what you need to know to pass your C-20 hvac license test in California

What You Need To Know To Pass The HVAC Test!

Table of Contents

Jobs You Can Do With a C-20 License

HVAC Test Breakdown

The HVAC license test will have two parts. 

  • 115 Questions on Contractor LAW
  • 115 Questions on HVAC
  • 3 Hours To Complete Each Portion
  • Close Book
  • Taken on a Computer at a CSLB Testing Facility
  • 72% Score To Pass

For a complete guide on the LAW portion of the test, check this out.

Law & Business

  • Business Organization
  • Business Finances
  • Employment Requirements
  • Contract Requirements and Execution
  • Safety Public Works
  • Licensing Requirements


  • Planning and Estimating (25%)
  • Fabrication, Installation, and Startup (29%)
  • Troubleshooting, Repair, and Maintenance (24%)
  • Safety (22%)

HVAC Test Sample Questions

1. What is the function of a thermocouple in a gas furnace?

A)   It is a safety control for the fan.

B)   It is a safety device that confirms the existence of a pilot flame.

C)   It is a safety device for electronic ignition systems.

D)   It is a safety device that controls the thermostat.

2. A chiller refrigerates which of the following?

A)   Circulating air

B)  Carbon dioxide

C)   Circulating water

D)   Nitrogen

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Test Taking Strategies

  • Some Questions will require solving Math problems (No Cellphones)

  • Each Question only has ONE best answer! So use the process of elimination

  • It is better to answer a question by guessing rather than leaving it blank
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Contractor License School

If you are looking for instruction covering the law and business side of the HVAC license test you will want to look into contractor classes. It is essential to understand the distinction between a contractor license and a trade school.

The C-20 HVAC test is for journey-level fencing specialists who have a solid understanding of their trade. Contractor classes are not meant to teach you the HVAC trade.

Contractor Classes can be great for those of us who haven't been in a classroom in a while and need extra instruction. 

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Contractor Classes are:

  • Taught by Contractors, Project Managers, Foreman, Superintendents, and construction veterans
  • Live Instruction with a Q&A portion
  • Bilingual (depending on the school you chose)
  • In-depth classes that cover important LAW concepts

Contractor License schools offer services in addition to exam prep that can help you get everything taken care of quickly and easily.

Check out this article for a more in-depth look at how to choose the right school.

Requirements To Take The HVAC Test

To take the HVAC Test you must meet the following requirements:

  • 18 years of age
  • Driver's License or USA ID
  • Social Security or ITIN #
  • Not currently on probation or parole
  • 4 Years of Journeyman Level Experience
  • Pass a Two Part Exam
logo of the Contractors State License Board, illustration of a paint brush, saw and cement truck

The C-20 HVAC Test is issued by the Contractors State License Board, which is the governing agency for contractors in the state of California.

The CSLB has offices all over the state of California and offers 73 different licensing classifications.  

Now that you know the 3 most important steps to getting your HVAC license, let's begin with the information you need to get your application prepared and sent out!

Be sure to check out this article for a complete guide to the C-20 HVAC Contractor License. If you have found this information feel free to drop us a comment and check again in the future for updates!