Homeowners often turn to a handyman when they need a small job done. People who work in this profession may specialize in specific jobs, such as pressure washing or small renovation projects, or do a bit of everything.
Some states require people who do handyman work to obtain a license. There is no Hawaii handyman license, but you must obtain a general contractor’s license unless the total value of the job is $1,500 or less and no building permit is required.
If you decide to pursue handyman work without a contractor’s license, you must ensure you stay within these limits. Otherwise, you could be subject to penalties.
Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. You should consult your local regulations and a qualified attorney for legal advice.
Do You Need a License to be a Handyman in Hawaii?
Anyone who offers to do or advertises their ability to do any type of commercial or residential work that involves constructing, maintaining, or altering buildings must have a valid contractor’s license. However, there is an exemption for projects that do not require a building permit and have a total value of $1,500 or less. This exemption does not apply to plumbing or electrical work.
Is There a Specific Handyman License in Hawaii?
There is no specific license for handyman work in Hawaii. However, because even small jobs may exceed $1,500, you may be limited in the work you can accept without obtaining a general contractor’s license.
Hawaii Handyman License Requirements
You don’t need to learn how to get a handyman license in Hawaii because it simply doesn’t exist. However, if you want to do work that requires a building permit or exceeds $1,500, you must obtain the appropriate professional license.
For most types of non-exempt handyman work, you need a general contractor’s license. Visit our Hawaii general contractor guide for more information.
If you are doing electrical or plumbing work, you need an electrical or plumbing license for most jobs.
If you have more questions about doing handyman work in Hawaii, these resources may provide answers:
- Does a Handyman Need a License? (What Kind and From Whom)
- Can a Handyman Do a Remodel Job? (Bathroom, Kitchen & More)
- Can a Handyman Hire Subcontractors?
If you have employees, you must obtain workers’ compensation insurance or provide proof that you are authorized to self-insure or are otherwise exempt.
Applicants for a general contractor’s license are also required to furnish proof of liability insurance that meets the minimum requirements:
- Bodily injury – $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence
- Property damage – $50,000 per occurrence
If you are doing work that does not require a general contractor’s license, you are not required to carry liability insurance. However, commercial liability insurance provides you with financial protection if you cause an injury or property damage while performing handyman work.
Use the tool below to request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners.
Hawaii Handyman Licensing and Registration Fees
Because there are no handyman license requirements in Hawaii, there are no fees. However, you may need to pay a fee to register your business that varies based on the business type.
If you intend to do work that requires a general contractor’s license, there are several fees you must pay:
- $50 application fee
- $75 examination fee
- $494 or $663 license fee depending on when you file if you are working for yourself
- $438 or $334 license fee if you are working as a Responsible Managing Employee
Handyman Training and Certification Programs
There are no specific educational or training requirements to be a handyman. However, education and training can help you improve your skills and advance your career.
The best programs of study depend on the type of work you want to do and the skills you already have. Good places to look for relevant education and training include community colleges, vocational schools, and online courses.
Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Programs
The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement offers several programs for tradesmen.
The carpentry program provides hands-on instruction by industry professionals that prepare graduates for entry-level carpentry and construction occupations. Graduates obtain certifications, such as OSHA-10 and First Aid.
Honolulu Community College
Honolulu Community College offers apprenticeship and journey worker training programs for students interested in working in construction and mechanical trades.
Specific certifications or memberships, such as obtaining a home inspector certificate or joining The Association of Certified Handyman Professionals, can lend credibility to your business. It is also essential to understand fundamental business principles, which you can gain through an online training program.
Handyman License Hawaii FAQ
If you are interested in learning more about working as a handyman in Hawaii, read these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
1. What Happens If I Do Not Have the Right License?
There are several potential consequences for performing unlicensed contracting work. First, if you don’t get paid for the work, you can’t file a lawsuit to recover payment. This means you could be out both the promised payment for your labor and the cost of the materials and supplies you used.
Second, you could be cited for unlicensed activity and have to pay a fine of up to the greater of $500 or 40% of the value of the job. The fine goes up to at least $1,000 for a second violation and $5,000 for any violation after that.
Additionally, if you represent yourself as a licensed contractor when you aren’t, you could face a misdemeanor criminal charge for each day you did work without a license. You could also be sued for damages, attorney fees, and court costs and the court could take the property you used to conduct unlicensed business.
2. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
The Professional and Vocational Licensing Division oversees professional boards and licensing programs in the state.
King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant Street, Rm. 301
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
Phone: (808) 586-3000
Email: [email protected]
3. How Much Money Can I Make As a Handyman?
Handyman salaries in Hawaii range from a low of $19,827 to a high of $60,001 per year. The typical range is $31,826 to $44,348 per year. Professionals in Waipahu, East Honolulu, and Kahului make about 4.5% more than in the rest of the state.
Because there is no Hawaii handyman license, working as a handyman can be a good way to break into the industry without having to go through the licensing process. However, it is important to make sure you follow the rules and apply for a contractor’s license if you decide you want to take on jobs that require it.
For More License and Career Guides
To find out how to become a Handyman in another state, start here.
For information on other trades in Hawaii, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: