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How to Become an HVAC Technician in California

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Do you want to become an HVAC technician in California?

Many HVAC technicians in California believe their salary and lifestyle are excellent. Employers and technicians find the state ideal for employment and finding qualified workers. There is also plenty of job opportunities and a competitive salary in this state.

As you embark on your journey to become a true HVAC professional, you will need some guidance. Learn all you need to know about HVAC technician training in California in our guide. 

What Is an HVAC Technician?

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. The professionals who work in this field are called HVAC service technicians. Other entry-level titles include installation technicians, installation helpers, and service assistants.  Your title, job duties, and pay may vary.

The technicians will do several duties to install and repair HVAC systems. The systems are responsible for heating and cooling your home, which includes:

  • Furnaces
  • Air Conditioners
  • Heat Pumps
  • Ductwork
  • Thermostats
  • Other Home Comfort Controls

HVAC technicians often test various models and components to ensure they are suitable for installation in a residential or commercial environment. Following the installation of HVAC units in homes or businesses, technicians will conduct frequent maintenance and servicing of these units.

They also handle customer service issues such as answering customer telephone calls, identifying malfunctions in the HVAC equipment, and resolving common HVAC problems. Their duties also switch to a salesperson when trying to convince a customer to buy AMCs for HVAC equipment maintenance.

Do You Need HVAC Technician Training From a School?

If you want to become an HVAC technician in California first, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED. After that, you’ll need to attend a community college that offers HVAC Courses & Training. 

Some technicians receive HVAC technician training without attending a program or college. However, this may not always be the best route to take when you’re new to the world of HVAC units.

An HVAC training program is an essential part of learning the basics of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. You will gain a solid introductory foundation in HVAC and develop critical knowledge and skills that you will need to become a full-time HVAC technician.

After you receive your education as an HVAC technician, you can decide to do an apprenticeship if you like. Although, it is not required to receive HVAC technician training from a college.

An HVAC apprenticeship usually lasts between three to five years. During the apprenticeship, you will work under the supervision of an HVAC technician and will usually earn a salary.

Is Receiving an HVAC License in California Expensive?

When receiving your training from a contractor, you’ll have to pay a fee. The fee cost is usually between $500 and $ 2000. The tools and equipment you need are also your responsibility.

If you decide to go to college, the tuition costs vary according to the school. For example, a low-cost program costs around $500, while a high-cost school costs $30,000. For pricing information, contact the school directly.

A California Contractors License application fee of $330 is required. After passing the exam, there is an initial license fee of $200 to become an HVAC service technician. A fingerprinting fee is also required.  An HVAC license is not issued to you through a college or trade school, nor can you obtain one without meeting all state requirements. 

Does California Require HVAC Apprenticeships?

The traditional role of an apprentice is to learn a trade with a mentor. In contrast to college or vocational training, apprenticeships are on-the-job programs.

As a journeyman, you can take several years of training before becoming a licensed contractor. However, apprenticeships aren’t required for those who pursue HVAC degrees or certificates. 

If you decide to attend HVAC training from a college, you will have the chance to finish your program within 32-40 weeks. Additionally, you will have the option to take online and on-campus HVAC courses and receive complete guidance from instructors who currently work in the field.

In California, Who Issues HVAC Licenses?

You can obtain your HVAC license at the Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board. The state of California also offers information on how to become a contractor on the first Friday of every month.

Also, working in other states is a benefit of earning your HVAC license in California. For example, you can work in Nevada, Arizona, and Louisiana, thanks to reciprocity agreements.

Do You Need a License to Work as an HVAC Technician in California?

As a contractor looking for HVAC professional opportunities, you need a California HVAC license. The Contractors State Licensing Board regulates the HVAC industry to ensure that all HVAC contractors in the state comply with these requirements. 

The board must license HVAC contractors and technicians. Also, without a state HVAC license, you can’t operate any organized HVAC truck.

What Are the Requirements for a California HVAC License?

You must meet specific requirements to apply for a California HVAC license. Below are the essentials you must have:

  • You must be 18 years old or older
  • An individual tax ID number (ITIN) or Social Security number (SSN)
  • Obtain at least four years of experience working at the journey level during the last ten years

Remember to include a detailed resume of your professional experience with your application. A certifier will have to verify your employment history as part of the application. So an employer, foreman, or supervisor will have to sign the form.

What Is the HVAC Technician Salary in California?

According to, as of January 27, 2022, the median income for an HVAC Mechanic in California is $48,898. However, the salary can vary between $40,399 and $60,500 on average. Keep in mind that this can depend on location, workload, and level of education and experience. Students who graduate from a trade school or community college should not expect these higher salaries.  

A person’s salary can vary widely based on the city in which they live and many other factors. These factors may include education, certifications, additional skills, and years of experience.  Entry-level positions often pay less until you have a strong work record and knowledge of the field.

Are You Ready to Start the Journey of Becoming an HVAC Technician?

One day, when someone types “HVAC technician near me” into Google’s search bar, your page can show up on the first page. Although for this to happen, you will need the right skills and knowledge to become an HVAC technician. 

Getting the proper HVAC training will set you up to become a top-tier professional within the industry. Whenever you’re ready, contact us today, and we’ll get you started on training right away!

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Diana Va
Diana Va
4 months ago

What about if I have no experience ? Won’t I be allowed to get certified?

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