Becoming a licensed plumber in Hawaii is a time-consuming process, but it pays dividends. While it takes time to gain an understanding of the trade, plumbers acquire skills that last a lifetime. The state has stringent licensing standards for its plumbers, even at the apprenticeship level, before working in a plumbing job in Hawaii.
Hawaii Plumbing License Requirements
Do Hawaiian plumbers need licenses? Yes, from the start. Plumbers are licensed at the state level, via the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Professional and Vocational Licensing Division. The state’s Board of Electricians and Plumbers regulates and licenses plumbers.
Hawaii Plumbing License Types
There are several license types in Hawaii, starting at the very bottom.
- Apprentice licenses are granted to plumbers who are just starting out. Apprentices must enroll in a training program and register with Hawaii’s Department of Labor, Workforce Development Division.
- Journeyman licenses are given after a plumber completes a five-year apprenticeship and gains a minimum of 10,000 hours of on-the-job experience. For each year, a journeyman must take at least 144 hours of continuing education courses; they must also pass an exam.
- Master plumber’s licenses are given to those who have had their journeyman licenses for at least two years and passed the state’s Master Plumber examination.
- Plumbing contractor licenses are earned by those with master plumber’s and specialty or C-37 contractor licenses.
The Cost of a Hawaii Plumber’s License
It doesn’t cost much to start out as a plumber in the state of Hawaii, but you’ll need to find an apprenticeship program or position. The apprentice application fee is $20, but those finding entry-level positions with plumbing businesses may avoid the fee.
Apprenticeships, whether or not they’re through a union, are much like college scholarships, with an employer or a union chapter covering the cost and paying wages for work hours. When applying for a plumber’s license, there’s a $40 application fee and a $90 exam fee. Once the exam is passed, the applicant will pay a $306 fee to get their license and another $306 for each three-year renewal term.
The Licensing Exam
Hawaii has a contract with Prometric, which is an outside testing service, to conduct its plumbing license exams. Before a person can take an exam, they must apply and be accepted by the state’s Board of Electricians and Plumbers. Once the application is approved, the applicant will get a registration form and two copies of an approval letter. Submit the form, an approval letter, and the $90 fee by Prometric’s deadline, and you’ll receive an appointment and an admission letter.
Plumbing license exams contain questions on topics such as:
- Water supply systems
- Sanitary, waste, and drainage vents
- Fuel and medical gas systems
- Sewer construction
- General knowledge
- Trim and fixtures
A passing score is 70% or higher. Upon passing, the board sends licensing information through the mail.
Who Issues Hawaii Plumbing Licenses?
The state licenses journeymen, master plumbers, and contractors through the Professional and Vocational Licensing Division. The Board of Electricians and plumbers licenses the first two tiers, while the Hawaiian Contractor License Board issues licenses to contractors.
While the state doesn’t mandate them, outside certifications can help plumbers market themselves to customers and employers. Certifications from NITC and ASSE are a way for plumbers to demonstrate their proficiency and improve their job prospects.