How Long is HVAC School in California?
These days, the majority of HVAC technicians enroll in training courses at various technical or trade schools and community colleges. On average, these training courses will last anywhere between six months and two years. However, the duration of a course will depend on whether it’s being taken at certificate level or associate’s level.
Along with classroom training, candidates will sometimes be required to serve a formal apprenticeship that can last between three and five years.
How Much is HVAC School in California?
The cost of attending HVAC school in California will depend on the college or learning institution you’re enrolling at, whether you’re a resident of California or not, whether you’ll be living on campus or not, and if any form of financial aid is made available to students for this particular type of training or not.
At present, the most affordable cost for an HVAC trade school is around $500, whereas some of the costlier learning institutions could charge as much as $30,000 per year for their tuition fees. As such, you must always inquire before enrolling.
How do I Become an HVAC Technician in California?
You’ll need to take the following steps to become an accredited HVAC technician in California:
- Be a minimum of 18 years old
- Have your Social Security number or your individual taxpayer identification number
- Although there are no official education requirements for HVAC technicians to work in California, it is required to at least obtain hands-on work experienced under a licensed contractor – a minimum of four years of documented journeyman experience on jobs that are valued at $500 or less will be needed
- Apply for your Original Contractors License C-20 specialty
- Provide the required documentation of your four years of journeyman or apprenticeship level experience or alternatively, evidence of attending college or an equivalent vocational training program
- Take the licensing examination and pass all sections of it
- Pay all of the required fees
- Obtain your EPA Section 608 Certification by passing this federally mandated examination
- Pass a criminal background check, including a fingerprint check
- File evidence that you have obtained workers’ compensation insurance or evidence that you have exemption from this requirement
- Secure a relevant contractor’s surety bond
Is HVAC in Demand in California?
Since California experiences extremely hot weather during the summer, it makes sense that virtually every residential and commercial property will have some form of HVAC system installed – which will always require servicing and maintenance. As such, the demand for qualified and accredited HVAC technicians will always remain high in this part of the country.
Between now and 2025, the percentage of available jobs for HVAC technicians in California looks set to grow by as much as 12%. This means that more and more job vacancies will become available each year for anyone who enjoys performing physical labor, troubleshooting, and diagnosing various types of heating and cooling equipment.
Is HVAC a Good Career in California?
At present, the average starting salary for an HVAC technician in California is approximately $26 per hour. However, many of them earn around the $55,000 per year mark once they have more than a year of working experience.
Some HVAC technicians with more than ten years of working experience have been known to earn salaries of more than $85,000 per year. This usually does not include overtime and holiday pay – which can amount to more than $11,000 per year in some cases.
Many companies now offer HVAC technicians various other benefits as well, meaning that this will be a highly lucrative career path to follow in California.