HVAC Schools in California (Top Programs Listed)

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HVAC Schools in California

The HVAC industry is quite lucrative in California, offering a rather steady work-field.

If you feel this profession is your calling, check out the steps you need to take in order to work in HVAC.


In California, this type of technician earns on average $52,105 per year, while the highest salaries reach $59,043 per year.

The national average salary for this occupation is lower than in California, $46,648 per year.

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The highest salary at a national level is also lower than in this state: $52,858 per year.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Los Angeles$52,511
San Diego$50,154
San Jose$58,543
San Francisco$58,450
Long Beach$52,012
Santa Ana$52,059

How to get an HVAC license in California

In this state, the licenses are issued by The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) and entering the field is easier than in other states.

Although no education is needed for an HVAC license, you still need to meet some requirements.

These are:

  • Experience of at least 4 years in the field working as a journeyman
  • Job experience as a supervisor, contractor or owner-builder is also accepted
  • Apprenticeship experience only is not accepted for this license

While education may not be required, an apprenticeship program will help you transition into journeyman work.

If you want to go through an educational program instead, you can check the list of schools below, however, you’ll still have to go through an apprenticeship period after you graduate.

School NameAddress
Antelope Valley College3041 West Ave KLancaster, California 93536
Brownson Technical School1110 Technology Cir Ste DAnaheim, California 92805
CET49-111 Highway 111, Ste. 5Coachella, California 92236
Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center5451 Lemon Hill AveSacramento, California 95824
Charter College27125 Sierra Hwy Ste 329Canyon Country, California 91351
Citrus College1000 W Foothill BlvdGlendora, California 91741
City College of San Francisco50 Phelan AveSan Francisco, California 94112
College of the Desert43-500 Monterey AvePalm Desert, California 92260
College of the Sequoias915 S Mooney BlvdVisalia, California 93277
Cypress College9200 Valley ViewCypress, California 90630
El Camino Community College District16007 Crenshaw BlvdTorrance, California 90506
Fresno City College1101 E. University AveFresno, California 93741
Imperial Valley College380 E. Aten RoadImperial, California 92251
Institute for Business and Technology2400 Walsh AvenueSanta Clara, California 95051
Institute of Technology, Inc564 W HerndonClovis, California 93612
Laney College900 Fallon SreetOakland, California 94607
Long Beach City College4901 E. Carson St.Long Beach, California 90808
Mayfield College35-325 Date Palm Dr Ste 101Cathedral City, California 92234
Merced College3600 M StMerced, California 95348
Mt. San Antonio College1100 N Grand AveWalnut, California 91789
North American Heating & A/C Training Center2025 W Park AveRedlands, California 92373
Orange Coast College2701 Fairview RoadCosta Mesa, California 92626
Riverside City College4800 Magnolia AvenueRiverside, California 92506
Sacramento City College3835 Freeport BlvdSacramento, California 95822
San Bernardino Valley College701 South Mount Vernon AvenueSan Bernardino, California 92410
San Diego City College1313 Park BoulevardSan Diego, California 92101
San Diego Continuing Education4343 Ocean View BlvdSan Diego, California 92113
San Joaquin Delta College5151 Pacific AveStockton, California 95207
San Joaquin Valley College10641 Church StRancho Cucamonga, California 91730

This can be later used to apply for the HVAC license.

If you are an owner-builder, you will need to provide proof of skill along with a filled-in Construction Project Experience form.

Getting Your Experience Verified

A supervisor or any individual who you worked within the industry should fill in the Experience Certification section in the form.

Any experience you claim must be backed up by papers that prove it.

Educational Qualifications Credit

If you have a technical degree, it can be a substitute for 3 years of work experience.

However, you will also need one year of practical job experience.

Applying for the exam

You will receive a notification about the exam taking place at least 3 weeks before.

The centers are located in San Diego, San Bernardino, Norwalk, Oxnard, Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, and Fresno.

The location you choose should be based on your zip code.

Attending the HVAC certification exam

This exam lasts for 3.5 hours, has multiple choice questions and is split into 2 parts:

  1. Law and Business exam
  2. HVAC trade-specific exam

In order to get licensed, you have to pass all sections of the testing,

The exam is open book and reference books will be provided to you in PDF format.

The testing must be attended within 1.5 years of submitting an application.

You can retake the exam for a fee of $60 if you didn’t make it the first time.

How to receive your license

The results of the exam are available on the same day.

After passing the test, you need to follow the next steps to get your license issued:

  • Pay a licensing fee of $180 and renew it every other year
  • Submit a bond of $180,000
  • Provide a $12,500 Qualifying Individual bond
  • Submit your Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • Provide LLC Employee/Worker Bond and LLC liability insurance
  • Adhere to the fingerprint requirements

After complying with all the requirements, you will receive:

  • A wall license that includes your certification number and its classification.
  • A pocket card made of plastic highlighting your license number, the name of your company, classification, and the date when your license expires

Final Considerations

As the California requirements aren’t as strict as in other states, you can get your HVAC license easier.

All you have to do is prepare accordingly using the manuals and enrolling in a class.

USA HVAC Schools by State

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