The Different Licensing Classifications of a Hawaii Contractors License

Getting a contractor’s license can be a complicated mission. The first step in getting a Hawaii Contractors license, is determining which one you need. The following article outlines the various contractor licensing classifications in the state of Hawaii.

Classification “A”

The main, largest contractor classification is Classification “A”; General Engineering Contractor. This classification is defined as any contractor whose principal contracting business that requires engineering knowledge and skill. This can include any of the following elements:

  • Irrigation
  • Drainage
  • Water power
  • Water supply
  • Flood control
  • Inland waterways
  • Harbors
  • Docks and wharves
  • Shipyards and ports
  • Dams and hydroelectric projects
  • Levees
  • River control and reclamation
  • Railroads
  • Highways
  • Streets and roads
  • Tunnels
  • Airports and airways
  • Sewers and sewage disposal plants and systems
  • Waste reductions plants
  • Bridges
  • Overpasses, underpasses, and other similar works
  • Pipelines and other systems for transportation of liquids and gases, such as petroleum
  • Parks, playgrounds, and other recreational works
  • Refineries
  • Chemical plants and other industrial plants requiring specialized engineering knowledge and skill
  • Powerhouses, power plants, and other utility plants and installations
  • Mines and metallurgical plants
  • Land leveling and earth-moving projects
  • Excavating
  • Grading
  • Trenching
  • Paving and surfacing work as well as cement and concrete works in connection with the above mentioned works.

All contractors who hold the “A” general engineering contractor classification license automatically hold the following specialty classifications. They don’t need to take any other classification examination or pay any additional fees. These specialty classifications include:

  • C-3: asphalt paving and surfacing;
  • C-9: cesspool
  • C-10: scaffolding
  • C-17: excavating, grading, and trenching
  • C-24: building moving and wreckingC-31a: cement concrete
  • C-32: ornamental guardrail, and fencing
  • C-35: pile driving, pile and caisson drilling, and foundation
  • C-37a: sewer and drain line
  • C-37b: irrigation and lawn sprinkler systems
  • C-38: post tensioning
  • C-43: sewer, sewage disposal, drain, and pipe laying
  • C-49: swimming pool
  • C-56: welding
  • C-57a: pumps installation
  • C-57b: injection well
  • C-61: solar energy systems.

Contractors holding the “A” general engineering Hawaii contractors license may also install poles in all new pole lines as well as replacing poles, given that the installation of ground wires, insulators, and conductors is performed by a contractor holding the relevant classification (C-62 pole and line). Additionally, general contractors may install duct lines, given the installation of conductors is performed by a contractor holding the relevant license (C-13 electrical).

Classification “B”

The second classification of a Hawaii contractors license classification is “B,” for general building contractors. This classification is defined as a contractor whose principal business is related to any structure built, being built, or to be built. This structure may be for the support, shelter, or enclosure of persons, animals, personal property including livestock that is moveable. This building must require the use of more than two unrelated building trades or crafts in its construction.

Contractors with a “B” general building contractor license automatically hold the following specialty classifications. This does not require further examination or any additional fee. Those specialty classifications include:

  • C-5: cabinet, millwork, and carpentry remodeling and repairs
  • C-6: carpentry framing;
  • C-10: scaffolding
  • C-12: drywall
  • C-24: building moving and wrecking
  • C-25: institutional and commercial equipment
  • C-31a: cement concrete
  • C-32a: wood and vinyl fencing
  • C-42a: aluminum and other metal shingles
  • C-42b: wood shingles and wood shakes


Classification “C”

Hawaii contractors license classification “C” is for specialty contractors, which includes anyone whose construction operations require special skills such as electric, drywall, painting, decorating, landscaping, flooring, carpet installation, plumbing, roofing, and other specialties. There are many subclassifications for contractors with a “C” classification:

  • C-1: Acoustical and insulation contractor
  • C-2: Mechanical insulation contractor
  • C-3: Asphalt paving and surfacing contractor: C-3a: Asphalt concrete patching, sealing, and striping contractor and C-3b: Play court surfacing contractor
  • C-4: Boiler, hot-water heating, and steam fitting contractor
  • C-5: Cabinet, millwork, and carpentry remodeling and repairs contractor: C-5a: Garage door and window shutters contractor and C-5b: Siding application contractor
  • C-6: Carpentry framing contractor
  • C-7: Carpet laying contractor
  • C-9: Cesspool contractor
  • C-10: Scaffolding contractor
  • C-12: Drywall contractor
  • C-13: Electrical contractor
  • C-14: Sign contractor
  • C-15: Electronic systems contractor: C-15a: Fire and burglar alarm contractor and C-15b: Telecommunications contractor
  • C-16: Elevator contractor: C-16a: Conveyor systems contractor
  • C-17: Excavating, grading, and trenching contractor
  • C-19: Asbestos contractor
  • C-20: Fire protection contractor: C-20a: Fire suppression systems contractor
  • C-21: Flooring contractor
  • C-22: Glazing and tinting contractor: C-22a: Glass tinting contractor
  • C-23: Gunite contractor
  • C-24: Building moving and wrecking contractor
  • C-25: Institutional and commercial equipment contractor
  • C-27: Landscaping contractor: C-27a: Hydro mulching contractor and C-27b: Tree trimming and removal contractor
  • C-31: Masonry contractor: C-31a: Cement concrete contractor; C-31b: Stone masonry contractor; C-31c: Refractory contractor; C-31d: Tuckpointing and caulking contractor and C-31e: Concrete cutting, drilling, sawing, coring, and pressure grouting contractor
  • C-32: Ornamental, guardrail, and fencing contractor: C-32a Wood and vinyl fencing contractor
  • C-33: Painting and decorating contractor: C-33a: Wall coverings contractor; C-33b: Taping contractor and C-33c: Surface treatment contractor
  • C-34: Soil stabilization contractor
  • C-35: Pile driving, pile and caisson drilling, and foundation contractor
  • C-36: Plastering contractor: C-36a: Lathing contractor; C-37 Plumbing contractor
  • C-37a: Sewer and drain line contractor: C-37b: Irrigation and lawn sprinkler systems contractor; C-37c: Vacuum and air systems contractor; C-37d: Water chlorination and sanitation contractor; C-37e: Treatment and pumping facilities contractor and C-37f: Fuel dispensing contractor
  • C-38: Post tensioning contractor
  • C-40: Refrigeration contractor: C-40a: Prefabricated refrigerator panels contractor
  • C-41: Reinforcing steel contractor
  • C-42: Roofing contractor: C-42a: Aluminum and other metal shingles contractor; C-42b: Wood shingles and wood shakes contractor; C-42c: Concrete and clay tile contractor; C-42e: Urethane foam contractor and C-42g: Roof coatings contractor
  • C-43: Sewer, sewage disposal, drain, and pipe laying contractor: C-43a: Reconditioning and repairing pipeline contractor
  • C-44: Sheet metal contractor: C-44a: Gutters contractor and C-44b: Awnings and patio cover contractor
  • C-48: Structural steel contractor : C-48a Steel door contractor
  • C-49: Swimming pool contractor: C-49a: Swimming pool service contractor and C-49b: Hot tub and pool contractor
  • C-51: Tile contractor: C-51a: Cultured marble contractor and C-51b: Terrazzo contractor
  • C-52: Ventilating and air conditioning contractor
  • C-53: Miscellaneous retail products contractor
  • C-54: Interior design contractor
  • C-55: Waterproofing contractor
  • C-56: Welding contractor

Each subclassification has its own specifications for scope of practice.

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