Best HVAC Schools in San Diego – 2021 Top Picks Reviewed

| Last Updated: June 15, 2021
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Keeping the residents of San Diego comfortable all-round the year requires a large industry of HVAC technicians in the region.

Getting admission to a reliable HVAC school will truly bring out the true potential of mechanically-oriented people. With the proper training and right certificates, you can easily secure a lucrative job. This article has summarized a list of the best HVAC schools in San Diego that provides superior hands-on training to troubleshoot complex systems.

Check them out!

Requirements to Be an HVAC Technician in San Diego

San Diego is one of the most populous cities in California. Practicing in California requires a license in order to legally flourish your HVAC career. Professionals must clear the necessary exam for obtaining the license.

The construction industry umbrella is responsible for supervising the installation and maintenance of different HVAC systems in the region. Similarly, the Contractor State License Board regulates the construction industry within the city.

Any sort of experience as a trainee or apprentice is not enough to apply for license. In fact, in order to practice as an HVAC technician, you must have a minimum experience of 4 years in any industry. However, you might get the relaxation of working as an apprentice or a journeyman so you can get enough knowledge about the repair and installation of HVAC systems in San Diego.

You can also opt for vocational or technical training for 3 years in order to practice as an HVAC professional in the city. However, the requirement for an industrial experience of 1-year still remains applicable.

Similarly, a 4-year professional bachelor’s degree such as Mechanical engineering is the basic requirement for practicing as an HVAC engineer in the region.

Salary and Job Outlook in San Diego

San Diego is a city of an economically powerful state, California, and is a hotspot of new talent for HVAC. The professionals working in this region can expect to have a stable career. The starting salary is quite decent and tends to move up with experience.

With the high job growth in this area comes a steady demand for HVAC technicians. Therefore, there are likely chances of earning good money annually.

Generally, an HVAC technician can earn from $14.80 to $42.28 per hour in San Diego. That means the average hourly wage is about $24.76. The annual salary ranges from $30,790 to $87,940. Professionals are expected to earn a median salary of $51,500 annually.

According to statistics, the salary of an HVAC technician is double the median salary of the region. However, you must not overlook the higher living cost in this state as well.

There are a number of reasons that enhance employment chances in the city. This might include regular maintenance, system upgrade, and even system replacement after every 10-15 years.

With a great diploma in HVAC and experience, you have strong chances to get recruited by institutions or a contracting firm looking for aspiring HVAC technicians.

List of the Top HVAC Schools in San Diego

If you are aspiring to become a reputable HVAC technician and want to pursue a career in San Diego, it’s good to opt for one of the following HVAC schools. All these schools promise to deliver commendable service by training you to become a certified technician.


San Diego City College

Our Review of the Program

This is probably the top institute in San Diego that prepares you for career options well. There are different programs, including Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Environmental Control Technology. The student needs to complete 60 units in order to fulfill the Associate in Science degree program.

Similarly, the requirement for air conditioning and solar energy program is the completion of 16 units. This program gives enough knowledge and hands-on training in solar energy as well as conventional technology. Similarly, the course of basic refrigeration offers 11 units and trains you on how to properly install and repair HVAC systems in residential as well as commercial buildings.

A 33-unit program, Environment Control Technology, trains you to get done with the task with maximum efficiency and the least operational cost. Moreover, you become an expert in automated control of HVAC systems.

All the programs give you a proper understanding of technical as well as environmental problems and their solutions. The school offers a series of complementary certificates that help you advance in your field.

Both open and online classes are offered to suit your schedule. Evening classes let you continue your current job without any tension. They have the best instructors that not only focus on your professional growth but personal growth as well. Moreover, you can always seek their opinion during job placement.

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PHCC Academy

Our Review of the Program

Another well-recognized institute that is delivering tremendous services to the community is PHHC academy. This academy offers trade certification programs for the plumbing-heating cooling industry and even provides the HVAC service Tech certificate.

The journeyman Plumbing Apprenticeship can be completed in 4 years. During this program, you are fully trained by 156 hours of classroom instructions in addition to hands-on training in well-equipped labs. During this session, you learn all about the safety state and all aspects of the plumbing trade. It costs you $4000 per year.

The students are hired as apprentices in different firms, even during their program. The staff is extremely cooperative and encourages you to take the California PHCC journey Certification Exam in order to earn a reputable status.

Similarly, you can complete the Entry-level HVAC Service Tech Certificate Program in as little as 7 months. It is specially designed for people with no or less experience in the industry. The instructors are highly qualified and foster a solid foundation and enough knowledge of the latest equipment and technologies.

The hands-on training during all courses enhances your skills related to the maintenance and repairing of HVAC systems. All in all, with an organized setup, PHHC academy aims to provide up-to-date and relevant education in the field.


San Diego Continuing Education

Our Review of the Program

The San Diego Continuing Education offers multiple programs to help you achieve a sustainable career in your life. Here you can learn all about basic air conditioning as well as heating theory. Their mission is to deliver accessible education as well as student support services.

The Air-Conditioning and Heating Program I can be completed in 11 weeks. This course gives enough knowledge about heating fundamentals as well as appliances. Moreover, the hands-on training under the supervision of highly-qualified instructors focuses on blazing copper piping and fittings.

Meanwhile, Air-Conditioning and Heating Program II emphasizes on gas and electric heating. It merely takes 7 weeks to be fully trained in the installation and general service of systems. Moreover, the course gives an Environmental Protection Agency certification to improve the worth of their graduates in the workplace.

With the innovative quality education and full support of the trainers, you are likely to achieve success in your career. The best thing is they offer complete guidance during each phase of your job placement. In short, you get to have career counseling for life as they totally help their graduates to secure a reputable job even in today’s economy.

In short, they are doing their best to positively transform individuals and contribute to the community.


San Diego Gas & Electric

Our Review of the Program

San Diego Gas & Electric is probably the best place for students to learn all the essential skills in air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration. Each student is properly trained with the knowledge of maintenance and installation of HVAC systems for career advancement.

You will be taught by the best and helping staff in town so you can get maximum training in the field. The instructors are supportive enough and prepare you with all the instructions for working with HVAC systems in commercial and residential buildings. Almost all the trainers have massive field experience. They provide a positive environment in order to bring out your true potential by helping you at each step.

There are multiple courses that you can join either in the morning or evening, according to your busy schedule. This is good news for those who are already working and can’t afford to compromise on their current job.

Also, graduates can easily find a job as they are guided and encouraged to make the most of the opportunities. You will get full support from experienced instructors to achieve excellence in your endeavors. So, if you are fully intended to learn a new skill and mark your position in HVAC, this is the right place for you.


UC San Diego Extension

Our Review of the Program

UC San Diego Extension is one of the finest HVAC schools within the city of San Diego. The most popular program they offer is HVAC Systems Design and Control that can be easily completed in about 18 months.

Students need to pass 5 courses and a total of 12 units in order to get the certification. You will learn 3 courses on-site while the other 2 are to be done online. The total program costs you $3370, which is exclusive of textbooks. During this program, you will learn all about the latest available technology in design and calculation in addition to the practical application of Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning systems.

The program is ideally recommended for those who are directly or indirectly involved with HVAC systems and aspire to tackle building automation challenges. Graduates are capable of fully understanding the HVAC and DDC system design and ultimately apply the principle in real-life scenarios.  

UC San Diego Extension has hired the most qualified staff with a filed experience of many years. They work for your professional as well as personal growth by teaching all the necessary skills required in the HVAC trade. Students are encouraged to reach their maximum potential to enable them to start their own business in the future.

To put in a nutshell, UC San Diego Extension is a reliable option for students interested in pursuing an HVAC career.


HVAC requires well-trained technicians for regular maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems in both commercial and residential buildings of San Diego. This region is home to the hottest place on Earth. Therefore, an HVAC technician is always in demand all-round the year.

Those who are interested in becoming a qualified HVAC professional can apply to one of the best HVAC schools mentioned in this article in order to learn all the essential skills for this trade.

Search HVACR Certified Technician Programs

Get information on HVACR Certified Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Listings

My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.