certification, applicants must pass an exam. The exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as electrical safety, refrigerant handling, system installation and maintenance, system troubleshooting and repair, and more. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.

The cost for the MCAA Refrigeration System Installer/Technician certification exam is $250 USD. In addition to the exam fee, there may be additional fees associated with obtaining the certification depending on your location or other factors.

Once you have passed the exam and received your MCAA Refrigeration System Installer/Technician certification, it will remain valid for five years from the date it was issued. After five years you will need to renew your certification by retaking the exam or completing other continuing education requirements as specified by MCAA.

11. Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Commercial Refrigeration Specialist

Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Commercial Refrigeration Specialist is a certification program that recognizes the knowledge and skills of individuals who specialize in the service, repair, and installation of commercial refrigeration systems. The program requires applicants to demonstrate their understanding of various components, systems, and procedures related to commercial refrigeration.

The certification process consists of an online exam that covers topics such as safety, refrigerant handling, system design and installation, troubleshooting techniques, electrical wiring diagrams, and more. To be eligible for the exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience in the field or complete an approved training course. The exam can be taken at any computer with internet access and takes approximately three hours to complete.

The cost for taking the ACCA Commercial Refrigeration Specialist exam is $150 USD. After successfully completing the exam, applicants will receive a certificate from ACCA recognizing their achievement and expertise in commercial refrigeration service.

Do You Really Need a Refrigeration Technician Certificate?

When it comes to having a career in refrigeration, a refrigeration technician certificate is an important credential to have. A certificate not only proves that you have the knowledge and skills necessary for the job, but it also gives potential employers confidence that you are qualified for the position.

Having a certificate shows potential employers that you have successfully completed the necessary training and education required for the job. It also demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about the principles and practices of refrigeration systems. This can be invaluable when seeking employment in this field.

In addition to demonstrating your knowledge, a certificate showcases your commitment to continuing education in your chosen field. This demonstrates to employers that you are serious about learning and developing your skills so that you can continue to provide quality service as a refrigeration technician. It can also help differentiate you from other applicants who may lack formal training or certification.

Finally, having a refrigeration technician certificate can open doors to higher-level positions within the industry. Employers often look favorably on those with certifications as they tend to indicate that technicians are up-to-date on best practices and safety standards. Having this credential may give you an edge over other applicants who do not possess one when applying for advanced positions or promotions.

In conclusion, obtaining a refrigeration technician certificate is essential if you wish to pursue a successful career in this field. Not only does it demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to continuing education, but it may also open doors for more advanced positions within the industry. Therefore, if you are interested in pursuing a career in refrigeration, obtaining a certificate should be part of your plan for success!

Related: Refrigeration Technician Resume Examples

FAQs About Refrigeration Technician Certifications

1. How do I become a certified refrigeration technician?

Answer: To become a certified refrigeration technician, you must complete an accredited program and pass the relevant certification exams. In addition, you may need to complete additional training courses or obtain certifications from specific vendors.

2. What types of certifications are available for refrigeration technicians?

Answer: Most commonly, there are two types of certifications available for refrigeration technicians: HVAC/R (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Section 608 Technician Certification.

3. Are there any prerequisites for becoming a certified refrigeration technician?

Answer: Yes, some certifications may require applicants to have prior experience or formal education in HVAC/R systems before they can take the exam. Additionally, some programs may require applicants to be at least 18 years old and possess valid driver’s licenses.

4. How long does it take to become a certified refrigeration technician?

Answer: The length of time it takes to become a certified refrigeration technician depends on the type of certification chosen and how quickly the applicant is able to complete the required coursework and pass the exams. Generally speaking, most certification programs can be completed within 1-2 years depending on the applicant’s schedule and availability.

5. What is the cost of becoming a certified refrigeration technician?

Answer: The cost of becoming a certified refrigeration technician varies depending on which certification program is chosen as well as any additional fees associated with taking exams or purchasing study materials. Generally speaking, most certification programs range from $500-$2000 depending on what is included in the program package.