Nate Test Approved By The Department of Veterans Affairs

Aug. 1, 2002
In the near future, veterans may be hanging up their fatigues and putting on a work shirt with the NATE patch. North American Technician Excellence (NATE)

In the near future, veterans may be hanging up their fatigues and putting on a work shirt with the NATE patch. North American Technician Excellence (NATE) has been approved under the provisions of Section 122 of Public Law 106-419 to provide certification tests to veterans and other eligible persons. NATE had its tests specifically approved for the G.I. Bill. The NATE-Air Conditioning Excellence (ACE) series of tests covers both installation and service of HVACR residential and light commercial equipment. There are five specialties in which a technician can become certified: air conditioning, air distribution, gas heating, heat pump, and oil heating. To become certified the technician must pass a core and a specialty exam with a score of 70% or better. Certification remains valid for five years, and after five years, the technician has to recertify. The Montgomery G.I. Bill provides for current and transitioning active duty personnel as well as regular service retirees (not reservists) to take tests for certification or licensing and be reimbursed by the office of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). The VA's licensing and certification benefit pays eligible retiring service personnel for licensing or certification tests they take after March 1, 2001. (VA only pays the test cost and not other fees connected with obtaining a license or certification.) Veterans can receive up to $2,000 per test but not more than the actual cost of the test. They can also receive benefits to retake a test they failed. The number of tests a veteran can take is unlimited, except that veterans can't receive benefits to retake a test they have already passed. Eligible personnel include those who qualify for: • The Montgomery G.I. Bill or Chapter 30 (but not the Montgomery G.I. Bill for reservists); • Those who qualify for VEAP (also called Chapter 32) • Those who qualify for Dependents Educational Assistance (also called DEA or Chapter 35). Veterans generally have 10 years after their discharge from active duty to use their benefits. If veterans want to know about other programs under which they might be eligible, go to To apply, veterans send a copy of their NATE test results to the VA office that handles their education benefits, and attach a note with the following information: Request for reimbursement; name and Social Security number; the name of the test they took and the date they took it; the name and address of the organization issuing the certificate (NATE, 4100 N. Fairfax, Suite 210, Arlington, VA 22203 Tel 703 600-0359); the cost of the actual test (registration fees, preparation guides, processing fees etc. are not reimbursed); and the following statement: "I authorize release of my test information to VA." Applicants who have never filed a claim for Veteran's Benefits before will need to submit an application for benefits. Veterans on active duty need VA Form 22-1990 (available online at, and eligible children or spouses need VA Form 22-5490. NATE is a coalition of many partners: Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA); Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI); Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Wholesalers (ARWI); American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE); Building Performance Institute (BPI); Edison Electric Institute (EEI); Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI); Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA); Northamerican Heating, Refrigeration, Airconditioning Wholesalers Association (NHRAW); Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Contractors--National Association (PHCC--NA); Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES); U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA. For further information on NATE or the NATE Air Conditioning Excellence exams, call 877/420-NATE (6263), or visit