Asphalt Institute Academy
National Binder Technician Certification Program

Learn about the NBTC program by viewing this FREE 30-minute webinar recording presented by Michael T. Beavin, Technical Training Coordinator of the Asphalt Institute.


The mission of the National Binder Technician Certification program is to address a need recognized by industry to reduce variability in PG binder test data.

The NBTC program will achieve this goal by promoting a standard laboratory best-practice and ensuring that asphalt binder technicians are knowledgeable and fully qualified to produce valid specification compliance and quality assurance data.

Consistency nationwide reduces variability!

The Asphalt Institute’s Role

AI has been active in technical training in the field of asphalt technology since the 1920s. In recent years, the Institute has hosted hundreds of training and certification courses and taught thousands of students. Drawing from this experience and input from recognized centers of excellence nationwide, AI is uniquely qualified to provide a comprehensive, standardized, national best practice protocol for PG asphalt binder testing.

The text for the NBTC program, MS-25 Asphalt Binder Testing, was introduced by the Asphalt Institute in February 2007. Drawing on the practical laboratory expertise of AMRL, FHWA, Asphalt Institute and leading industry experts, MS-25 is the comprehensive link between standards and the technician – providing essential information needed to perform PG system tests correctly. It also covers terminology, handling asphalt binders and temperature measurements.

Background of the NBTC Program

In the early 90s, the transition to the Superpave PG asphalt binder system represented a significant step forward in our industry’s ability to characterize asphalt performance properties. Now, after more than ten years of practical laboratory experience in PG testing, lab technicians have mastered techniques that yield excellent repeatability. However, repeatable results are not necessarily accurate results. Likewise, precise results in one lab may not be reproducible in other lab environments.

In one lab setting there may be no reason to question established techniques, but when results are compared between laboratories, variability may occur. Without a means to ensure consistent laboratory best-practice from state to state and region to region, this variability and the resulting challenges it presents is unlikely to improve significantly.

Regional certification programs, such as the NETTCP (Northeast Transportation Training and Certification Program), have proven to be effective within the participating states. However, there was no common technician certification program for all states and regions. The NBTC program is designed to address this recognized national need for expanded training in PG testing. This program provides a consistent means of ensuring that asphalt binder technicians are knowledgeable and fully qualified to produce valid specification compliance and quality assurance data.

NBTC Program Reciprocity

1995 – The NETTCP (Northeast Transportation Training and Certification Program) binder technician program was formed as a cooperative effort within the NEAUPG (North East Asphalt User/Producer Group).

The goals of the NETTCP are:

  • Increase The knowledge of production and field technicians
  • Reduce the problems associated with test result differences
  • Eliminate individual state certification programs and the issue of reciprocity
  • Move forward in standardization of test methods and test procedures used by North Eastern states

2000’s – The Asphalt Institute (AI) began work on the idea of a national binder technician certification.

2008 – AI launched the NBTC (National Binder Technician Certification) program.

TODAY – The NETTCP and NBTC programs share the same text, lecture and examinations, and are FULLY RECIPROCAL.