How to Become a Plumber in Hawaii

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The Hawaiian islands’ stunning natural beauty has long been a dream destination for those seeking a life of sun, surf, and serenity.

However, beneath the picture-perfect postcards lies a thriving community with everyday needs, including plumbing services.

As Hawaii’s population continues growing, so does the demand for skilled tradespeople, and becoming a plumber in the tropical state can offer a unique blend of professional and personal fulfillment.

Whether you’re just exploring your career options or an experienced tradesperson seeking a fresh start, this article will provide you with the information needed to become a plumber in Hawaii.

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How to Become a Plumber in Hawaii – Step by Step

As soon as you turn 16 you can begin your plumbing career in Hawaii.

The state requires you to enroll in a 5-year apprenticeship program that includes on-the-job training throughout all these years and at least 144 hours of classroom education per year, or 720 hours total.

You must also be registered as an apprentice with the Hawaii Workforce Development Division.

Hawaii offers the following plumbing licenses:

  • Journey Worker Plumbing License
  • Master Plumber License
  • Plumbing Contractor License

Journey Worker Plumbing License

After completing your 5 year apprenticeship you can apply to get licensed as a Journey Worker plumber.

To start the licensing process you need to complete the application form and the experience verification form.

The experience verification form requires you to have 5 years or 10,000 hours of experience in compliance with the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC).

It is important to make sure that you have 10,000 or more hours of work you can verify.

Along with the forms, there is a $40 application fee.

If your application is as it should be you will go on to take the Trade exam.

The exam fee is $90.

The Trade consists of 100 questions, and there is a 3-hour time limit to complete the exam.

The exam consists of the following topics and questions:

  • 25 questions: General Knowledge
  • 20 questions: Water Supply Systems
  • 20 questions: Drainage, Waste and Sanitary Vents
  • 10 questions: Size and Estimating
  • 10 questions: Medical and Fuel Gas Systems
  • 10 questions: Indirect and Special Waste
  • 5 questions: Building Sewers

If you scored 70% or higher you have passed the trade.

You will receive your results within the following 10 days of taking the exam, along with further instructions for licensure.

If you have failed the exam you will have a chance to retake the exam and will receive a retake form and instructions on how to proceed with the process.

Master Plumber License

To apply for your Master Plumber license you must have at least 2 years of experience working as a licensed Journey Worker Plumber or the equivalent (7 years of working as an apprentice and classroom education).

The process for applying and taking the exam is the same as Journey Worker Plumber.

You will need to submit the application form with an experience verification form.

The application fee is $40, and the exam fee is $90.

The exam consists of 80 questions, and the time limit is 3 hours.

The topics and questions include:

  • 25 questions: General Knowledge
  • 25 questions: Drainage, Waste and Sanitary Vents
  • 19 questions: Sizing and Estimates
  • 13 questions: Fuel and Medical Gas Systems
  • 6 questions: Fixtures and Trim
  • 6 questions: Excavation
  • 6 questions: Building Sewers

If you have scored 70% or higher you have passed the exam and will receive instructions for how to get your license, if not you will receive a retake form and instructions on how to proceed with the process.

You will receive the results within the following 10 days of taking the exam.

Plumbing Contractor License

If you want to own your own Plumbing contracting business you will need to get the Plumbing Contractor license.

The license is being issued by the Hawaii Contractor Licensing Board.

To get a contractor’s license, you need to:

  • Pay additional fees for company registration
  • Have general liability insurance to cover any unintentional property damage
  • And unemployment insurance if you have any workers

Plumbing Schools in Hawaii

Becoming a plumber in Hawaii is a years-long process, however, the state makes sure to offer aspiring plumbers the best apprenticeship programs, schools, and courses to ensure their professionals are knowledgeable and trained.

Honolulu Community College

Honolulu Community College offers a program called Apprenticeship and Journey Worker Training.

By completing this program you will receive a total of 45 credits.

These credits will apply toward the “Major courses’’, in this case, plumbing, requirements of the Honolulu Community College Associate in Applied Science degree and Certificate of Achievement in Applied Trades.

Apprentices completing apprenticeship programs of less than four years in duration will need to take additional
recommended courses to meet the minimum 60-credit requirement for this degree.

For any further clarifications and additional information visit their website or contact one of their coordinators:

  • James Niino – (808) 845-9245
  • Guy Shibayama – (808) 845-9245

Plumbers Training Institute

Plumbers Training Institute offers a Plumbing Contractor Exam prep course that is fully online.

This course will help you pass the trade on your first try.

The package you will receive features:

  • Plumbing Contractor Exam Prep course
  • Book: International Plumbing Code 2018
  • Book: International Fuel Gas Code 2018
  • Book: Mathematics for Plumbers and Pipefitters, 8th edition 2013
  • Book: 29 CFR Part 1926 – Code of Federal Regulations
  • Pre-printed tabs for 4 books
  • BONUS:  Pricing Plumbing for Profit Individual Prep Course – $59 value

The usual price for this course is $831, however, there are occasional sales on the site.

To learn more and purchase the program visit their website.

Hawaii Laborers’ Apprenticeship & Training

Hawaii Laborers’ Apprenticeship & Training offers a Construction Apprenticeship Program that consists of a minimum of 4,000 hours of on-the-job training and a minimum of 290 hours of related classroom instructions.

The program is divided into three parts:

  • 1,700 hours of on-the-job training in Civil Construction,
  • 1,700 hours of on-the-job training in Building Construction
  • 600 hours of on-the-job training in Miscellaneous Construction

To apply for this program you must be at least 17 years old, have a High School degree or the GED equivalent, and have a valid driver’s license.

To learn more about the program and how to apply visit their website.

School Name Address
Honolulu Community College 874 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96817, United States
Plumbers Training Institute Online
Hawaii Laborers' Apprenticeship & Training 96-138 Farrington Hwy, Pearl City, HI 96782, United States


Hawaiians appreciate the hard work plumbers put into keeping their homes and businesses running smoothly, and they pay them appropriately.

The annual pay varies between $49559 and $84074 with the annual average currently being $66748 in most cities around the state.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Honolulu $66,347
Kailua $66,347
Ewa Beach $66,347
Kaneohe $66,347
Pearl City $66,347
Waipahu $66,318
Mililani Town $66,228
Hilo $65,902
Kahului $65,902
Kihei $65,902

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I take my plumbing exam in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, all plumbing exams are being taken in the following cities:

  • Maui
  • Kauai
  • Big Island

When should I renew my Hawaiian plumbing license?

All plumbing licenses in Hawaii should be renewed by June 30th every three years.

The following renewals should be done in 2024, then in 2027.

Renewal fees vary depending on your license and experience.

Who is responsible for the plumbing exams in Hawaii?

All plumbing exams in Hawaii are being done by the Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs Board of Electricians and Plumbers and in collaboration with Prometric Exams.

Plumber Info by State

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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