How to Become a Plumber in Hawaii

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Some people are good at working with their hands while trying to find solutions to various problems.

If you feel like you’re one of these people, you could consider becoming a plumber.

By reading this guide you’ll learn about what you need to do in Hawaii to be able to work as a plumber.

Plumber Job Description and Requirements

Plumbers are trained professionals who work with various systems that use pipes.

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The job usually involves:

  • Installing, maintaining, and repairing water supply systems
  • Performing the same tasks on gas lines
  • Completing these tasks on sewage systems

This occupation will involve working outside as well, in all weather conditions, at times.

You’re expected to know:

  • How to read blueprints
  • Basic math
  • How to measure
  • English
  • Which tools to use for various jobs
  • How to use those tools
  • Ensuring the safety measures are met

It sounds like a complicated occupation, and because of this, you’ll have to train for a few years and then get licensed.

The licenses you can as a plumber in Hawaii get are:

  • Journey worker license (PJ),
  • A master plumber license (PM)

Plumbers in Hawaii need to abide by the regulations imposed by the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional and Vocational Licensing Division.

Plumber Training in Hawaii

The training of a plumber generally consists of an apprenticeship period.

This means gaining experience while working and attending classroom education in the evening.

The apprenticeship period in Hawaii is 10,000 hours long, much longer than in most other states.

Apprenticeships are available through:

  • Unions
  • Vocational colleges
  • The state
  • Sponsors

Usually, these apprentice positions are paid and are relatively easy to find.

Remember that apprentices work supervised by a licensed plumber at all times.

Becoming a Journeyman Plumber in Hawaii

Once you complete your apprenticeship, you qualify to earn the journey worker plumber license.

For this you’ll need these documents:

  • A filled-in application form
  • A notarized experience verification application that was signed by your employer
  • Application fee of $40
  • Pass an exam

The journeyman exam has 100 questions and the candidates are tested on:

  • General Knowledge – 25%
  • Drainage, Waste, and Sanitary Vents – 20%
  • Water Supply Systems – 20%
  • Sizing and Estimating – 10%
  • Fuel and Medical Gas Systems – 10%
  • Indirect and Special Wastes – 10%
  • Building Sewers – 5%

Becoming a Master Plumber in Hawaii

To become a master plumber, you must first accumulate 2 years of experience as a journeyman plumber.

The next step is to score at least 70% on an examination that has 80 questions covering topics such as:

  •  General Knowledge – 25%
  • Excavation – 6%
  • Drainage, Waste, and Sanitary Vents – 25%
  • Sizing and Estimating – 19%
  • Fuel and Medical Gas Systems – 13%
  • Fixtures and Trim – 6%
  • Building Sewers – 6%

Becoming a Contractor

To obtain it, you’ll have to pass the business and law exam and a trade exam.

The passing score for the business exam is 75% and the topics include:

  • Estimating and bidding,
  • Project management and safety

You also need a score of 75% for the trade exam. which covers the same topics as the master plumber exam, but with a different topic ratio.

Plumber License Exam

Those who need to take the licensing exam need to apply, and only those who get approved can register for it.

The test is organized through Prometric, and this is where you need to register for the exam.

This is done through a form that you fill out.

Make sure to also pay the $90 representing the exam fee and to include a copy of your approval letter.

You are not allowed to bring any books in the testing room and you have 3 hours to answer all the questions.

If you pass the exam, you can then request your license for which you also need to pay a fee.

The fee changes every year, with a 3 year-rotation period, meaning that the first and the fourth year have the same fee.

The fees are also tied to the years, as follows:

  • For the year 2020: $102
  • For the year 2021: $306
  • For the year 2022: $204
  • For the year 2023: $102
  • So on and so forth

Plumber Salary Information for Hawaii

Plumbers can get hired very early on, unlike most individuals who choose other industries.

Their salaries will increase as they gather more experience.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Honolulu $59,930
Hilo $59,527
Pearl City $59,930
Waipahu $59,903
Kailua $59,930
Kaneohe $59,930
Kahului $59,527
Kihei $59,527
Kapolei $59,796
Wahiawa $59,742

Regional Salary in Hawaii

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI210$73,270$35.23$115,370$48,060
Urban Honolulu, HI1,540$77,100$37.07$107,000$48,110
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters, OCC Code 47-2152, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information for Future Plumbers

Unfortunately, those who became plumbers in a different state cannot use their license in Hawaii.

To continue working in the field, these individuals need to follow all the steps as the residents who just start on this path.

You’ll have to renew your license every 3 years, in set years.

This means that you’ll renew your license even if you just obtained it less than 12 months before the renewal date.

For this, you’ll also have to complete a set number of hours of continuing education, generally at a community college.

Schools Offering Plumbing Programs in Hawaii

School Name Address
Honolulu Community College 874 Dillingham Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96817
Hawaiʻi Community College 1175 Manono Street · Hilo, HI 96720-5096
University of Hawaii, Maui College 310 W. Kaahumanu Avenue Kahului, HI 96732 US
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