• SkillCat Team

Comprehensive Guide To The NATE Ready To Work Exam

Updated: Sep 22

The NATE ready to work exam is used in the HVAC industry to ensure that you have the required skills to begin your career as an HVAC technician. Adding the NATE ready to work certificate to your resume and being prepared to answer questions during an interview will go a long way in getting you a job in HVAC.


What is in the NATE Ready To Work Exam


NATE's website explains that the ready to work test is broken into six sections:

  • Components

  • Tools

  • Measurement/units

  • Electrical safety

  • Basic heat transfer

  • General safety


The components section is 22% of the NATE RTW test, and will cover component identification. Basically, can you name the seperate components of an HVAC system.


The tools sections is 32% of the NATE test, and this section will cover tool identification. This will be similar to the component section, but now it will focus on tool selection and tool identification.


The measurement/units section is 8% of the NATE RTW test. This section focuses on Area, Volume, and using Rulers. For example, you will be expected to know that ft^2 is for area and ft^3 is for volume.


The safety section of the NATE exam makes up 26% of the test. There are two focuses in the safety section. The first is on electrical safety, which is 12% of the test. The electrical safety section is made of Electrical Safety Procedures, Electrical Tool Safety, and Circuit Safety. The second safety section is on general safety which is 14% of the test. This section focuses on Refrigerant Safety, Worksite Safety, Ladder Safety, Driving Safety, and Protective Clothing.


The last section of the NATE Ready To Work exam is focused on basic heat transfer concepts. This section is 12% of the test and it will test you on your understanding of heat transfer. It will involve Sensible/Latent Heat and Types of Heat Transfer. Basically, how does the HVAC system cool or heat the space.


Feel confident that you know all of that? Head on over to the NATE website and sign up for exam. The NATE ready to work exam is 50 questions and it will cost $50. You have an hour and a half to complete the full test.


How Should I Prepare For The Test


You have a few options to prepare for the NATE RTW. I would personally recommend a free online HVAC course like SkillCat's. This course is the best way to learn the material since it is interactive and doesnt involve reading a textbook. Boring! In addition, it usually takes two weeks to complete, and it will prepare you for other certifications like the EPA 608 certificate and the NATE Ready To Work certfication.


Your other option is to get the NATE ready to work study guide. When you pay $50 to take the exam, they will automatically send you this study guide. The study guide is similar to a textbook though and can be very boring to study from.


When studying, you will want to focus on components, tools, and safety sections since those three sections of the NATE RTW exam make up 80% of the total total test. In other words, 40 of the 50 questions will be focused on tools, components, and safety.


And that is it! Now you know what is inside of the NATE Ready To Work exam and your best resource to prepare. You can find our free online HVAC courses for the EPA 608, NATE Ready To Work, and more.

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