Technician Certifications

Master Specialist - Hands-On

The HVACR industry and consumers have greatly benefited from technician certification. It has been accepted as a tool to validate that a technician has the retained knowledge of heating and cooling systems. However, no one can be sure if a technician could properly apply this knowledge. That is, unless they are Master Specialist Certified!

Master Specialist Certifications, intended for experienced technicians, is a series of discipline-specific, hands-on, practical certification exams. They are used to demonstrate that one not only has the retained knowledge necessary, but can apply their knowledge by passing performance (hands-on) exams.


To qualify for the title of Master Specialist, a technician must have a minimum of 3 years field experience and achieve a passing score on the related written professional level HVAC Excellence technician certification, (or equivalent NATE, RSES CM, SM, CMS, UA Star), and pass the hands-on performance test. These certifications must be in the appropriate related area.

Achieving this credential is not a simple task. The professional technician must demonstrate that they can apply what they know.

Why Hands-On?

A written exam indicates whether a technician has retained the knowledge to be competent, but not whether they can apply their knowledge in a real-world, hands-on environment. It is one thing to know which solder to use, but it is another to be able to create a structurally sound, leak-free solder joint!

The Master Specialist program requires a technician to demonstrate retained knowledge and application of that knowledge.

Hands-on performance certification:

  • Assists employers in hiring competent technicians
  • Manufacturers in warranty cost reduction
  • Provide consumers with assurance of a technician's competency
  • Pinpoint current deficiencies in the technical workforce for education program development
  • Provide area–specific and nationally-recognized credentialing

The Master Specialist Certification badge, along with its chevrons, identifies technicians who possess the highest levels of competency; they not only possess knowledge, but can also apply it.

Certification Received

Persons who successfully pass these exams are awarded a certificate of achievement, wallet card, patch, and chevron. These certifications are often used to create a working portfolio of one's training and credentials.

Who Can Administer the Exams

Administering Master Specialist hands-on performance exams requires; test administrators with proper field and teaching experience, and facilities that possess the necessary working equipment.

Exams Offered

  • Residential Heat Pump
  • Residential Gas Furnace
  • Residential Electric Heat
  • Residential Air Conditioning
  • Residential Oil Heat
  • Commercial Air Conditioning
  • Commercial Refrigeration
  • Combustion Analysis
  • Envelope Leak Testing
  • Duct Leak Testing
  • Residential Energy Auditing
  • Residential Heat Gain and Heat Loss Calculation
  • Calculating Indoor Air CFM
  • System Leak Testing and Evacuation
  • System Charging and Start-up (Weigh-in and verify Subcooling/Superheat)
  • Economizer Set-up and Commissioning
  • Building Automation Systems (BAS) Set-up and Commissioning
  • Demand-Controlled Ventilation (DCV) Set-up and Commissioning
  • TEV Metering Device Troubleshooting (Commercial)
  • Outdoor Air Set-up and Commissioning
  • Constant Air Volume, A/C and Heat Pump Systems Set-up and Commissioning
  • Air Economizer Controls
  • Set-up and Commissioning
  • Variable Air Volume Set-up and Commissioning
  • Water Valve Leakage Testing
  • Supply Water Temperature Reset Controls Set-up and Testing
  • Fault Detection & Diagnostics for Packaged DX Units Set-up and Commissioning
  • Hydronic System Variable Flow Control Set-up and Commissioning
  • Variable Refrigerant Flow (Volume) (Coming soon)

Becoming a Proctor is Easy!

HVACR wholesalers, educators and trainers interested in proctoring exams should email their completed proctor application to or fax it to 1-800-546-3726.

Click here to learn more

Comparative Analysis Reports

Proctors can log in to review candidate test results and access detailed statistical reports.

Comparative Analysis Report