Best HVAC Schools in Los Angeles – 2021 Guide

Los Angeles, nicknamed the City of Sunshine and Flowers, is known for its warm and sunny weather. It has a Mediterranean Climate, i.e., a year-round mild to a hot and usually dry climate. That’s why the Entertainment Capital of the World greatly relies on HVAC systems to keep it cool and cozy.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) installations are important for any resident here. Very rarely will you come across a residential or commercial setup operating without one. Being man-made creations, they often tend to malfunction. That’s when the need for an HVAC technician arises. 

LA has a long list of schools offering HVAC technology programs. Aspirants can enroll themselves to become certified HVAC techs. Out of this long list of options, we have shortlisted some of the best HVAC schools in Los Angeles. Their comprehensive programs teach them all to face the highs and lows of the industry. This article is a detailed review of these schools and their HVAC programs. Read on to find out more. 

What Makes Los Angeles a Great Place to Start an HVAC Career?

Los Angeles is the second-largest city by population. It sprawls in a basin in Southern California and is home to some of the country's biggest names. For HVAC aspirants, it is a great place to start their careers. Here is why: 

Mediterranean Climate

The largest city in California boasts a Mediterranean Climate. This means that it has dry summers and mild, wet winters. The winters here might not be harsh, but summers are hot. That’s why the people living here have a strong affinity for HVAC installations, and they also need HVAC technicians to install, maintain, and repair their systems. 

Upgraded Equipment

HVAC technology is improving day by day. The equipment we use nowadays is far more advanced than their older counterparts. These complex systems bear more chances of malfunctions. So, of course, more HVAC technicians are needed to conduct repairs and to educate people in regulating them. 

New Construction

LA is one of the most developed cities in the entire US. The city is continuously expanding with new construction carrying out. Naturally, new construction means new HVAC installations. And who can do the job better than an HVAC technician?

Film Industry

The city is nicknamed the Entertainment Capital of the World because of the abundance of film making, television, radio, and music activities. Such tasks require a carefully controlled environment. One cannot achieve great results without an HVAC installation in place. This is one of the reasons why HVAC techs never go out of demand in LA. 

Tourism

The tourism industry here is a significant driver for jobs in all sectors, and HVAC is no different. The city holds some of the most amazing places for tourists to visit. From the Paramount Studios to the Walk of Fame, no place can accommodate huge crowds without an HVAC installation in place. So the city needs its HVAC workers to install and maintain its HVAC systems. 

Quick Take - Best HVAC Schools in Los Angeles

Just looking for the top 3 schools in your area? Here are the best HVAC schools in Los Angeles:

  1. Mt. San Antonio College
  2. Capstone College
  3. El Camino College

List of the Top HVAC Schools in Los Angeles

HVAC training education is very popular in Los Angeles. With California employing a total of 29,650 individuals working in the field, it currently ranks amongst the top three states employing the most HVAC workforce. Naturally, more and more people are planning to join the field. Here is a detailed account of some of the best HVAC schools in Los Angeles to start your career. 

Address: 1100 N. Grand Ave., Walnut, CA 91789
Phone: 1-909-274-7500

List of Programs:

  1. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate program
  2. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associate Degree program

Our Review of the Program

If you are looking to enroll in an HVAC program, you should seriously consider Mt. San Antonio College. It is a public institution situated in Walnut that offers almost 300 degrees, certificate, and support programs. The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration programs are amongst the more popular fields of study here.

The campus is huge and airy. It is spread over 420 acres of suburbs. With a total enrollment of 29,346, the student-faculty ratio here is 24 to one. The faculty is very helpful and encouraging, and the overall environment is energetic and motivational.

It offers two HVAC programs in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. One is an associate degree program, while the other is a certificate. These programs educate and prepare the student for employment in the broad field of air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating. Students enrolling here can start working in the design, installation, manufacturing, maintenance, operation, distribution, repair, and sale of HVAC equipment.

The instruction is provided in spacious classrooms. The environment is very calm and peaceful, allowing students to focus on their studies better. They also have a huge mechanical lab that houses all the common and latest equipment. Students learn to operate them to get acquired with their functioning. Towards the end of the program, they allow students to work under industry professionals to gain experience.

Accredited with Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) and HVAC Excellence, the institute awards all graduates acknowledgment certificates that allow them to start working as HVAC professionals.

Address: 1200 N. Fair Oaks Ave. #32 Pasadena, CA 91103
Phone: 1-626-486-1000

List of Programs:

  1. HVAC Technician program

Our Review of the Program

Capstone College is a private education institution. This non-degree granting school is more than 33 years old and has made a name for itself for its HVAC education. It offers outstanding, career-oriented instruction to enable its students to draft a successful career for themselves. The campus is set up in an urban style. Currently, around 60 students are studying here with a student-faculty ratio of 14:1.

They offer an accelerated HVAC technician program that can be completed in as little as eight months. They operate with strict adherence to student ambitions. The instructors here are highly eligible, expert-level HVAC employees. They work together to create a friendly learning environment so their students can progress rapidly.

The course includes HVACR systems, equipment testing, electrical components, compliance, safety procedures, sheet metal work, and schematics, amongst others. Education is imparted via verbal instruction and hands-on training. They have a state-of-the-art lab where students learn to use the same tools and equipment that top-notch professionals use.

The courses taught here include all the basics of HVAC technology, brazing and soldering, heating fundamentals, refrigerants, and charging techniques. They also prepare you for EPA Certification. This institute is affiliated with major organizations like the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.

Capstone College boasts an amazing 80 percent higher job placement rate. So starting your career here will greatly increase your chances of employment in this field.

Address: 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90506
Phone: 1-866-352-2646

List of Programs:

  1. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associate degree program
  2. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificates of achievement

Our Review of the Program

El Camino is a mid-sized institution. This public college is located in Alondra Park. It boasts a 100 percent acceptance rate and offers comprehensive programs in business, liberal arts and humanities, and natural sciences. It is one of the five educational institutions that have HVAC Excellence accreditation.

The campus is big and spacious. It includes 37 buildings spread over an area of 26 acres. Founded in 1947, the school is known for its academic excellence. Currently, there are over 22,000 students receiving education in different fields. With a high transfer rate, the students passing through this institution have much higher chances of landing good jobs.

Their Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associate Degree Program is an Associate in Arts Degree. Besides the two-year-long degree programs, the institute also offers flexible HVAC courses to help students refine their skills and learn some new tricks. Each course has different timing and duration, so you can enroll in one that suits your routine.

They train their students to analyze and diagnose the problem that a refrigeration or air conditioning system may have and to find their solutions. With hands-on training students, learn to operate pressure and temperature tools as well as interpret electronic diagrams.

The school is all about helping its students. They maintain a friendly environment and motivate them towards the direction of their goals. They also offer financial aid and grants for students in need. All the students who pass their HVAC program are ready to join the task force as entry-level workers. They are perfectly capable of installing, maintaining, and repairing refrigeration and air conditioning units.

Address: 400 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles 90015
Phone: 1-213-763-7000

List of Programs:

  1. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics Associate Degree
  2. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics Certificate of Achievement

Our Review of the Program

Los Angeles Trade-Tech College (LATTC) is a reputable institution in Los Angeles, California. The school has a long history of producing successful professionals. This public community college offers a long list of educational programs. Each of these is aimed at helping their students reach their goals and become some of the best practitioners in their respective fields.

The oldest of the public two-year colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District is now recognized for its green technology program. It is affiliated with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges as well as with several Southern California high-tech companies.

The HVAC programs they offer include associate degree programs as well as certificates of achievements to polish their students’ skill set. They realize the importance of HVAC installations. That’s why they strive hard to make their students establish an honorable caliber by performing their duties confidently and accurately.

The curriculum includes courses on electrical mathematics, refrigeration component instruction, fundamentals of refrigeration, and pipe and tube joining processes. They also award the EPA Section 608 Certification. This is an important certificate that is mandatory for all workers dealing with refrigerants. Graduates completing this program can install, manage, and repair various refrigerating, air conditioning, and ventilating systems. They are also made aware of the newest techniques and tricks that will allow them to enhance their skills.

This school is a more affordable option for aspirants who don’t belong to the elite class or don’t want to shoulder extensive student loans. It provides financial aid schemes as well and scholarships without any discrimination. Hence, all students can continue their studies without any problems.

Address: 740 North Pacific Avenue San Pedro, CA 90731
Phone: 1-310-241-4800

List of Programs:

  1. HVAC 1
  2. HVAC 2
  3. HVAC 3
  4. Refrigeration 1
  5. Refrigeration 2
  6. Refrigeration Technician Services
  7. Refrigeration Technician Fundamentals

Our Review of the Program

If there is one educational institution that truly cares about providing comprehensive education, then it is the Harbor Occupational Center. This school offers inclusive educational programs ranging from Hi-School Diplomas to Career Training Education. You can opt to study in-person or even apply for remote learning here.

Whether you want to enroll in a full-length degree program or want to complete a few leftover courses, this institute is always there to welcome you with open arms. They offer 35 qualifications in different fields. The different programs span over three hours to three years, depending upon the course you enroll in.

It is known for its friendly environment and supportive faculty. The instructors are dedicated and work hard to make their students understand the fundamentals of HVAC equipment. This program trains applicants to tackle commercial and residential heating and cooling systems. They learn about basic theories, troubleshooting, maintenance, repairs, and applications of electricity and thermodynamics involved in this field.

Training in the refrigeration and air conditioning trade is also imparted with these programs. They understand the operation and repair to earn the important skill of troubleshooting. This skill set also enables them to maintain these devices regularly without getting injured.

They gain the basic knowledge of the working of HVAC equipment, understand the fundamentals of their functioning, and then apply this knowledge during hands-on training sessions. Graduates passing out from here are ready to start serving as entry-level technicians.

Address: 9200 Valley View Street, Cypress, CA 90630
Phone: 1-714- 484-7000

List of Programs:

  1. Heat Pump Certificate
  2. Commercial Refrigeration Certificate
  3. HVAC Codes and Estimating Certificate
  4. Commercial Air Conditioning Certificate
  5. HVAC Building Commissioning Certificate
  6. Air Conditioning Customer Service Certificate
  7. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate
  8. Air Conditioning Codes and Estimating Certificate
  9. HVAC Automated Environment Controls Certificate
  10. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associate in Science Degree
  11. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Project Management Certificate

Our Review of the Program

Cypress College, as the name suggests, is situated in Cypress, Southern California. It is a comprehensive community college that is a part of the California Community College System. It also belongs to the North Orange County Community College District. The mid-sized institute enrolls plenty of undergraduate students with a 100 percent acceptance rate.

It is best known for its highly qualified yet supportive faculty. And it’s not just the instructors only; the entire staff is encouraging and always happy to lend a hand. The school offers multiple degrees, majors, and career certificate programs in 73 areas of study.

The campus is spread out over 110 acres of land. Although it does not provide on-campus living accommodations, students can contact student services for off-campus quarters. The campus itself is spacious with big, airy rooms and a peaceful environment. The supportive staff and faculty both play a major role in maintaining relaxed yet professional surroundings.

In the HVAC field, the institute offers one associate degree and multiple certificate programs to train students in different aspects of the HVAC equipment. They learn everything from assembling to the functioning of various heating and cooling devices. They even have a separate program for aspirants who want to take up refrigeration as a career.

Graduates passing out from these programs will achieve all the necessary competencies and skillsets for starting their career as entry-level HVAC-R professionals. From here on, they can apply for an apprenticeship program and gain the required experience to move forward and start working as HVAC contractors.

Address: 1646 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Phone: 1-213-241-4789

List of Programs:

  1. HVAC I
  2. HVAC II
  3. HVAC III

Our Review of the Program

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredited institute, Abram Friedman Occupational Center is one of the oldest educational institutions in the area. Originally founded as Fran Wiggins Trade School, this school has reached the heights of fame thanks to its qualified faculty and comprehensive educational and training programs.

The campus is modern and spacious. It houses all the necessary equipment to help students learn the workings of their profession. The overall environment is nice and friendly. The faculty consists of qualified instructors who go out of their way to help students keep up.

Students who enroll here receive high-quality career education, undergo career development, and prepare to join the workforce as qualified professionals.

The HVAC education they offer is a sequence of three courses. These include project-based activities that train and educate applicants about the functioning of different residential and commercial HVAC installations.

The course outline includes troubleshooting, maintenance, resource management, trade math, generation and modification of electric circuits, wiring, and operational techniques of different HVAC appliances, among other things. Graduates know how to install, troubleshoot, repair, modify, and maintain various HVAC installments set up in both residential and commercial setups.

The school has amazing reviews backing it up. Everyone from graduates to former employees all praises the institute for its peaceful work and educational environment.

HVAC Schools in Los Angeles Comparison Table

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate program, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associate Degree program
  • 1100 N. Grand Ave., Walnut, CA 91789
  • 1-909-274-7500
Learn More →Read Customer Reviews
  • HVAC Technician program
  • 1200 N. Fair Oaks Ave. #32 Pasadena, CA 91103
  • 1-626-486-1000
Learn More →Read Customer Reviews
  • Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associate degree program, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificates of achievement
  • 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90506
  • 1-866-352-2646
Learn More →Read Customer Reviews
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics Associate Degree, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanics Certificate of Achievement
  • 400 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles 90015
  • 1-213-763-7000
Learn More →Read Customer Reviews
  • HVAC 1, HVAC 2, HVAC 3, Refrigeration Technician Fundamentals, Refrigeration Technician Services, Refrigeration 1, Refrigeration 2
  • 740 North Pacific Avenue San Pedro, CA 90731
  • 1-310-241-4800
Learn More →Read Customer Reviews
  • Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associate in Science Degree, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Project Management Certificate, Air Conditioning Codes and Estimating Certificate, Air Conditioning Customer Service Certificate, Commercial Air Conditioning Certificate, Commercial Refrigeration Certificate, Heat Pump Certificate, HVAC Automated Environment Controls Certificate, HVAC Building Commissioning Certificate, HVAC Codes and Estimating Certificate
  • 9200 Valley View Street, Cypress, CA 90630
  • 1-714- 484-7000
Learn More →Read Customer Reviews
  • HVAC I, HVAC II, HVAC III
  • 1646 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
  • 1-213-241-4789
Learn More →Read Customer Reviews

How Long is HVAC School?

You can obtain your HVAC degree at a trade school or community college. Usually, such programs are completed in two years, on average. However, some schools offer accelerated programs to train their students in a shorter time. Regardless of the period, all these programs offer a job-ready certification that enables you to start working at once.

Photo credit: achrnews.com

To possess expertise in this field, the first thing you must have is a high school diploma, GED, or an equivalent vocational training certificate. Only then can you apply for an HVAC certification program. Such programs provide the necessary knowledge and training to help you deal with different HVAC equipment and services. 

Once you have completed the educational program, you have to go through an apprentice program that lasts from three to five years and earns you the status of an entry-level technician or journeyman. It helps you polish your skills to help you keep up with the demands of the industry in a better and efficient way. 

Lastly, you must obtain a state license through the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB). This is the highest qualification for HVAC workers in LA and is mandatory for workers who provide work greater than $500. To obtain one, you need: 

  • At least four years of experience

  • $2,500 in working capital

  • Pass business & law and trade-specific tests 

Aside from these, you need to submit a C-20 application and pay licensure and examination fees. Also, note that there are two separate exams that you need to pass to obtain your license. Additionally, all HVAC professionals who work in proximity of refrigerants are required to have the EPA Section 608 certification. 

How Much Does HVAC School Cost?

When we say college, the cost is the number one concern that jumps to our minds. True, formal education requires both time and money. But the upfront investment returns with interest when you land a great job and having a credible degree ensures that. 

You can choose between three pathways to pave a successful HVAC career for yourself. Let’s have a look at how much each degree or program cost. 

  • Certification programs: These are short, accelerated programs that last for six to twelve months. They can cost you anywhere between $1,200 and $15,000. The cheap ones are the most basic entry-level program, while the more expensive ones cover toolkits and exam fees in their cost. 

  • Associate degree programs: Associate degree programs usually last for two years. They teach about HVAC basics and also offer management training. With this program, you train to become a technician and can start working as an entry-level worker. Such programs can cost between $15,000 and $35,000, excluding the cost of books, toolkits, and other supplies. 

  • Apprenticeship: You can also sign up for HVAC apprenticeship programs, where they pair you with a master-level worker who provides hands-on training. You learn the ins and outs of the field while earning wages and shop credit at the same time. Apprenticeship programs last for three to five years and can cost about $500 to $2000.

Photo credit: capstonecollege.edu

From this discussion, you can infer that there is no right way to become an HVAC worker. You don’t need formal education for it. You can land jobs with only a little experience. But, remember that employers are more inclined towards certified techs who they can trust. So, having a credible degree helps in this regard. 

Job Outlook and Salary For HVAC Techs in Los Angeles

Just like all other sectors, the HVAC industry in LA is booming. The dry Mediterranean climate is one of the major reasons. Residents can bear winters but can’t stand the heat of summer. That’s why HVAC systems are so common here. The more the equipment, the higher the demand for trained technicians. 

California’s Employment Development Department (EDD 2020) has predicted a strong surge in demand. The increasing population and progressive investments into renewable sources of energy are considered major contributing factors. Also, as the equipment is improving, the field is always open for new aspirants. 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports an expected swell of 13 percent between 2018 and 2028. This translates to around 46,300 new job openings nationwide. For California, their statistics report a growth of 20 percent of opportunities between 2016 and 2026. So there will be ample opportunities in LA.

California is also ranked amongst the top three employer states in the HVAC industry. BLS reports that HVAC workers in Los Angeles already earn more than the national figures. The mean average salary of HVAC techs nationwide is estimated at $51,420. But in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area, it increases to $59,780. Here is a level-wise account of the salary HVAC workers earn in LA.

Entry Level: $34,100

Mid-Level: $57,760

Master-Level: $91,630

Photo credit: n2n.la

Conclusion

HVAC technicians work tirelessly to keep us comfortable throughout the year. They install our systems, maintain them from time to time, and repair them when needed. Whether they are self-employed or work for a bigger company, they do us a great service by monitoring our climate machines.

Los Angeles has a bright prospect for all its HVAC aspirants. The industry is booming with the window of employment always open and the number of jobs increasing with each passing day. Although you can join the bandwagon with little training, we recommend that you undergo proper education and training to have a better shot at success. 

Nearby HVAC Schools

Here are some HVAC schools in nearby states: