HVAC, ICE Testing For Entry Level Techs

ICE Testing for HVAC Training

The “Industry Competency Exam”, ICE exam, will test for competency levels in an entry level tech with up to one year experience.  The exam is widely used by over 300 technical schools.  Many AC Contractors are requiring the exam to gauge the knowledge of applicants and existing techs.

AC manufacturers and contractors review the content and questions annually to keep the material current.  There are three different exams:
• Residential HVAC under 5 tons.  The Core exam is taken first to qualify the student for the other five sections including air distribution, air conditioning, heat pumps, gas heating and oil heating.
• Commercial HVAC up to 20 tons
• Commercial Refrigeration

Each of the three exams consists of 100 multiple choice questions.  The student receives a review of the subjects passed and failed for use as a future training aid.

The ICE exam is also useful as a pre test before beginning the NATE Certification process.  NATE exams are a series of tests that verify that the technician has the knowledge most HVAC Companies feel the average HVAC technician should possess.  The exam also indicates the areas the tech needs additional training.
NATE offers certifications in the following specialties for both Service Techs and Installers.  Those passing the service tech exams also qualify for the installer certifications:
• Air Conditioning
• Air Distribution
• Gas Heating
• Heat Pumps
• Oil Heating
• Hydronics Gas
• Hydronics Oil
• Light Commercial Refrigeration
• Commercial Refrigeration
• HVAC Efficiency Analyst

Students must first pass a 50 question core exam covering:
• Safety
• Tools
• Soft Skills
• Principles of Heat Transfer
• Total Comfort
• Electrical

The specialty exam consist of 100 questions and allow a maximum 4 hours.  Most students should be able to take the core and one specialty in a single exam sitting.  Students can retake an exam after a 30 day waiting period.



If you are looking for information on the HVAC Exam, you need to sharpen your search on the particular exam you need.

Following are some of the HVAC Exam requirements that are typical.
• The EPA 608 Certification exam.  This exam and certification are required by federal law and taking the HVAC Exam to obtain a certification is required for anyone who plans to purchase or use refrigerants.

Free EPA Study Guide, HVAC Exam

• If you are looking for an HVAC Exam to obtain a service tech certification, check the state requirements here.  Most states do not require technicians to be certified or licensed, but there are a few that do.
• Most states require independent contractors to obtain a State License and you will need to take an HVAC Exam that will typically test your knowledge on the building code, business and business law and technical knowledge.  We cover the requirements for all 50 states here.
• In some states that do not require state tech license or contractor’s license, your local county or city may administer an HVAC Exam for tech certification or contractor licensing.  Check with your local city or county to identify any requirements.
The common requirements where an HVAC Exam is required are as follows:
• Apprentice.  A few states and cities and most local union halls offer apprentice programs.  You will need a GED or high school diploma; a clean criminal history, pass a drug test and pay the fees.  Apprenticeship is usually a 2 year + program.
• Journeyman.  To obtain a journeyman certification you will be required to meet the apprenticeship requirements listed above plus have 2 years + experience and a trade school certificate.  Requirements vary.  A few states require that you take the HVAC Exam, other require registration.
• Master.  A Master technician must meet the Journeyman requirements plus typically have four years experience.
• HVAC Contractor.  Contractor’s license requirements usually include a residential or limited license allowing the contractor to work on systems of 25 tons or less.  An HVAC Exam and business law exam is usually required along with four years experience.  An unlimeted Contractor license is usually offered by passing an additional exam.

Good luck with your HVAC Exam.