The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 5% growth in employment for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers from 2021 to 2031.
Roughly 40,100 annual job openings are projected over the decade, mainly due to workers retiring or changing their fields.
Numerous community colleges and trade schools in California can assist you in pursuing a career in this field.
We encourage you to continue reading to explore your options further.
San Diego City College
About the School
The college offers educational courses leading to Associate degrees, certificates, or transfers to four-year institutions.
It also provides educational programs designed to meet industry needs and equip students with the necessary skills for employment after graduation.
The Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Environmental Control (AIRE) program covers HVAC/R systems for residential, commercial, and industrial spaces, emphasizing energy efficiency, sustainability, and Green Technology.
Students gain hands-on experience and knowledge to maintain and troubleshoot complex systems, including new and emerging technologies.
The school offers certificates for job placement and advancement, which can be combined with general education requirements for an Associate in Science.
The length of the program depends on students’ ultimate goal, with the certificates and Associate degrees varying in the number of units required:
- Certificate of Performance: 11 units
- Advanced HVAC/R Mechanical Systems Installation and Repair Certificate: 24 units
- Mechanical Systems and Solid-State Electronics Technician: 33 units
- Associate Degrees:
- HVAC/R Mechanical Systems Installation and Repair: 24 units
- Mechanical Systems and Solid-State Electronics Technician: 30 units
- Mechanical Systems Project Development: 33 units
To obtain a Certificate of Achievement, students must complete 87 units, with tuition costing $46 for in-state students.
Address: 1313 Park Boulevard San Diego, CA 92101-4787
San Diego College of Continuing Educa
About the School
The school offers programs in a variety of fields, such as automotive, business and accounting, digital media, skills and technical trades, and more.
San Diego College of Continuing Education offers a two-part course program:
– Air Conditioning and Heating I:
The course is 7 hours per week, for a total of 72 hours over the course of 11 weeks.
This introductory course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of comfort cooling systems, covering topics such as basic air conditioning and heating theory, heating appliances, controls, circuits, schematics, and communication.
Through hands-on instruction, students will learn the necessary skills for brazing copper piping and fittings.
– Air Conditioning and Heating II:
The second part of the program lasts 7 weeks, with 7 hours per week, for a total of 48 hours.
Students will learn about gas and electric heating, the fundamentals of cooling, components, and installation, Environmental Protection Agency certification, heat pumps, general service, and troubleshooting.
Additionally, students will learn job search techniques that will prepare them for a career in this field.
While the training is free, students must cover their textbook costs.
Address: 4343 Ocean View Boulevard San Diego, CA 92113-1915
San Diego State University (SDSU)
About the School
Over the years, SDSU has offered diverse educational programs to students through its Office of Continuing Education and College of Extended Studies.
The school offers Bachelor’s and Master’s programs, certificates, and continuing education units in various fields, like arts and culture, business, construction, education, and more.
The university offers an HVAC/R online training course, which focuses on equipping students for an apprenticeship and starting a career in the field.
The course is fully online and students can enroll at any time.
The curriculum covers topics such as:
- Learning the general safety methods and how to correctly use the tools and equipment
- Electric Motors: the different types, applications, controls, and techniques for troubleshooting.
- Air Conditioning (Cooling): installation, air distribution, balance, energy auditing, common conditions, and the proper techniques for troubleshooting.
- Domestic Appliances: focuses on domestic appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners.
Address: 5250 Campanile Drive San Diego, CA 92182-1920
Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors (PHCC) - San Diego
About the School
San Diego PHCC chapter upholds the mission of its founders, advocating for the advancement and education of the plumbing and HVAC/R industry to ensure health, safety, and comfort for society while also protecting the environment.
The school provides an HVAC and a plumbing program and numerous scholarships.
PHCC offers a 7-month entry-level HVAC Service Tech Certificate Program for beginners, where students learn about modern HVAC systems through hands-on training and become skilled in residential and light commercial maintenance and basic troubleshooting.
The course starts in September and ends in June, and requires an entrance exam; the testing fee costs $50.
Tuition is $2,195 for contract members and $2,995 for open enrollment.
The course focuses on some of the following topics:
- Intro to HVAC
- HVAC Safety
- Air Conditioning
- and more
Address: 9920 Scripps Lake Dr., Suite #102 San Diego, CA 92131
UC San Diego
About the School
UC San Diego offers courses and programs in multiple fields, such as business & leadership, arts & humanities, and digital arts.
The HVAC Systems Design and Control Program is hybrid and focuses on the latest HVAC and DDC technology, energy consumption, and savings through innovative design for sustainable buildings.
Each course within the program covers fundamentals, practical application, and the latest rules of thumb.
The program is separated into five courses, for a total of 12 units.
The courses can be taken in any order and tuition can differ between them:
- HVAC DDC Basics: $695
- HVAC DDC System Design: $795
- HVAC Design Calculation: $795
- HVAC System Design: $795
- HVAC DDC Networking Design: $395
The program usually lasts 18 months and students can take one course per quarter.
The program is hybrid – three courses are in-class and hands-on, and two courses are fully online.
Tuition costs about $3,370, but it does not include the cost of textbooks and supplies.
Address: 6256 Greenwich Drive, San Diego, CA 92122
Read the full guide: How to Become an HVAC Technician