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California HVAC Contractor License (C-20)

License Requirements

Requirements to Obtaining your License

  • A Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning Contractor License (HVAC) in California is required for projects that exceed $500.
  • To become a licensed contractor, candidates will have to sit for two exams: business and law and their trade.
  • In order to sit for the examinations, the board must first approve your application.
  • Pre-approval from the state is required to sit for the examination.
  • Applicants are required to have 4 years experience to qualify to take the exam. Experience must be at the journeyman, foreman or supervisor, contractor, or as an owner-builder.
  • All applicants must have a working capital of at least $2,500. In addition, all applicants must also file a bond with the Registrar in the amount of $10,000.
Work Under this License

Work that can be Done Under this License

An HVAC contractor in California fabricates, installs, maintains, services, and repairs warm air heating systems, heat pumps, ventilating systems, and air conditioning systems.

Applications for a License

Applying to get your License

The exam fee is included with the $300 application fee. The initial license fee for two years is an additional $180. An application for licensure can be obtained from the California Contractors State License Board by calling 1-800-321-2752.


Reciprocity Agreements

Limited agreements with Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education

There is none at this time.

Exam Details

  • The California Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning Contractor exam has approximately 100 questions and a time limit of 2 1/2 hours.
  • A 72% is required to pass.
  • Topics on the exam include system evaluation and design; fabrication; system installation and start up; service, maintenance, and repair; and safety.
  • The exam fee is included with the $250 application fee.
  • After the board has approved your application, they will inform you of the testing date.

Books and References for the Exam

All exams in California are closed book.

Exam Review and Education

Exam Review, Training, Education

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California Exam Review

California Exam Review

California Exam Review

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Students enrolled in the home study course will receive:
  • Home Study Manual
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