Hawaii HVAC Contractor Licensing Guide

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Looking to learn HVAC in the state of Hawaii? Wondering about certifications, licenses, or becoming an HVAC contractor? Now is a great time to pursue further education within the field. The median salary in Hawaii for HVAC techs one of the highest in the country coming in at an impressive $61,330 annually. This article will serve as a guide to HVAC trainings and certifications within the state.

HVAC Licensing Requirements for Hawaii

To become an HVAC tech in Hawaii you will not need any licensing or certifications. Only contractors will need licensing in their specialty trade. This is convenient for those HVAC techs who have attended a vocational school or have already gained hands-on experience.

One popular specialty trade license in Hawaii is the C-40 Refrigeration Contractor license, which allows tradesmen to assemble and install devices, machinery, and units, including temperature insulation units, ducts, blowers, registers, humidity, and thermostatic controls for the control of air temperature below fifty degrees Fahrenheit in refrigerators, refrigerated rooms, and insulated refrigerated spaces and to construct walk-in refrigerator boxes.

Here are the eligibility requirements to obtain your contractor license (in tandem with a C-40 or other specialty) and your Section 608 Certification:

keeping cool in hot hawaii

Contractor’s Licensing Requirements in Hawaii

  • Worker’s compensation insurance
  • Bodily injury liability minimum of $100,00 per person and $300,000 per occurrence
  • Property damage liability of $50,000 per occurrence
  • Proof of business residency
  • Four years of, recent (within the past 10 years) full-time supervisory work as a journeyman, foreman, supervisor, or contractor in the field (like refrigeration if you would like to pursue a C-40)
  • Pass business, law, and trade exams
  • Pay $50 application fee
  • Contractor’s fees once you pass your exam is $545 if you have been licensed between October 1st of an even-numbered year and September 30th of an odd numbered year.
  • If you have been licensed between October 1st of the odd-numbered year and September 30th of the even-numbered year the fee is $415
  • If you are not the business owner but a Responsible Managing Employee the fee is $335 between October 1st of the even-numbered year and September 30th of the odd numbered year and $225 if licensed between October 1st of the odd-numbered year and September 30th of an even numbered.

EPA Certification Requirements

Under the EPA Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, it is required that techs who work with any equipment that is liable to release refrigerants that could harm the atmosphere must be certified, making it a great companion certification to a C-40 Refrigeration Contractors License.

You must pass an EPA test to get your Section 608 Tech Certification. Technicians are required to pass an EPA-approved test to earn Section 608 Technician Certification.

There are three different certification types a technician can acquire:

environmental protection agency exams are part of the hvac certification process

EPA Section 608 HVAC Type I

Certifies techs to work on small appliances containing five pounds of less of refrigerant

EPA Section 608 HVAC Type II

Allows techs to work with high and very high pressure appliances, including non-automotive systems and split systems.

EPA Section 608 HVAC Type III

This certification permits techs to work on low-pressure appliances

HVAC Examination Process in Hawaii

To become a licensed contractor, you will need to prepare not only for the business and law exam, but the companion exam that is related to your specific trade, in this case the C-40 Refrigeration exam. You will take schedule and take both exams together with Experior or Prometric.

Contractor Licensing Exam

The general contractor exam in Hawaii requires the following:

  • Contact Experior or Prometric to schedule your exam at a test site near you
  • Pay the exam fee of $65
  • The exam has two parts: business and law & trade specific
  • The exam is not open book so you will really need to prepare
  • Part I’s question topics include (in order of question percentages, greatest to least): contract management, estimating, bidding, licensing, risk management, project management, financial management, safety, labor laws, tax laws, public works laws, lien laws, and business organization.
  • Part II covers: trade specifics, construction codes, regulations, building codes, trade materials, tools, equipment and methods.

Trade Specific C-40 Refrigeration Exam

  • 80 questions answered within the allotted 3-hour time frame
  • This exam is not open book so preparation will be very necessary
  • The exam covers refrigeration, commercial refrigeration, controls, sizing and estimating, test and inspection, walk-in construction, ventilation, and troubleshooting
  • You will need a 75% to pass
  • You will first need to pass the Business and Law exam described above

Section 608 Certification Exam

To get ready for the EPA Section 608 exam, you should be aware of the following:

  • There is a 12-page manual you can use to prepare
  • For the Type I, the exam is open-book, but the passing grade is 84% for each section and the core questions must be repeated in a proctored environment if other certifications are pursued later on. It might be easiest to find a test site and take a proctored exam the first time you test.
  • Decide whether you would like to test for Type 1, 2 or 3
  • Certification costs $24.95
  • If you fail your test on the first attempt will cost $5.95 for each additional attempt
  • Topics covered on the core of the exam: ozone depletion, Clean Air Act, 608 regulations, substitute refrigerants, refrigeration, recovery techniques, recovery, recycling, safety, dehydration evacuation, and shipping

Job Outlook for HVAC Technicians in Hawaii

Where to Learn the HVAC trade in PA

Over the next decade it is projected that there will be 13.6% job growth in the field. There is a great demand for technicians and salaries reflect this. The national average for HVAC techs is $45K annually. There is little fluctuation in salary from island to island or city to city in Hawaii. All major locations have an annual base salary between $42,000-44,000 for HVAC techs.

Hawaii’s tropical climates and tourism makes the demand for great air conditioning very high. Since the location is isolated there is less competition for HVAC jobs in the area.

And what could be better than working and living in paradise?

Conclusion

Getting a contractor’s license as a business owner or employee in Hawaii can be incredibly beneficial. Choose a specialty trade, whether it be refrigeration or solar energy systems and take your business and law exam following the procedures described above. It will allow you to bid on larger projects and have a more lucrative business or become a more valuable employee with project management experience and the licensing to prove it.

Looking For Information On The Nearest States?

You might also be interested in HVAC licensing requirements in some mainland states:

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About Author

My name is Bob and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs.

5 Comments

  1. Hi Bob,

    Thank You making this Blog especially on this topic. I do air conditioning here in Hawaii. I have been working for a union contractor now for the past 13 years and always wondered what was the requirement’s to get your contractors license here in Hawaii. I have heard that it is very hard and thus have never attempted to get it. I find your website very simple yet very detailed at the same time. I just wanted to tell you thank you for creating this Blog as I know how much time and effort it takes to create a website of this nature.

    Best Regards,
    Joshua

      • Hi Bob, I’m a new tech in Hawaii. Where do I go to school or vocational courses, and still work full time? I know you might not know, thanks Will

        • Hi Will,
          So far I haven’t really looked into Hawaii. Eventually I’d like to have a section on schools for each state, but just haven’t had time yet.

          There’s a tool on most of my articles about state certification that lets you put in your ZIP code and get more info about local schools. You might have to check with them individually to see which ones have programs that meet your work schedule. It’s not on this page yet, but you can find it on the Alabama article for sure.

          Hopefully that’ll get you started in the right direction! Be sure to stay tuned…eventually I’ll get back to those schools articles (there’s only about 4 right now)

  2. Elite Air Inc. on island of Kauai, HI is looking for an experienced HVAC tech!
    Competitive pay based on experience, medical benefits, paid time off.
    If you know of any, please send them our way:) Mahalo!
    [email protected]

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