How to Become an Electrician in Hawaii

An electrician is a tradesperson who installs or maintains the electrical wiring in residential, industrial or commercial buildings or machines. If this sounds like a stimulating career to you, consider becoming an electrician in Hawaii. This job field is growing very quickly. With Hawaii being a vacation and retiree hotspot, there is a steady need for electricians not only to install wiring in new commercial and residential zones but also to maintain existing locations. [En Español]

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that in the 10-year period from 2018 to 2028, the number of electricians working in the state is predicted to increase by 9 percent. If you begin working as an electrician helper or apprentice soon, you could be working as a licensed electrician in just a few years, well within the growth period.

Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in Hawaii

Electrician licensing is usually handled statewide, although some states do have different requirements by county. The Board of Electricians and Plumbers, which is a part of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Professional & Vocational Licensing Division of Hawaii (PVL), is responsible for electrician licenses in Hawaii.

For a Hawaii journeyman electrician license, at least 10,000 hours (approximately five years) of electrical work experience and 240 education hours are required. With a journey worker license, you can carry out basic electrical tasks under the guidance of a supervising electrician.

There are three other variations to the journeyman license that don’t require as much work experience and education, but they do come with restrictions. A journey worker industrial electrician can get their license after completing 8,000 hours of work in an industrial setting and receiving 200 hours of classroom training. A journey worker industrial electrician is limited to working in and on industrial buildings and work places. Next, you have the journey worker specialty electrician license. To obtain this license, you must have at least 6,000 hours of work experience and 120 education hours. With this license, you can conduct installation, repairs, maintenance and alterations. The maintenance electrician license requires the least experience but is the most limited. Only one year of maintenance work experience and 80 education hours, or two years of electrician trade school and 1,000 hours of on-the-job training, are needed for this license. However, you will only be able to do maintenance work on already existing installations.

You can earn a supervising electrician (ES) license (Hawaii’s equivalent of a master electrician license) after you work for four years as a journey worker. In addition to conducting electrical work, an ES also supervises. You can also take a test to become either a supervising specialty electrician (ESS) or a supervising industrial electrician (EIS). An ESS must work as a journeyman specialty electrician for at least two years before they can become licensed. The duties of an ESS are limited to supervising the maintenance and installation, repair and alteration of electrical wiring. To take the test to become licensed as an EIS, you must work for three years as a journey worker industrial electrician. An EIS can supervise electrical work in industrial areas.

Finally, after working for four years as a supervisor, you may apply to take the C-13 Electrical Contractor Exam and the Hawaiian Contractor Exam to acquire your contractor’s license.

For Hawaii electrician license renewal, the PVL has a specific web portal.

Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in Hawaii

The Hawaii Electricians Training Fund (HETF) is a non-profit fund that was created to establish new electricians while also continuing the education of licensed electricians. It is the only union apprenticeship program in Hawaii. Apprentices are provided the opportunity to train under a licensed electrician and to be paid while doing so. The 240 education hours needed to become licensed as a journey worker are also included in this program. To be considered for the HETF apprenticeship program, you must be at least 18, have a diploma or equivalent, pass an aptitude test and have passed high school algebra, and be able to meet the physical demands of the job.

The Hawaii Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors offers non-union apprenticeships that are both state- and nationally-approved. ABC Hawaii provides the academic component for apprentices in Electrical, Plumbing, Painting, Carpentry and Roofing. Employers act as “sponsors” by employing the apprentice full time in the trade. The sponsoring employer commits to train the apprentice in the individual trade while the apprentice earns a living and develops a reputation as a skilled, knowledgeable and reliable employee.

Electrician Programs in Hawaii

Some of the community colleges in Hawaii offer state-approved certificate programs as well as Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree programs in Electrical Installation and Maintenance Technology (EIMT). These trade school programs combine instruction in a classroom stetting with hands-on lab training to prepare students for entry-level electrical work. They also meet the requirements to satisfy the education hours needed to get a journey worker license within the state. Some of the colleges in Hawaii that offer these programs are:

  • Hawaii Community College offers both the certificate program, which consists of 62 credit hours, and the AAS degree program, which consists of 71 credit hours. Both programs last four semesters. The approximate cost of the entire AAS degree program at HCC, including tuition and books, is $11,505.
  • Kauai Community College has three EIMT options: a certificate of competence (CO), certificate of achievement (CA) and an AAS degree. The CO program is only 15 credit hours and can be completed in one year. The CA consists of 47 credit hours, and the AAS consists of 62, both spread out over four semesters (two years).
  • Leeward Community College offers four programs specific to each of the journey worker electrician licenses: journey worker electrician, industrial electrician, specialty electrician and maintenance electrician. Each program is six months long and covers the 240 instructional hours needed to become licensed. Tuition is approximately $4,000.
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Outlook and Salary Expectations

So, how much do electricians make in Hawaii? In 2018, 3,920 electricians were working in the state of Hawaii, according the BLS. That number is expected to continue to increase by 9 percent by 2028, adding 350 jobs in this field by that time. The BLS estimates that this change will be reflected in an average of 510 job openings each year. The BLS also reported that in 2019, electricians were making an average of $36.20 an hour and $75,300 annually. More experienced licensed electricians were making as much as $113,350 annually. In 2019, Hawaii had the highest paid electricians in the United States. As far as statewide, the urban Honolulu area had the highest employment rate and was also the highest paying area on the islands.

Salaries in Hawaii by Occupation 2019

OccupationTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual WageAnnual Salary 10th PercentileAnnual Salary 25th PercentileAnnual Salary 75th PercentileAnnual Salary 90th Percentile
Electricians3,080$37.27$77,530$49,580$58,900$96,240$113,350
Helpers--Electricians490$18.89$39,290$23,350$30,940$48,000$54,970
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment330$35.41$73,640$51,200$62,110$81,820$93,270
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay140$51.99$108,140$85,600$98,720$123,090$129,290
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers380$41.59$86,510$47,740$71,070$104,780$119,640

Electrician Salaries in Hawaii by Region 2019

AreaTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual SalaryHourly Wage 10th PercentileHourly Wage 25th PercentileHourly Wage 75th PercentileHourly Wage 90th Percentile
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI390$35.31$73,440$21.24$25.75$45.75$54.47
Urban Honolulu, HI2,280$37.27$77,520$24.69$28.49$45.79$53.50

Working as an Electrician in Hawaii

As an electrician in Hawaii, you can expect to find ample employment opportunities. In addition to residential, government and industrial buildings, electricians can expect to find work in airports and on submarines also. Contractors and their employees may oversee the construction and maintenance of hotels, resorts and condominiums on the islands. If you are willing to put in the time and discipline for education and training, in just a few years you could have a beneficial career as a licensed electrician and work almost anywhere within the state.

Organizations You Should Know

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College Programs

Hawaii / Maui / Kauai Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Hawaii Community College

1175 Manono Street, Hilo, Hawaii 96720-5096
(808) 934-2500
Electrical Installation and Maintenance Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Installation and Maintenance Technology – Associate Program

Hawaii Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in the town of Hilo, HI. The college has in the order of 3,087 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. HCC is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $3,084 and for students from other states around $8,220 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,012, depending on the program. At the end of the HCC electrical technician program, students should demonstrate entry-level skills in residential, commercial, and industrial electrical installation and maintenance, practice safety on the job and recognize potential hazards, interpret and comply with the National Electrical Code NFPA 70 book and local codes, read and interpret all sections of blueprints and draft electrical circuits, integrate carpentry, masonry, plumbing, and HVACR systems with electrical installation and maintenance, produce take-off lists, perform layout, and install new materials for existing and new projects, think critically, do research, calculate minimum requirements, and solve problems, and demonstrate the qualities of an apprentice electrician.

Kauai Community College

3-1901 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue, Hawaii 96766-9500
(808) 245-8225
Electrical Installation & Maintenance Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Installation & Maintenance Technology at Kauai Community College can be taken at their campus in Lihue in Kauai County, HI. Most of the school’s 1,401 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $3,132 and for out-of-state students approximately $8,268 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,012, although this will depend on the program.

Honolulu, HI Area

Honolulu Community College

874 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817-4505
(808) 845-9211
Electrical Installation & Maintenance Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Installation & Maintenance Technology – Associate Program

Honolulu Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Honolulu, Hawaii. Most of the school’s 4,328 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly around $3,054 and for out-of-state students in the order of $8,190 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,012, depending on the program chosen.

* College accredition status and tuition fees and are, to our best knowledge, correct at the time of writing, and sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Check all details directly with college before applying.

FAQs

How much do electricians earn in the state of Hawaii?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of Hawaii made an average of $77,530 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $49,580 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $113,350.