NICET exams are oriented toward job knowledge and skills, so that most of what is needed to pass the exam should be acquired by a proactive technician in the course of working and learning for the job.
There are no pre-qualifications for taking an exam. Each program has a test or tests that must be passed for each level.
Guides to the areas that are covered on the tests. Content Outlines are found on each program page.
Lists of some resources that subject-matter experts felt might be helpful in developing the knowledge for that Level of certification. (No particular books, training, or education programs are required or endorsed for certification). Selected General References are found on each program page. For more information, click here.
Each program page lists the time allowed to complete the exam and the number of questions. Each test session begins with a 10-minute tutorial allowing you to get used to the process. The time allotted for the tutorial is not part of the exam time. Unused time will NOT be added to exam time. Most of the questions are multiple choice or multiple select. In some cases, an exam will include a 30-minute break. This time is NOT part of the allotted time to answer exam questions.
During the test, you will see one question at a time, but can move forward or backward to view or review other questions. There may be a graphic or text box to be viewed by clicking a button. Correct answers will usually be selected by clicking the boxes next to the answers. In a few questions, you may be presented a picture and asked to click on the part of the picture that correctly answers the question. Questions may have more than one correct answer, but in those cases, you will be told how many answers to choose. You will receive your score at the conclusion of your test session.
Administers the exams. They offer hundreds of locations across the country and on U.S. military bases around the world. Plus some (currently Fire Alarm Systems Level I only) are administered online with a remote proctor. Applicants are presented with the option to select online administration through OnVue during the scheduling step.
Once the exam is purchased from NICET, the candidate is guided to Pearson VUE to pick a convenient location and time. Eligibility expires 90 days from the purchase date. Scheduling immediately provides the best selection.
Candidates may move their selected date within the eligibility window by contacting Pearson VUE directly at least 24 hours prior to their exam time. Contact NICET to extend eligibility. Additional fees may apply.
The current examination fee can be found on NICET's Fees page.
A passing score is determined using an established scientific method that statistically analyzes input from subject-matter experts to match exam results with levels of knowledge expected of the testing candidates. NICET uses a scaled score for consistency across all exams.
A sliding scale between 0 and 700, with 500 as the lowest passing score. Scores below 200 are reported as 200; scores of 500 or above are reported as "Pass."
The document that describes how a candidate performed on the exam. Scores of 500 or above are indicated with “Pass”. Scores below 500 include the scaled score for the exam and, for multiple-domain exams, percent correct for each domain or section. Pearson VUE provides an unofficial score report immediately after completion of the test. NICET mails the official score report within two weeks of the exam date.
Passing the test is only one of the requirements for certification. You must also submit a detailed write-up of your work experience and a supervisor's verification of your on-the-job performance For Levels III and IV, you will need a personal recommendation and a major project write-up.
You may test for a higher level before satisfying the work experience requirement, but it is strongly discouraged.