The Federal Government of the United States requires all individuals who open a system or container holding a controlled refrigerant to be certified per Section 608 of the Federal Clean Air Act. It specifies that all persons who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of appliances that contain regulated refrigerants be certified in proper refrigerant handling techniques by passing a proctored EPA 608 examination.
EPA 608 Certification Types
The EPA 608 consists of four sections – Core, Type I, Type II, & Type III.
Core covers general refrigerant/regulation knowledge. Much of the Type I, II, & III section material build on or relate to the Core section material. The student must pass Core & at least one other section to receive a certification card. Core is not a certification in itself.
Type I covers small appliances with 5lbs of refrigerant or less & sealed at the factory, such as domestic refrigerators, window air conditioners, PTAC's and vending machines. A certified Type I technician has passed both the Core and the Type I section.
Type II covers equipment using high-pressure refrigerant (HCFC-22), including residential air conditioners and heat pumps, supermarket refrigeration, and process refrigeration. A certified Type II technician has passed both the Core and the Type II section.
Type III covers equipment using a low-pressure refrigerant (HCFC-123 or CFC-11), primarily chillers. A certified Type III technician has passed both the Core and the Type III section.
A Universal certification means you have passed all four sections – it's another way to say you are certified as a Type I, II, & III technician. There is not a Universal section of the test.
Each test section has 25 multiple choice questions drawn from a bank of test questions developed by the Federal Government. Questions regarding equipment regulations, safety, shipping and identifying refrigerants appear in every test section.
To receive an EPA 608 certification, a candidate must pass the Core section plus one of the technician types listed above. A passing score in a proctored setting is 70%. Core & Type I can be taken in a non-proctored setting, where the passing score is 84%.
Since each section of the exam is graded individually, you can pass one section and fail the others. There is no requirement to take all four sections or hold a Universal certification; each test taker can choose to take only the sections they need/are required for their job. Once a student passes a section, they never have to take that section again for certification as long as the student maintains a record of passed sections. The certifications never expire.
Technicians should read the entire EPA regulations before handling refrigerants. It is the responsibility of the technician to comply with future new laws as established by the EPA, even if they differ from the contents of our study guide.
For students of our Air Conditioning and Refrigeration seminar, the Universal EPA 608 exam is offered virtually at no additional cost after completing the two-day seminar. While we cover material relevant to the exam over the course of the training, this course is not designed to specifically prepare you to take the exam. We highly recommend that attendees who want to do well take time to study beforehand. You will receive a copy of the EPA 608 study guide when you register to give you ample time to prepare. Below are the requirements that are needed to take the exam online.
TPC has partnered with ESCO Institute to administer the EPA 608 exam virtually. ESCO Institute is the industry's largest provider of EPA Section 608 certification testing. Testing results will be available immediately upon completion of the exam through ESCO's website. Results will also be automatically mailed out the day after the exam has been completed.
For additional questions on the EPA 608 exam, please contact our Testing Department.
Direct Line: 303-474-9101
The EPA requires that programs certifying technicians must publish online a list of all technicians they have certified on or after January 1, 2017. You can view that list here.