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Active Specialized Member (SM)

Active Specialized Member (SM) is a classification of RSES membership.  Exclusive to RSES Members, this designation is earned after successfully passing one (or more) rigorous written examinations.

There are currently eight exams, each focusing on a specialized area of expertise.  Click on the exam title below to view the exam categories:

Commercial Air Conditioning
Commercial Refrigeration
Domestic Service
Dynamic Compression
Heat Pump
HVACR Electrical 

Who Can Take the SM Exam?

Any Active RSES member who is in good standing may take the exam.


What is the Cost to Take the SM Exam?

The cost for an SM exam is $35 per test.

What Does RSES do to Promote my Achievements?

All successful SM candidates receive a wall certificate indicating their new status in the organization as an Active Specialized Member suitable for framing. In addition, all future correspondence includes the SM designation with the member's name - and the member is encouraged to do the same. With the member's permission, his or her employer is automatically notified of successful passing. Further, the names of successful candidates are included in each month's RSES Journal, as well as listed in press releases and broadcast e-mail sent to industry peers and publications.

Where Can I Take the Exam?

Active Specialized Member (SM) examinations may be offered at State or Regional training events, through a local Chapter designated test day, at International Seminars or the Annual RSES Conference.

View the RSES Events Calendar to find scheduled exams in your area or contact your local Chapter to obtain testing date and location information in your area. 

Need More Information?

For more information on the Active Specialized Member (SM) examination, please call RSES at 800/297-5660 x 2338 or 847/297-6464, or e-mail us at

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RSES is the leading education, training and certification preparation organization for HVACR professionals. RSES publishes various comprehensive industry training and reference materials in addition to delivering superior educational programs designed to benefit HVACR professionals at every stage of their careers through instructor-led training courses, online training for HVAC, educational seminars, interactive CD and DVD products, industry-related reference manuals, and helpful technical content through Service Application Manual chapters, the RSES Journal, the RSES Journal archives and feature articles, as well as web-exclusive features.

Beginning with basic theory and extending to complex troubleshooting, training courses covering refrigeration and air conditioning, heating, electricity, controls, heat pumps and safety may be conducted in a classroom environment or though self study. RSES publications may be purchased by schools, contractors, manufacturers or any other industry group wanting to conduct comprehensive training programs. Seminars covering air conditioning troubleshooting, electrical troubleshooting, compressor training, condenser training, refrigerant piping practices, DDC controls, and more are held in various cities across North America.

Select training programs offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and NATE Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).

In addition, RSES offers industry certification preparation materials for refrigerant handling (EPA Section 608), R-410A and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) examinations.

RSES’ monthly magazine, RSES Journal, serves HVAC contractors, service technicians, students, operations/maintenance managers, engineers and technicians who work in the residential, light commercial, commercial and institutional markets on air conditioning, warm-air heating, refrigeration, ventilation, electrical, ice machines, chillers, hydronic heating, piping, refrigeration control and energy management, building automation, indoor air quality and duct cleaning, and sheet metal fabrication equipment and/or systems.
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