Do I need to attend rater training if I have auditing experience, or if I am a "good study," or can I just take the exams?
It is required by RESNET that you have to take a training class by an accredited training provider in order to be certified as a rater. If you do not take a rater training class, you will not be able to take the exams.
What if I do not pass the exams at the training?
The exams are challenging even for individuals with some years of experience. You will need to re-take the exam if you receive a grade lower than:
- 73% (40/55) for the HERS Rater Exam
- First failure: User will be blocked for 7 days before being able to try again.
- Second failure: User will be blocked for 14 days before being able to try again.
- Third failure: User will be blocked for 45 days before being able to try again.
- 80% for the Practical Simulation exams
- 85% for the CAZ Practical exam
The RESNET re-test policy can be found here. Students have 15 months to pass the re-test from the date of their original exam. It is up to the student and their QA provider to keep track of this timeframe. You can register with NEHERS to take the exam again with a local proctor. Before taking the exam, contact your classroom trainer for a 'category report' that shows your main areas of weakness on your first exam. Be sure you bring good reference materials from the recommended list, and know where to find information in the books. More details on this process are available here.
After I have completed the training and passed the exams, how long to do I have to complete the three supervised ratings?
Rater candidates typically have fifteen months from the date they pass the rater exams to complete the certification process.
What if I completed the training and passed the exams but did not complete my three supervised ratings within the fifteen-month time frame?
If the candidate does not complete certification within the allowed fifteen month time-frame, the candidate must at a minimum, complete the original requirements and do the following in order to maintain eligibility for certification:
1. Pass the RESNET National Rater series of test again; and
2. Complete three (3) additional probationary ratings. One of the three (3) additional probationary ratings shall be accomplished using field verification of all rated features in the presence of a RESNET certified Candidate Field Assessor.
To keep your knowledge fresh, we recommend that when planning to attend a training you also set aside the required time for completing your probationary ratings soon after your training ends. Details about the RESNET requirements can be found under the RESNET Standards- Continuous Maintenance Version. (See sections 18.104.22.168; 22.214.171.124.1; and 126.96.36.199.2)
How do I find a Quality Assurance Provider to work with on completing my certification?
To guarantee that all ratings are completed in accordance with RESNET standards, quality assurance oversight is performed by HERS Quality Assurance Providers accredited by RESNET. This assures consumers and housing industry stakeholders that ratings are uniform from state to state and across regions. Therefore, all certified raters must work for, as, or with a Quality Assurance Provider accredited through RESNET. (The Northeast Home Energy Rating Systems Alliance is an Accredited Training Provider, but not a Quality Assurance Provider.) Some QA Providers work only with their own employees, while others work with independent Raters. NEHERS has a directory of our QA providers members on our website that can assist you in finding a provider. Your QA Provider does not need to be located in your state or general area, as many will travel to provide QA services.
Once certified, what are the costs involved in being an independent rater?
- Equipment will be the largest investment. The purchase of the blower door, duct leakage testing device, digital manometer(s), and register tape normally cost between $3500 and $4500. A good hygrometer will cost around $100.
- You will need to pay your Provider to come to your location to perform quality assurance on 1% of your annual ratings ($300 to $1400 per year). This cost will vary significantly from Provider to Provider.
- As with all businesses, there will be office and insurance expenses. Professional Liability insurance is available for RESNET Rater members. Typical costs for a beginning Rater are around $1500 per year.
- Finally, you must obtain 18 hours of continuing education every three years. These hours can be obtained by attending the RESNET conference, or through other trainings or conferences that are approved for RESNET professional development credits. Most NEHERS webinars have this approval.
What are the requirements for rater re-certification?
Re-certification is required every three years and is the responsibility of the accredited QA provider to ensure all raters working with them meet the requirements. Details can be found here. Effective on January 1, 2018 in order to become re-certified as a Home Energy Rater, ONE of the following requirements must be completed every three years:
- Attend a RESNET approved conference, OR
- Complete 18 hours of RESNET approved professional development from a RESNET Accredited Training Provider
- Note: it is no longer allowed to take all three rater exams in order to earn 18 hours of RESNET credits
Most of the NEHERS webinars are approved for RESNET credits and additional courses approved for Home Energy Rater professional development can be found can be found here.
What if my certification lapsed and I want to get re-certified?
Former raters whose certification lapsed do not have to take training again, but they need to take the practical exam if they have not taken it already. They also have to do the 2 items below-
- Complete a minimum of three (3) probationary ratings, deemed acceptable in demonstrating the Rater’s technical and administrative skills in completing accurate ratings, under the supervision of a Provider’s QA Designee
- Agree to file QA by the Provider’s QA Designee of a minimum of 20% for twelve (12) months from the date of reinstatement.
How much do HERS Raters earn?
According to a recent RESNET webinar, the national average that HERS Raters can earn about $53,000 a year. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Certification=HERS_Rater_Certification/Salary
Earning potential varies by location, whether the rater works for a rating company or independently, what services the rater offers and how active the rater is. Check with your local rating company for information specific to your state or region.
Can my construction company rate our own projects?
Companies may rate their own projects but it must be disclosed in the standard disclosure form.
What is the difference between a Rating Field Inspector (RFI) and a HERS Rater?
A Rating Field Inspector works under the direct supervision of a certified Home Energy Rater and may conduct the field inspections necessary to produce a home energy rating. In order to become certified by a Rating Quality Assurance Provider the field inspector must fulfill the requirements outlined here and must pass one of the three RESNET tests, whereas a certified Home Energy Rater must pass all three.
What is the difference between a HERS Modeler and a HERS Rater?
A HERS Modeler works under the direct supervision of a certified Home Energy Rater and may conduct the energy modeling necessary to produce a home energy rating. More information about becoming a HERS Modeler can be found here.
Does NEHERS offer Rating Field Inspector (RFI) training or HERS Modeler training?
Not just yet, but we are working on it! There will be a mentorship program coming in April of 2024 for candidates from under-represented demographics in the HERS Industry (BI-POC, Women, Low-Income, Young People, etc..) who would like to enter the field as either an RFI or HERS Modeler. Anyone who is interested in this pilot program should contact Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For now, NEHERS does offer assistance with setting up the ResCaz Practical Test for RFI candidates. At this time, NEHERS is an accredited Training Provider, but we are not a Quality Assurance Provider or a Field Mentor. NEHERS does not yet provide training for the Rating Field Inspector Certification, anyone wishing to become an RFI should contact a QA Provider directly. If you are earning your certification for Rating Field Inspector and this is your first time taking the test, please register for the test by contacting Betsy at 978-633-3013. In order to register for the test, you will need to pay NEHERS a $50 set-up fee and provide the name, address, phone and email information for the proctor you have selected (most people use a local library). More information about finding a proctor can be found here.
Do current raters need additional training in relation to the HERS Modeler Credential?
No additional training will be necessary for current raters. However, there will be new guidelines related to Modeling CEUs for current HERS raters.
Do new raters need additional training beyond what is offered in the NEHERS Rater Training in relation to the HERS Modeler Credential?
No. For those who are not yet raters, the modeler information will be included in our regular HERS rater training curriculum. There is no additional training needed if you are becoming a HERS Rater. Those who would like only the HERS Modeler credential should contact a QA provider directly.
More HERS Rater Resources
Resources for rater candidates planning to work as independent raters.
Content and ordering information for the 2017 version of the Northeast HERS Alliance Rater Training and Reference Manual, updated to current industry standards and RESNET regulations.