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San Jose HVAC Schools with Training Program Overviews

The San Jose area has a few colleges that offer heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, all within about 50 miles of downtown, and make an informed education decision.

Schools with HVAC Programs in San Jose

Several schools in the San Jose area offer certificate and associate's degree programs in HVAC; these usually include refrigeration training as well. This article looks at three institutions that are no more than 55 minutes from downtown San Jose and at the programs they provide. There is also a table of facts about each school, such as total enrollment, tuition, the percentage of first-year students receiving financial aid and the percentage of students who graduate on time.

  • Just three miles from the city center, two certificates and an associate's degree in air conditioning and refrigeration are available at San Jose City College (SJCC).
  • Laney College, approximately 39 miles from San Jose, has certificate and associate's degree programs in many areas, including building automation systems and commercial HVACR systems.
  • City College of San Francisco offers a four-course certificate program in air conditioning and refrigeration. This school is approximately 51 miles from downtown San Jose.

Comparison of Schools

The following table presents information about each school that could be useful to prospective students. It is presented in a way that makes comparison easy.

San Jose City College Laney College City College of San Francisco
School Type Two-year; public Two-year; public Two-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 9,336* 10,891* 26,299*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $1,356 in-state; $7,852 out-of-state* $1,230 in-state; $7,110 out-of-state* $1,598 in-state; $9,010 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 62%* 68%* 59%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - open admissions* N/A - open admissions* N/A - open admissions*
Retention Rate (2017) 65% full-time
43% part-time*
62% full-time
34% part-time*
72% full-time
44% part-time*
Graduation Rate (2014) 26% (9% transfer-out rate)* 25% (10% transfer-out rate)* 32% (11% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

San Jose City College

This public college is part of the Evergreen Community College District. The air conditioning and refrigeration technology programs are offered through the school's Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology academic division.

Certificate of Achievement Level II: Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology

This program consists of 20.5 total units. The program provides an emphasis on the basic operation and maintenance of air conditioning and refrigeration units along with the construction of pipes and wiring systems. Students can learn how to interpret electrical schematics and solve problems by analyzing diagnostic equipment.

Certificate of Achievement Level III: Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology

Many of the courses in this program are similar to those in the level II program, but this program also covers advanced topics in air distribution and air conditioning control systems. Students examine hydronic heating and cooling systems along with air distribution and heat transfer. This program also includes studies of safety procedures and facilities equipment.

Associate of Science in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology

The two-year associate's degree program includes all of the courses taken within the level III certificate program. The remaining coursework consists of general education courses. This program covers basic and advanced principles of air conditioning and refrigeration. There are many electives that students may select ranging from residential and commercial construction wiring to low/high pressure boilers.

Associate of Science in Facilities Maintenance Technology

The Associate of Science in Facilities Maintenance Technology requires the completion of 65 credits of coursework. This program can prepare students for positions in facilities maintenance, but many of the courses included in the program cover HVAC concepts and systems. Coursework includes electrical principles of air conditioning and refrigeration, low and high pressure boilers, industrial electronics and controls, sheet metal principles and facilities operations.

Laney College

This school is one of the oldest community colleges in the country and offers HVAC training programs through the Environmental Control Technology Department. All of the certificate programs currently offered can count towards an associate's degree if a student completes the necessary general education requirements.

Certificate of Achievement in Residential and Light Commercial HVAC & R

The residential and light commercial program can be completed in two semesters and consists of 27 credits of coursework. Students learn about air conditioning and refrigeration systems, mechanical and electrical codes as well as energy management and efficiency in building systems. Additional coursework includes HVAC installation, mechanical and electrical devices and technical mathematics.

Certificate of Achievement in Commercial HVAC Systems

This four-semester program is specific to commercial heating and cooling systems and also includes content on refrigeration, energy efficiency and electricity. Each semester includes seven courses on an array of topics applicable to professional HVAC jobs. The curriculum emphasizes learning the basic parts of air conditioning and heating units along with understanding how to repair the units. Some of the technical requirements of the program include blueprint reading, digital controls and indoor air quality.

Certificate of Achievement in Building Automation Systems

The building automation systems certificate program requires the completion of 48 credits of coursework during four semesters of study. This program provides instruction in commercial HVAC systems, advanced direct digital controls, advanced building commissioning and control systems design. Students can learn to read blueprints and get to take courses in technical mathematics and physics for building science.

Associate in Sciences in Residential and Light Commercial HVAC

Students who wish to continue their studies have the option to pursue an associate's degree. This two-year program requires students to take general education coursework in addition to completing the courses within the certificate program.

Associate in Sciences in Commercial HVAC Systems

The Associate of Science in Commercial HVAC Systems consists of all the courses in the certificate commercial HVAC certificate program, including commercial HVAC systems, HVAC installation practices and refrigeration equipment troubleshooting. Students must take a series of general education courses to complete the associate's program.

Associate of Science in Building Automation Systems

Students wishing to earn the Associate of Science Degree in Building Automation Systems must complete general education requirements in addition to the coursework within the building automation systems certificate program. Students can choose from general education courses in five areas of study, such as language and rationality, natural science, humanities, ethnic studies and social and behavioral sciences.

City College of San Francisco

City College of San Francisco (CCSF) has eight campus locations in the San Francisco area. CCSF offers a certificate program in air conditioning and refrigeration through its Engineering and Technology Department.

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Certificate of Accomplishment

This certificate program consists of four courses totaling 9.5 credits. Students can learn the fundamentals of air conditioning and refrigeration and gain knowledge of engineered plumbing systems. Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 to complete the program.


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