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Electrical Contractor Licensing in Hawaii

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In order to perform electrical work in the State of Hawaii, contractors are required to hold an Electrician’s License.  Licenses are issued by the Board for Electricians & Plumbers, of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional & Vocational Licensing.

As part of the licensing process, contractors are required to meet the Board’s requirements for work experience and education, and pass a qualifying exam.

Electrical Contractors are also required to hold a contractor’s license if they plan to contract projects of $1,000 or more, including labor, materials and taxes, or if they plan to work on projects that require electrical permits.

This article covers the process for obtaining an Electrical License.  For more information about obtaining a Contractor’s License, please visit the Board’s website OR  General Contractor Licensing Center- General Contractor Licensing in Hawaii

For questions about obtaining a Contractor’s License, contact the Board at:

808-586-3000

License Classifications for Electrical Contractors in Hawaii

The Board for Electricians & Plumbers offers the following license classifications to Electrical Contractors:

  • Journeyworker Electrician (EJ)
  • Supervising Electrician (ES)
  • Journeyworker Industrial Electrician (EJI)
  • Supervising Industrial Electrician (ESI)
  • Journeyworker Specialty Electrician (EJS)
  • Supervising Specialty Electrician (ESS)
  • Maintenance Electrician (EM)

Work Experience and Education Requirement

In order to qualify to take the exam, contractors are required to submit an application, proving that they meet the Board’s requirements for work experience and education:

  • Journeyworker Electrician (EJ)- applicants must prove at least 5 years of work experience, no less than 10,000 hours, performing residential or commercial wiring. They must also prove that they have completed 240 hours of approved electrical academic coursework.
  • Supervising Electrician (ES)- applicants must prove that they have 4 years of experience working as a licensed Journeyworker Electrician (EJ) or equivalent .
  • Journeyworker Industrial Electrician (EJI)- applicants must prove at least 4 years, no less than 8,000 hours, of work experience in the industrial electrical field. They must also prove that they have completed 200 hours of approved electrical academic coursework.
  • Supervising Industrial Electrician (ESI)- applicants must prove that they have 3 years of experience working as a licensed Journeyworker Industrial Electrician (EJI) or equivalent.
  • Journeyworker Specialty Electrician (EJS)- applicants must prove 3 years, no less than 6,000 hours, of work experience within their specialty electrical trade. They must also prove that they have completed 120 hours of approved electrical academic coursework.
  • Supervising Specialty Electrician (ESS)- applicants must prove that they have 2 years of experience working as a licensed Journeyworker Specialty Electrician (EJS) or equivalent.
  • Maintenance Electrician (EM)- applicants must prove that they have 1 year of work experience performing electrical maintenance, in addition to completing 80 hours of approved electrical academic coursework; or applicants must have 2 years of schooling in their trade with no less than 1,000 hours of hands-on lab exercises.
*Please note that all Journey-level applicants and Maintenance Electrician applicants must complete academic coursework in order to qualify. 

To be considered acceptable, all academic coursework must be completed through a University of Hawaii Community College (HCC); or coursework must be approved by HCC.

A list of colleges that offer approved coursework is found inside the license application packet, as well as a breakdown of what approved coursework should cover.  Approved course-providers are also found on the Board’s website.

All coursework obtained outside of HCC must be reviewed, verified and accepted by HCC prior to submitting the application. 

Contractors must submit the following to HCC in order to have their coursework approved:

  • Verification that they have completed the coursework
  • Name of the program where the coursework was obtained and a description of the course
  • Contractor’s name and contact information

Mail or email coursework not obtained through HCC, to HCC for approval prior to submitting the license application:

By Email

OR

Mail to:

Honolulu Community College
Attention: Non Credit Registration Office
874 Dillingham Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96817

In some cases, the Board will accept the completion of an HCC-approved apprenticeship training program in place of the education requirement.  A list of approved apprenticeship programs is found inside the license application packet.

In order for a license to be deemed “equivalent” for all Supervising-level applicants, the requirements for that license must be the same as or equal to the Board’s requirements for a Journey-level license.

All work experience must be documented on the Verification of Experience Form, located inside the application packet.  This form must be completed by the contractor, as well as the licensed individual who is verifying their experience.  All experience forms must be notarized.

For more information about the work experience and education requirements for each license classification, please call the Board at:

808-586-3000

OR

Visit the Board’s FAQ web page

Preparing and Submitting an Application

All contractors are required to submit an application in order to gain approval to take the exam.  Contractors may download the application from the Board’s website.

Copies of the application may also be obtained by calling the Board at:

808-586-3000

Be sure to read and follow all directions in the application packet.  When filling out the application, type or print legibly using dark-colored ink.  Be sure to answer all questions and leave nothing blank.  If a question does not apply, indicate, “N/A” (not applicable).

All contractors are required to provide their Social Security Number (SSN) on the application.  Applications cannot be processed without the contractor’s SSN.

Be sure to include all required documents along with the application, including

  • Experience Verification Form- the top portion of this form must be completed by the applicant. The rest of the form must be completed by the licensed individual who is verifying the contractor’s work experience.  This form must be notarized and describe, in detail, the type of work the contractor performed, the number of hours worked, as well as the total number of hours completed based on the work performed over the years
  • License Verification Form- if the contractor currently holds a license from the Board, or an equivalent license from another entity.
  • Verification of Completed Coursework- including a letter from an HCC registrar stating that course requirements have been met if the education requirement was completed outside HCC, copies of diplomas, certificates of completion/achievement/competence or copies of transcripts.

There is a non-refundable application fee of $40.  The Board accepts checks made payable to, “Commerce & Consumer Affairs.”

*Please note that additional licensing fees will be due at the time that the contractor passes the exam. 

Mail the completed application, along with all the required documents and fees to:

Board of Electricians & Plumbers
DCAA, PVL Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801

The Board also accepts applications in-person or via overnight mail at their physical address:

Board of Electricians & Plumbers
335 Merchant Street, Room 301
Honolulu, HI 96813

Applications are due at least 7 days before the next scheduled Board meeting.  The Board typically meets during the following months:

  • February
  • April
  • June
  • August
  • October
  • December

Once the Board reviews and approves the contractor’s application, they will be sent the information needed to register for and schedule their exam.  Exams are usually given in the months following the Board meetings.

Contractors may find a list of Board meetings, as well as scheduled exam dates and application deadlines on the Board’s website.

For questions about completing the application or the application process, contact the Board at:

808-586-3000

Neighboring islands may contact the Board toll-free by calling the following numbers:

  • Kauai – 274-3141 ext. 6-3000
  • Maui – 984-2400 ext. 6-3000
  • Hawaii – 974-4000 ext. 6-3000
  • Molokai – 1-800-468-4644 ext. 6-3000
  • Lanai – 1-800-468-4644 ext. 6-3000

The Examination Process

The Board of Electricians & Plumbers holds a contract with Prometric Inc. to administer the examination.  Once the Board approves the contractor’s application, they will send an approval letter along with information needed to register for the exam, including the Prometric Candidate Information Bulletin.

This bulletin contains all the information needed to register for and prepare for the exam, including exam content outlines and suggested study materials.

The open-book examination is based on the most recent National Electric Code (NEC).  Prometric will provide a copy of the NEC codebook to use as a reference at the testing center, on the day of the exam.

To request a copy of the NEC codebook for studying purposes, call:

808-523-4780

The Board also recommends that contractors review and become familiar with the laws, rules and statutes that apply to electricians in the State of Hawaii.

Be sure to complete and submit the exam registration form to Prometric on or before the deadline.  Exam dates and registration deadline information will be sent along with the contractor’s application approval letter.

The exam registration form asks that contractors attach and provide the following information:

  • Attach application approval letter
  • Provide contact information
  • Provide Social Security Number
  • Indicate preferred testing center/site
  • Indicate exam scheduling preferences
  • Attach exam fee

The cost to take the exam is $95.

Testing centers are located on the following islands:

  • Big Island
  • Maui
  • Kauai
  • Oahu

Mail the completed exam registration form, along with all the required documents and fees to:

Prometric
354 Uluniu Street
Suite 308
Kauai, HI 96734

Once the exam registration is accepted, Prometric will send an admission letter with the contractor’s test date, time and location.  It is important to hang on to this letter, as it is needed for check-in on the day of the exam.

*If an admission letter is not received within 5 days of the scheduled exam date, call Prometric at 808-261-8182. 

On the day of the exam, be sure to arrive early to allow time for check-in.  The following items are needed at check-in:

  • Government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport
  • Exam admission letter from Prometric

Contractors must pass the exam with a minimum score of 70%.  Score reports are mailed out approximately 10 business days after the contractor completes the exam.

*Exam scores are not provided over the phone.

If the contractor does not pass the exam on the first attempt, Prometric will mail out another exam registration form, along with instructions for re-taking the test.

Upon passing the exam, contractors will receive instructions for paying the final licensing fees and obtaining their license.

Contractors are required to pay the fee for their license upon passing the exam.  The licensing fee depends on the year in which the contractor is applying:

  • $275- if applying between July 1st and June 30th during the first year of the triennium (2017)
  • $183- if applying between July 1st and June 30th during the second year of the triennium (2015, 2018)
  • $91- if applying between July 1st and June 30th during the third year of the triennium (2016)
*The triennium refers to the 3-year license cycle/term. 

For questions about the exam or the examination process, contact Prometric at:

808-261-8182

For questions about the final licensing steps or obtaining a license, contact the Board at:

808-586-3000

How Long is a Hawaii Electrical Contractor License Valid?

All electrical license classifications are good for a period of 3 years in the State of Hawaii.  Licenses expire on June 30th of the 3-year license cycle (2014, 2017, 2020).

The cost to renew a license is $225.

Prior to renewal, contractors are required to prove that they have met the Board’s requirements for continuing competency.  The only license classification that does not have a continuing competency requirement is Maintenance Electricians (EM).

*Continuing competency is not required if the contractor is renewing their license within 1 year of the renewal date, or the third year of the triennium. 

Continuing competency includes the following:

  • Certificate from HCC showing that the contractor has attended and completing an up-to-date NEC course.

OR

  • A score report from Prometric showing that the contractor has taken and passed a continuing competency exam.
*At this time continuing competency courses are only accepted if taken through HCC or the Hawaii Electricians Training Fund. 

For more information about license renewal or the renewal process, contact the Board at:

808-586-3000

Table of Fees

Fee What is it For? When is it Due?
$40 Non-refundable Application Fee Upon submitting the license application
$95 Examination Fee Upon submitting the exam registration form
$275 License Fee is applying during the first year of the 3-year license cycle (2017) Upon passing the exam
$183 License Fee if applying during the second year of the 3-year license cycle (2015, 2018) Upon passing the exam
$91 License Fee is applying during the third year of the 3-year license cycle (2016) Upon passing the exam
$225 License Renewal Fee Every 3 years upon renewal

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