We present a new algorithm for derivations of 1D shear‐wave velocity models from surface‐wave dispersion data using convolutional neural networks (CNNs). The technique is applied for continental China and the plate boundary region in southern California. Different CNNs are designed for these two regions and are trained using theoretical Rayleigh‐wave phase and group velocity images computed from reference 1D models. The methodology is tested with 3260 phase–group images for continental China and 4160 phase–group images for southern California. The conversions of these images to velocity profiles take for continental China and for southern California on a personal laptop with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 core and a memory of 6 GB. The results obtained by the CNNs show high correlation with previous studies using conventional methods. The effectiveness of the CNN technique makes this fast method an important alternative for deriving shear‐wave velocity models from large datasets of surface‐wave dispersion data.