Frequently Asked Questions

When do the classes start?

Classes for new students begin only in the Fall semester. If you start in the Spring semester, you will be taking your support classes such as Math, English and other general education requirements.

How long will I have to wait to get into the program?

Because there is such a high demand for this training, students typically end up waiting 2-3 years before they can actually start the electrical classes.

Can I be placed on a waitlist to get into the program?

There is no waitlist. Entry is based on the number of credit hours you have completed at Honolulu CC in addition to credits that have been accepted as transfer credits to Honolulu CC. The total of these credit hours determine when you will register, so the higher this total, the earlier you will register.

Will you accept credits from other campuses?

We will accept credits from other campuses but only credits that are applicable for the program. If you would like to transfer credits to Honolulu CC, you will need to submit a "Transfer Evaluation Request Form", which can be obtained from the Records Office and have your official transcripts sent to our Records Office. If you would like to transfer credits from a college within the University of Hawaiʻi system, you will only need to submit a "Transfer Evaluation Request Form" because your transcript can be viewed on-line by the evaluator.

Will completing the program at Honolulu CC help me get into the Electrical Union?

No. However, once you are accepted into the Union, your degree at Honolulu CC will be counted as classroom hours in the apprenticeship program as you work towards your journey workers license.

How many Electrical Unions are there on Oʻahu?

There are four electrical unions on Oʻahu. The IBEW Local 1186 represents alarm and signal, cable television, electrical equipment services, government, construction electricians, marine, sound and public access, and radio-television service workers. IBEW Local 1260 represents utility workers (i.e. HECO and Maui Electric). IBEW Local 1357 represents telephone workers. The HEW (Hawaii Electrical Workers) is a division of the Laborer's Internation and represents some construction electricians.

What kind of electrical work will the program prepare me for?

After completing the program, you can choose a career as a construction electrician or a maintenance electrician. Program graduates are also employed as electrical workers by Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, Kauai Electric, Hawaiian Telecom, Oceanic Cable, Hotels, City & County of Honolulu, State of Hawaiʻi and the Federal Government.

What is the difference between a construction electrician and a maintenance electrician?

A construction electrician installs residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems. A maintenance electrician keeps the electrical systems and equipment in good working order after they have been installed.

Is there an advantage to completing the electrical program at Honolulu CC instead of directly entering the Electrical Union?

The advantage is that oftentimes the unions, private or government employers may recruit for apprentices through Honolulu CC because students already have the basic knowledge and skills needed to perform entry level work.

Are there any evening classes?

No. All electrical classes are offered only during the day.

What kind of degree can I get after I complete the program?

You can earn either a Certificate of Achievement or an Associate of Applied Science degree.

What is the difference between a Certificate and an Associate degree?

The difference is the number of credits required for each. The Associate degree requires an additional Math class, English class and three general education classes for a total of 16 additional credits.

How long will it take for me to earn an Associate degree?

It will take two years once you start the electrical classes.

Will I be able to finish the Certificate in a shorter time since I will be taking less credits?

No. It will still take two years. Electrical classes cannot be combined. They must be taken in the order it is offered because the classes are progressive and build on the prior semester classes.

Can I get a Certificate of Achievement and then later come back to get my Associate in Applied Science degree?

Yes. Many students get their Certificate, go to work for a few years and then return to complete the additional credits to earn their Associate degree.

Do my credits expire after a specified number of years?

No. Your credits never expire but the program requirements may change over the years.

What kind of tools will I need to buy for the program?

Your instructor will give you a tool list when you start. The approximate cost which includes books is approximately $650.