Certifications for appliance technicians are optional according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They do, however, provide many benefits mainly in the form of career advancement. The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) offers the National Appliance Service Technician Certification (NASTeC) for those looking to demonstrate their skills and potentially command a higher salary.
There are many benefits to attaining a NASTeC certification, according to NASTeC. It differentiates you from workers who are not certified, which may increase your job security. As a business owner, the NASTeC certification can distinguish you from competitors and help attract more highly skilled technicians.
There are two tests that you must pass to become NASTeC certified according to ISCET. The first is the Basic Skills Exam. For the second test in a specialty, you have the option to take tests in either refrigeration and air conditioning, cooking, laundry and dishwashing, or universal technician. If you choose to take the test in refrigeration and air conditioning, you must first have the EPA Refrigerant Recovery Certification. To receive the highest certification of NASTeC Universal Technicians, you must pass four exams.
Applying for the NASTeC isn't free. Fees vary based on what exactly you wish to do. The fee to take the basic skills test is $50 for non-students and $35 for current students. Each specialty exam costs an additional $65. If you take the basic test and a specialty test at the same sitting, the cost is $115, whereas if you take the basic and two specialties, the cost is $160. If you choose to take the basic and all three specialties for the universal certification, the cost is $185.
The ISCET links to five recommended resources to study for the NASTeC exams. The “Appliance Service Handbook (Second Edition)” covers general materials for appliance technicians and “specific procedures for servicing various products.” “Troubleshooting & Repairing Major Appliances (2nd Edition)” book covers topics such as needed tools for installation and repair, basic techniques and safety precautions. They also recommend “Major Appliances: Operation, Maintenance, Troubleshooting and Repair ” and the “Guide to the EPA Refrigerant Handling Certification Exam.” The last recommended study guide is the “NASTeC Self Assessment Examination and Study Guide.”
Fred’s Appliance University
If you are not one to excel in self-study, the NASTeC suggests a program called Fred’s Appliance University to help you prepare for their certifications. The course covers topics such as electrical theory, washers, brazing/soldering, dishwashers, proper tools and dehumidifiers. The program includes three weeks of teaching, room and board, laptops, service manuals and additional study materials. As of May 2010, the program costs $2,499 and includes the cost of the NASTeC exams.