How to Become an Electrician in Hawaii, HI

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In Hawaii, in order to work as an electrician you have to acquire a state license and renew it periodically. The following electrician licensing options are available in this state:

Electrician board’s homepage (note it also has info about plumbers, don’t get confused). It is established in Honolulu. At the homepage you can also find toll free telephone numbers to call, if you are calling from another island.

The electrician and plumber board are a division of the Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA), Professional and Vocational Licensing (PVL).

Note 1: If you manufacture or sell electrical hardware, accessories, equipment, or appliances, you do not need a license.

Note 2: In order to read many .pdf documents linked below (like applications, forms, etc) you might need to update your Adobe Reader. If that’s the case, when a .pdf link opens, it will guide you to Adobe’s page to download and install the latest version. Follow the instructions and then you will be able to read all the .pdf files of the electrician board’s website.

For special accommodations on the exam date, for people with disabilities, please call Prometric at 808.261.8182

The process is similar for all the licenses, so we have a detailed guide for all the licenses and we make distinctions for each license, when is needed.

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

For the definition of these licenses and the scope of work you can do once you acquire any of them, you can check the definitions on pages 1-2 of HRS Chapter 448E.

First, you have to fill the requirements imposed by the licenses:

Hawaii Journey Worker Electrician (EJ) License

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have on the job experience of 5 years (working full time) or approximately 2,000 hours per year, for a total of at least 10,000 hours and provide sufficient proof of them. Most of these hours/years must be mainly in commercial and residential wiring.
    • The experience has to be obtained under the supervision of a Journey Worker or Supervising Electrician, who will also confirm it on the experience verification form. It can also be from an apprenticeship program.
    • Have a social security number and provide it, in your application.

After July 1, 2013 (in addition to the above):

    • You will also need to complete a course offered by a University of Hawaii Community College, which will consist of 240 hours of theoretical knowledge.

Hawaii Supervising Electrician (ES) License

    • Be at least 18 years old (probably you will have to be 22 years old or more in order to amass the required experience).
    • Have the license and experience of a Journey Worker Electrician (or a similar on the job experience) for 4 years or more.
    • Have a social security number and provide it, in your application.

Hawaii Journey Worker Industrial Electrician (EJI) License

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have on the job experience of 5 years (working full time) or approximately 2,000 hours per year, for a total of at least 10,000 hours and provide sufficient proof of them. Most of these hours/years must be mainly in industrial wiring work.
    • Have a social security number and provide it, in your application.

After July 1, 2013:

    • You will need 4 years instead of 5 and totally 8,000 hours, instead of 10,000 hours. However, you will have to complete a course offered by a University of Hawaii Community College, which will consist of 200 hours of theoretical knowledge.

Hawaii Supervising Industrial Electrician (ESI) License

    • Be at least 18 years old (probably you will have to be 21 years old or more in order to amass the required experience).
    • Have the license and experience of a Journey Worker Industrial Electrician (or a similar on the job experience) for 4 years or more.
    • Have a social security number and provide it, in your application.

After July 1, 2013:

    • You will need to have the license and experience of a Journey Worker Industrial Electrician (or a similar on the job experience) for 3 years instead of 4.

Hawaii Journey Worker Specialty Electrician (EJS) License

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have on the job experience of 5 years (working full time) or approximately 2,000 hours per year, for a total of at least 10,000 hours and provide sufficient proof of them. These hours/years must be in specialty wiring work.
    • Have a social security number and provide it, in your application.

After July 1, 2013:

    • You will need 3 years instead of 5 and totally 6,000 hours, instead of 10,000 hours. However, you will have to complete a course offered by a University of Hawaii Community College, which will consist of 120 hours of theoretical knowledge.

Hawaii Supervising Specialty Electrician (ESS) License

    • Be at least 18 years old (probably you will have to be 20 years old or more in order to amass the required experience).
    • Have the license and experience of a Journey Worker Specialty Electrician (or a similar on the job experience) for 4 years or more.
    • Have a social security number and provide it, in your application.

After July 1, 2013:

    • You will need to have the license and experience of a Journey Worker Industrial Electrician (or a similar on the job experience) for 2 years instead of 4.

Hawaii Maintenance Electrician (EM) License

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have on the job practical experience of 1 year and provide sufficient proof of this experience. This year must be in electrical maintenance work

or

    • Attend school for 2 years in the electrical trade
    • Have a social security number and provide it, in your application.

After July 1, 2013:

    • Have on the job practical experience of 1 year and provide sufficient proof of this experience. This year must be in electrical maintenance work. You will also need to complete a course offered by a University of Hawaii Community College, which will consist of 80 hours of theoretical knowledge.

or

    • Attend school for 2 years in the electrical trade and have at least 1,000 hours of lab exercises.

If you meet the requirements mentioned above, you will have to fill the electrician license application (the forms are the same for all licenses). Be sure to read the instructions carefully.

You will need to fill and submit an experience verification form. You will have to fill only the part 1 of the form, found at the top of it. Do not write anything on part 2, it must be filled by your supervisor.

Also, you will need to pay the nonrefundable application fee of $40,00. This amount must be paid via check (which will be attached to the application) made payable to Commerce & Consumer Affairs.

Note: Hawaii doesn’t have reciprocation with any states. However, If you hold or have held an electrician license in another state, you can have this license verification filled by the board, which approved your electrician license and submit it.

After you have completed all the required documents, mail them with the check attached, in one package to:

Board of Electricians & Plumbers
DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
Phone No.: 586-3000

It is required that your mail is received by the board, at least 7 days before the scheduled board meeting. If you fail to go through the process for 2 years (not taking the exams, not providing sufficient proof of work experience, etc) your application will be abandoned and need to be submitted again.

Make sure to check the application/examination dates.

When you are approved by the board to participate in the examinations, you will be sent a form, which will be used to register for the exams. You will have to fill it and mail it to Prometric along with the appropriate fee of $95.00 (payable via Visa, Mastercard, check or money order).

The main page for Hawaii electrician licenses is this. If you want to be able to find the candidate bulletin manually, you will have to go to “Contractor and Trades Bulletins”: Electrical Contractor/Journeyman Candidate Information Bulletin. It says contractor/journeyman, but ignore it, it is just a typo.

When your mailed package arrives, you will be sent an admission letter, which you will use to enter the exam center. Expect it approximately 5 days prior to the exam date, but if you haven’t received it 3 days before exams, call Prometric.

At page 3 of the Candidate Information Bulletin you can find sample questions to help you get familiar with the exams. All test questions are multiple-choice.

The test is based (among others) on NFPA 70 – National Electrical Code (NEC) 2008 edition, it is open book and the book is supplied by Prometric, so you won’t have to bring a reference with you. You will need a 70% test score (or higher) in order to pass.

Below you will find exam details about each license:

Journey Worker Electrician (EJ):

  • The test consists of 70 questions and you will have a maximum time limit of 3 hours to complete it. The subject and the ratios of the questions can be found at the end of page 7 of the Candidate Information Bulletin and the references used to generate the questions can be found at the top of page 8.

Supervising Electrician (ES):

  • The test consists of 70 questions and you will have a maximum time limit of 3 hours to complete it. The subject, the ratios of the questions and the references used to generate the questions can be found at page 6 of the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Journey Worker Industrial Electrician (EJI):

  • The test consists of 70 questions and you will have a maximum time limit of 3 hours to complete it. The subject, the ratios of the questions and the references used to generate the questions can be found at page 8 of the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Supervising Industrial Electrician (ESI):

  • The test consists of 70 questions and you will have a maximum time limit of 3 hours to complete it. The subject and the ratios of the questions can be found at the end of page 7 of the Candidate Information Bulletin and the references used to generate the questions can be found at left of the same page.

Journey Worker Specialty Electrician (EJS):

  • The test consists of 50 questions and you will have a maximum time limit of 2 hours to complete it. The subject, the ratios of the questions and the references used to generate the questions can be found at the right of page 8 of the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Supervising Specialty Electrician (ESS):

  • The test consists of 50 questions and you will have a maximum time limit of 2 hours to complete it. The subject, the ratios of the questions and the references used to generate the questions can be found at page 7 of the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Maintenance Electrician (EM):

  • The test consists of 50 questions and you will have a maximum time limit of 2 hours to complete it. The subject, the ratios of the questions and the references used to generate the questions can be found at page 9 of the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Expect the results during the 10 following business days. You cannot learn your results by phone or other means.

If you have any questions regarding the test, you should contact Prometric.

After you pass the test, you will have to pay the licensure fee and receive your license. The fee depends on when you pass the test and apply for your license. Its variations are $75.00, $150.00 and $225.00, you can check page 5 of the application from to see the exact dates and prices.

License renewal is triennial (2011, 2014, 2017, etc) for the fee of $225.00. You will need to submit a copy of the certificate you will get from the institution providing the course, in order to prove that you completed the continued competency requirement before the time of renewal. If after receiving your license, you have to renew it in 1 year, you are not subject to the continued competency only for that specific renewal.

Note: Maintenance Electricians do not need to attend any courses for continued competency! The below requirements do not apply to them!

Continued competency requirements (one of the following):

(or)

  • Take the continued competency exam administered by Prometric. The bulletin can be found here.

(or)

Here, you can check via your license code, how many other active licenses are throughout the state.

Finally, don’t forget to check Electrician Jobs in Hawaii.

Useful Links

Check Electrician Schools in Hawaii, HI

The above apply for the following largest cities (among others):
HononuluPearl CityHiloKailuaWaipahu
KaneoheMililani TownKahuluiEwa GentryKihei
HononuluPearl CityHiloKailuaWaipahu
KaneoheMililani TownKahuluiEwa GentryKihei
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