Accredited HVAC Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA
University of California
Aspiring HVAC workers seeking a formal education may consider the part time certificate program from the University of California at Berkeley. This HVAC certificate program provides students with a rigorous curriculum that trains them in designing new HVAC systems and retrofitting existing HVAC systems. The faculty of the program includes working professionals who have many years of practical experience.
While the program has no specific admission requirements, a bachelor’s in engineering or previous work experience in HVAC is preferred.
In this program, students complete four required courses, as well as two or three elective courses, for a total of 165 hours of instruction. Classes include ductwork and piping systems, HVAC control and energy management systems, HVAC system design considerations, and HVAC system load calculations and psychrometry.
Graduates receive a certificate of accomplishment from the Golden Gate Chapter of ASHRAE (the American Society for Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) which is a leading professional organization of this industry.
- Location: Berkeley, CA
- Accreditation: Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC)
- Expected Time to Completion: Three semesters
- Estimated Tuition: $4,875 to $5,285 (not including additional fees or materials)
Aspiring HVAC workers can consider the environmental control technology program offered by Laney College. The program helps students acquire the technical and theoretical skills necessary for working in today’s HVAC/R industry. The faculty of the program includes dedicated instructors who have extensive commercial and residential experience. This environmental control technology program includes the following degrees and certificates in HVAC/R:
- Building automation systems (certificate of achievement/ associate in sciences) – This 48-credit program includes instruction in the fundamentals of electricity for ECT, mechanical and electrical devices, commercial HVAC systems, blueprint reading and interpretation for ECT, and advanced building commissioning.
- Residential and light commercial HVAC and refrigeration (certificate of achievement/ associate in sciences) – This 27-credit program includes courses such as the fundamentals of refrigeration, motors and drives, advanced refrigeration, refrigeration equipment troubleshooting, heating and air conditioning troubleshooting, and HVAC installation practices, among others.
- Commercial HVAC systems (certificate of achievement/ associate in sciences) – This 52.5-credit program includes coursework in mechanical and electrical codes, advanced refrigeration, refrigeration equipment troubleshooting, heating and air conditioning troubleshooting, commercial electricity for HVAC applications, commercial HVAC systems troubleshooting, advanced direct digital controls, and HVAC systems design.
- Refrigeration technology (certificate of proficiency) – This 16.5 credit program has instruction in the fundamentals of electricity for ECT, mechanical and electrical devices, fundamentals of refrigeration, advanced refrigeration, refrigeration equipment troubleshooting, mechanical and electrical codes, and technical mathematics for ECT.
For all associate in science (AS) degrees, there are additional general education requirements.
Students in this program will get an opportunity to apply their knowledge in real-world situations, and get hands-on experience with cutting edge technology in one of the best laboratories in San Francisco. Upon completion, graduates can seek employment as heating, ventilation, air conditioning technicians, building engineers and technicians, and refrigeration technicians.
- Location: Oakland, CA
- Accreditation: Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: Building automation systems (four semesters); residential and light commercial HVAC and refrigeration (two semesters); commercial HVAC systems (four semesters); Refrigeration technology (one semester)
- Estimated Tuition: $46 per unit
City College Of San Francisco
The City College of San Francisco offers a certificate of accomplishment in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) program. Combining practical training with theory, the program prepares students to build a successful career in the HVAC field.
Made up of 9.5 credit-hours, the program includes courses such as applied fluid mechanics for mechanical engineering technology, HVAC system fundamentals, fundamentals of air conditioning and refrigeration, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) building information modeling (BIM) in Revit.
Graduating students will be qualified for employment as HVAC/R mechanics, technicians, and installers. Upon completion, students will be able to calculate air-conditioning heating and cooling load calculations, verify safety devices, record data in logs, and identify any potential problems, select appropriate air conditioning units, refrigeration components, equipment for fluid systems, and demonstrate a strong understanding of thermodynamic properties of the steam tables.
- Location: San Francisco, CA
- Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: Two semesters
- Estimated Tuition: $46 per unit
Finally, it’s advisable for HVAC workers to complete a six-month to two-year degree or certificate at an accredited program, if available. There are currently two main organizations that offer accreditation for HVAC programs: HVAC Excellence and the Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA).
As of November 2020, there are no programs in San Francisco accredited by these organizations. The bulk of the state’s accredited programs were in Southern California, but this may change in coming years with the proliferation of demand for HVAC services. Please note that all of the programs profiled above are approved by other reputable regional accreditation authorities as noted.