HVAC Classes in California (Top Schools)

California map

The state of California comes in second place when it comes to the annual salary of HVAC technicians.

The only state that is above California HVAC technician annual salary of $53,050 is the state of New York.

If this hasn’t won you over and got you to consider the career of a HVAC technician, what will?

This article will provide you with information on certification requirements, different classes of certification.

Besides that, it will tell you how to pass your exam from the first try. There is also an option of applying for an online training program.

Salary

As it was mentioned New York is the only state that offers higher annual salaries than California.

HVAC technician’s pay depends on various criteria. Some of them are skills, education, types of certification, and experience.

If you were wondering what the salaries across ten of the biggest cities in California are, take a look at the following table:

Annual Salary Range:
$41K
$50K
$66K

Average Salaries of Welders in California

City NameSalary
Los Angeles$52,849
San Diego$50,241
San Jose$57,008
San Francisco$58,877
Long Beach$52,102
Fresno$46,822
Sacramento$50,887
Oakland$55,373
Santa Ana$52,149
Anaheim$52,219
* Salary information last updated 2019

Licensing Requirements

California construction industry is regulated by The Contractors State License Board (CSLB).

Construction is used here as an umbrella term for heating and ventilation systems, installation, maintenance, and repair.

And, hence, HVAC licensure is also under CSLB authority. Besides the HVAC license, CSLB regulates 44 more license classifications.

Each different license classification has its own code. These codes begin with a letter “C,” and they are followed by a number.

The HVAC license carries the following title: “C20 – Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor.”

While there are no educational qualifications, in order to be eligible to sit for a licensure exam in California, you must have relevant work experience.

The relevant work experience is dubbed as “qualifying experience,” and the requirements you have to fulfill are: “You must possess at least four (years) industry experience.

Only experience earned at a journeyman level is accepted as a minimum. Further experience in roles such as foreman, supervisor, contractor or owner-builder will also apply.

Any experience gained as a trainee or during an apprentice is not adequate for licensing purposes.”

Additionally, if it be the case that you have undergone an apprenticeship, and are presently working as a journeyman you will also be eligible for the exam.

If you can prove your knowledge and skill as a HVAC professional you can also apply for acquiring the HVAC license.

However, you must fill out and submit the Construction Project Experience form.

The form will serve as evidence of the competence and experience that you have in the field.

Schools

Even though it holds true that in the state of California schooling is not required to be eligible for the exam, you would benefit from education and HVAC training.

Not only does it prepare you for the exam, but for the work in the field as well. Here is a table of HVAC training centers in California.

62 Top HVAC Schools in California

School NameAddress
Ashworth College | Online Training for HVAC6625 The Corners Pkwy NW #500, Norcross, GA 30092
Abram Friedman Occupational Center1646 South Olive, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Antelope Valley College3041 West Avenue K, Lancaster, CA 93536
Anthem College9738 Lincoln Village Dr., Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95827
Baldy View ROP8265 Aspen Avenue #100, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Barstow College2700 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311
Brownson Technical School1110 Technology Circle, Ste. D, Anaheim, CA 92805
Capstone College1110 Titus Street, Van Nuys, CA 92805
Center for Employment Training6853 65th Street, Sacramento, CA 95825
Central County Regional Occupational Center11852 Knott Street, Garden Grove, CA 92841
Citrus College1000 West Foothill Blvd., Glendora, CA 91740
City College of San Francisco50 Phelan Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112
College of the Desert43500 Monterey Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260
Commercial Refrigeration School565 Birch #A, Colton, CA 92324
Community Business College3800 Mchenry Ave M, Modesto, CA 70437
Contra Costa Community College2600 Missouri Bell Drive, San Pablo, CA 94806
Cypress College9200 Valley View Street, Cypress, CA 90630
East Bell Facility1617 E. Ball Road, Anaheim, CA 92805
East Los Angeles Occupational Center2100 Marengo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033
El Camino College16007 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, CA 90506
Fresno City College1101 East University, Fresno, CA 93741
Harbor Occupational Center740 N. Pacific Avenue, San Pedro, CA 90731
HVAC-R Training Institute623 Bangs Avenue, Modesto, CA 95356
hvacredu.net (Online Training)P.O. Box 77, Heron, MT 59844
Imperial Valley Reg. Occup. Program687 State, El Centro, CA 92243
Institute for Business & Technology2550 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95050
Institute of Technology731 W. Shaw Aveneu, Clovis, CA 93612
Institute of Technology6249 Sunrise Boulevard, Citris Heights, CA 95610
Institute of Technology5737 Stoddard Road, Modesto, CA 95356
Institute of Technology1755 Hilltop Drive, Redding, CA 96002
LA Trade & Technical College400 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015
Lemon Hill Career Center5451 Lemon Hill Drive, Sacramento, CA 95824
Long Beach City College1305 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, CA 90806
Los Angeles Trade Technical College400 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015
Merced College3600 M Street, Merced, CA 94530
Modesto Junior College435 College Avenue, Modesto, CA 95350
Mt. San Antonio College1100 North Central Avenue, Walnut, CA 91789
National Institute of Technology2161 Technology Place, Long Beach, CA 90810
North American HVACR Training2025 W. Park Avenue, Redlands, CA 92423
North Orange County ROP301 S. Acacia, Fullerton, CA 92831
Orange Coast College2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Oxnard College4000 S. Rose Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93033
Palo Verde College811 W. Chanslorway, Blythe, CA 92101
PHCC Vocational School-Greater LA Area2869 Glenview Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90039
Riverside Community College4800 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92506
Sacramento City College3838 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento, CA 92506
Sacramento County ROP10541 Norden Avenue, Mather, CA 95655
San Bernardino Valley College701 South Mt. Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92403
San Diego City College1313 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
San Joaquin Delta College5151 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95207
San Joaquin Valley College295 E Sierra Avenue, Fresno, CA 93710
San Joaquin Valley College201 New Stine Road, Bakersfield, CA 93309
San Jose City College2100 Moorpark Avenue, San Jose, CA 95218
Santa Clara Co Sheetmetal Training Center2350 Lundy, San Jose, CA 95131
SDCC-Continuing Ed.3890 Modoc Street, San Diego, CA 92117
Shasta Builders Exchange Training Ctr.2990 Innsbruck Drive, Redding, CA 96003
Specialty HVAC Institute5250 E. 2nd Street, Benicia, CA 94510
Techexcel Career Schools820 E. Avenue K, Suite A, Lancaster, CA 93535
UC Berkeley-University Extension1995 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94720
West Coast Contra Adult Ed6028 Ralston Avenue, Richmond, CA 94805
West Valley Occupational Center6200 Winnetka Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Wyotech | Train to be an HVAC Technicianmultiple locations, Fremont & Long Beach, CA 94587

Experience Verification

If you have any relevant experience in the field that you wish to be a part of your application, then you need to supply proof of that experience.

Your experience may be verified by a current or past employer, supervisor/foreman, contractor, and a colleague, building inspector or architect.

They need to be acquainted with your work, that is to say they need to have seen your work and know what experience and expertise you have.

In addition to that, the Experience Certification section must be completed by the verifier.

The Board may ask for proof of any experience you hold claim to. If you fail to supply the documentation, the Board has the right to reject your application.

If the license was already granted, the Board will declare the license void.

Educational Qualification Credit

The four years’ experience provision may be met by a technical or a vocational qualification.

This educational qualification will add a maximum of three years to the experience qualification.

However, you must have at least one year of practical experience, of which you must provide proof.

The Exam

When the Board receives your application, a fingerprinting pack will be distributed to you.

You will need to complete it and to send it back.

The test will be held at test centers across the state.

The test centers will be assigned to the candidates depending on the zip code.

You will get a notice with the exam date three weeks prior to the exam.

To be able to sit in for the exam, you will need to bring an identification document.

Testing locations in California are in San Diego, San Bernardino, Norwalk, Oxnard, Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, and Fresno.

The date, time, and location of the test will be sent to you once your application has been approved.

In the case that you cannot make it for the exam, you will have to pay a fee of $60 in order to reschedule the rest.

If you can prove a medical circumstance or a circumstance beyond your control you need not pay the fee.

The test centers will be assigned to the candidates depending on the zip code.

You will get a notice with the exam date three weeks prior to the exam.

To be able to sit in for the exam, you will need to bring an identification document.

Testing locations in California are in San Diego, San Bernardino, Norwalk, Oxnard, Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, and Fresno.

The date, time, and location of the test will be sent to you once your application has been approved.

In the case that you cannot make it for the exam, you will have to pay a fee of $60 in order to reschedule the rest.

If you can prove a medical circumstance or a circumstance beyond your control you need not pay the fee.

Preparation

To complete the California Contractor Licensing exam you will have 210 minutes at your disposal.

The test is computer-based, and has two sections – Law and business exam, and the HVAC trade-specific exam.

All sections must be passed in order to acquire the license.

The official reference material can be attained free of charge in a PDF version.

You can purchase additional study material to prepare for the exam.

The questions in the exam are multiple-choice questions dealing with diagrams and blueprints form the booklet you will receive in the exam.

You will be given a time frame of 18 months from applying and receiving a Notification of Exam to pass your exam.

If you fail to do this you may reschedule or retake your exam after paying a fee of $60.

License

On the same day that you completed your test, you will be informed on your score.

That means that you will know whether you have passed the exam or not.

Furthermore, you will receive information on steps that you are to take after passing the exam.

The bond and fee information could consist of:

  • A $180 licensing fee. Your license is valid for two years.
  • $15,000 contractor bond or cash deposit.
  • $12,500 bond of Qualifying Individual if applicable in your case.
  • Passing an open book asbestos exam.
  • Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance or Certification of Self-Insurance of Workers’ Compensation or an exemption certificate.
  • Meeting fingerprinting requirements.
  • LLC Employee/Worker Bond and LLC liability insurance if applicable.

After meeting all the provisions that have been set out for you, the Board awards a Contractor’s License to you.

You will get a wall certificate that states your license’s classification. You should display this certificate in your main office.

Additionally, you will receive a plastic pocket card, which contains the number of your license, business name, classification, as well as the validity date of the license.

Conclusion

The article has covered significant points that you should be paying attention to when getting your HVAC license.

California is definitely the right state to acquire your license as the licensure criteria is not as stringent as in other states.

Apart from that, California is the second state according to the height of the annual salary of a HVAC technician.

It would be best that you prepare well for your exam.

You may opt for getting some official training by the HVAC training centers or to prepare through self-study.

In each case, we wish you the best of luck!

State FlagHVAC Schools by City

Top HVAC Programs Around California

[Cannot display listing: You must configure the listing from the admin screen before you can add listings to your page.]
Find a Program