HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN HAWAII

A GUIDE ON PLUMBING IN HAWAII

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 2,050 people engaged in the plumbing, pipe-fitting and steam-fitting industry in Hawaii. Hawaii is an island state of the United States of America in the Pacific Ocean. As of 2018, the estimated population of Hawaii was 1,420,491 people. It is one of the geographically smallest and among the least populated states of the USA. Tourism is the largest industry in Hawaii. In 2014, the per capita income of Hawaii residents was $54,516. The unemployment rate is Hawaii is 3.2% which is lower than the state average. Hawaii ranks low among the US states in terms of personal income but has a high cost of living. The unemployment rate is Hawaii is 3.2% which is lower than the US average. Hawaii residents have to pay the highest per person state tax in the USA. In spite of being a small island state, Hawaii is a distinct melting pot of different cultures. There are also a wide range of educational and employment opportunities in Hawaii. This article will focus on the career prospects of a plumber and offer a detailed guide on how to become a plumber in Hawaii.

Hawaii

JOB OUTLOOK

As mentioned above, there are 2,050 plumbers in Hawaii. 3.23 people out of every 1000 persons are employed in this industry. Annually a plumber in Hawaii earns $72,920 on an average. The average hourly salary of a plumber in this state is $35.06. Wages usually start from $40,140 and can go up to $135,723. An apprentice plumber earns $16.98 per hour. The average hourly salary of a journeyman plumber in Hawaii is $25.46.

The cities paying highest wages to plumbers in Hawaii are Pearl City, Honolulu and Waimanalo.

WHAT INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR PLUMBERS IN HAWAII

All licensed plumbers operating in Hawaii must have current and updated policies of Workers’ Compensation Insurance, General Liability Insurance and Property Damage Insurance.

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance requires plumbers to submit a certificate of coverage along with a statement from the provider that the Board will be notified about any changes in the insurance.

General Liability and Property Damage Insurance requires plumbers to show a certificate of complete policy coverage from a provider authorised to carry out business in Hawaii.

Plumbers must have the following minimums for each type of liability insurance:

  • Bodily injury liability: $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence
  • Property damage liability: $50,000 per occurrence

Unless a coverage policy is reinstated within 60 days of expiration, the plumbing license is subject to automatic forfeiture.

Insurance

HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN HAWAII

  • Must be 18 years of age or above
  • Must have a high School or GED Certificate
  • College Degree or Vocational Courses (Optional)
  • Must have work experience as an apprentice plumber
  • Must pass the Licensing Tests

Provided below is a detailed guide on how to become a plumber in Hawaii.

HOW TO BECOME AN APPRENTICE PLUMBER IN HAWAII:

The first step in becoming a plumber is to get enrolled in an apprenticeship program. The state of Hawaii does not require licensing for a plumbing apprenticeship however plumbers must finish a certain number of credit hours in order to become a journeyman plumber. Apprenticeships can be found through:

  • A state-registered apprenticeship program from the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations Workforce Development Division;
  • With a union
  • Via sponsored, on-the-job training with a licensed or member employer
  • Or with an approved participating college.

In these programs, students acquire on-the-job training through classroom instructions as well as hands-on training.

HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED PLUMBER IN HAWAII:

There are 2 kinds of licenses for plumbers in Hawaii:

  • Journeyman plumber license
  • Master plumber license
Licensing is mandatory

How to become a journeyman plumber:

To become a journeyman plumber, it is mandatory to have a minimum of 5 years or 10,000 hours of experience as an apprentice plumber with sufficient on-the-job experience. This apprenticeship work can be performed with a private employer or a union but it must be in compliance with the Uniform Plumbing Code. In order to acquire a license, an application form needs to be filled out, the fee for which is $40.

Once the application gets approved, the candidate is allowed to sit for the journeyman exam. The examination fee is $90. It is a 3-hour closed book test comprising 100 questions. This exam covers a wide range of topics related to plumbing and administration. After passing the license exam, a candidate needs to submit n amount as license fees to the Board. The charges are as following:

  • If licensed between July 1st & June 30th of the 1st year of the cycle (2021, 2024) – $306
  • If licensed between July 1st & June 30th of the 2nd year of the cycle (2019, 2022, 2025) – $204
  • If licensed between July 1st & June 30th of the 3rd year of the cycle (2023, 2026, 2029) – $102

After meeting the necessary requirements, a license is issued.

How to become a master plumber:

Having gained the journey worker license, plumbers can start working to accumulate hours for the master plumber license. In order to become a master plumber, it is mandatory to have worked 2 years a licensed journeyman plumber. There is also another exam that the candidate must pass.

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs regulates the licensing procedures for vocational trades (including plumbing) in the state.

A plumbing license in Hawaii must be renewed every 3 years. Plumbers are also required to fulfil the necessary requirements for continuing competency.

PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN HAWAII:

Vocational courses in plumbing are offered by a number of trade schools. These courses help students to gain quick employment in the plumbing industry. Through these courses, students at various levels enhance their knowledge base and become well equipped to carry out plumbing services.

This section of the article will focus on some of the plumbing courses offered by colleges in Hawaii:

Baby plumbers at work
  • Hawaii Laborer’s and Apprentice Training Centre, Honolulu – offers an apprenticeship and joint training program titled – Construction Craft Laborer Apprenticeship Program. Applicants must possess a high school diploma/GED and have a driver’s license. During the 4000 hours of coursework students learn about pipe laying, water systems, sanitary/drainage systems, and work zone safety among other things.
  • The same course is also offered by Hawaii Laborer’s Apprentice Training Centre Campus at Farrington HWY at O’ahu.
  • University of Hawaii – offers 15 courses in plumbing and related aspects spread over a number of campuses from Hilo to Honolulu to Kahului.
  • Honolulu Community College, Honolulu – offers a highly accredited apprentice training program. Training programs are also available for journey level workers who wish to upgrade their skills.
  • Associated Builders and Contractors, Honolulu – a school in the capital city of Hawaii that offers training programs in 5 trades, one of which is plumbing. Coursework includes theoretical as well as practical training. Classes hare held for 2.5 hours on two nights of each week.
  • Pamcah-UA, Pearl City – apprenticeship training programs are offered by this labor union located near Kamehameha HWY.

The unemployment rate in the construction industry in Hawaii has been rather high.The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world in more ways than one. It has had a devastating impact on most job sectors with employment being pushed to the edges of uncertainty. Most jobs have also faced a dip in salaries. Under this situation, the status of plumbers and those engaged in the construction trade is not any different. On one end, plumbers have had to face a certain amount of reluctance from clients who are unwilling to allow them entry into their homes (in compliance with the social distancing protocols). On the other hand, a silver lining exists for plumbers as they are placed in a prime position for quick recovery. The construction workers have been recognised as a part of the “essential critical infrastructure workforce”. Plumbers have therefore continued their operations regardless of the situation. This has acted as a ray of hope for the industry. It has also been predicted that the construction services market will grow by $37.39 billion by 2024. Safety has always been of immense significance in this industry but the need for workers’ safety and environmentally sound systems is increasing at a rapid rate. With sanitation systems being a major carrier of the virus, health is now a bigger priority than ever.Staff shortage due to the Covid-19 virus has also created a need for plumbing contractors to expand their workforce by hiring more employees.With more people staying at home, there has also been an increased demand for construction workers, especially those like plumbers who deal with repairs. Ever since the nation went into lockdown, the construction industry had to deal with a delay in import of equipment, since most of the tools came from China. Under this scenario, most plumbing businesses are seeking alternatives, one of which is deciding to shift the supply chain closer to home. Although the current circumstances in Hawaii might look grave, he idea of a fruitful and brighter future for plumbers in the state cannot be ruled out.

A bright future awaits the plumbing industry

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