Davis Bacon Related Acts

Resources for Arkansas prevailing wage contractors



Whether you are just starting out as a prevailing wage contractor or just looking to keep yourself updated, we have compiled these resources about state prevailing wage. Here are the most common questions of prevailing wage contractors and workers to help expand your knowledge!

Bidding for public works projects in Arkansas requires you, the government contractor, to be well-informed in the state’s prevailing wage law. Contractors found in violation of the law may be fined, and may be debarred from public works bidding activities. Read on below for some of the frequently asked questions about Arkansas prevailing wage law. For help with fully compliant fringe benefit plans in Arkansas please get in-touch via email or give us a call today!

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How much should a public construction project cost in Arkansas so that prevailing wage regulations will apply?
Public construction projects in Arkansas should have a total cost of labor and materials exceeding $75,000 for prevailing wage to take effect. The following public works, however, are exempted from this requirement:
(a) public school construction;
(b) work done for any drainage;
(c) highway, road, street, or bridge construction and maintenance and other related works contracted by the town, city, county, or the Arkansas Highway Department.
How often is the schedule of prevailing wage updated for Arkansas?
Arkansas holds a survey every year to determine prevailing wage rates for different job classifications. The Arkansas prevailing wage rate schedule is divided into 17 counties and wage rates belonging to the same job classification may differ between counties. The updated wage rate schedule is published every first of July, and is effective until a new determination is agreed.
How will we know if there will be an update to the Arkansas prevailing wage rates?
The Arkansas Department of Labor will give notice of its intent to certify an update on the prevailing wage schedule at least 20 days prior the certification. The notice shall be mailed to all who have requested to have advance notice of the new wage schedule and shall be published for a period of three consecutive days in a newspaper.
Is there a fixed rate for overtime incurred in prevailing wage projects in Arkansas?
Arkansas’ prevailing wage law does not have a daily overtime rate for its prevailing wage workers. Overtime is accrued when a prevailing wage employee exceeds forty hours of work in a workweek.
Is there a different rate for work incurred during weekends for Arkansas’ public construction projects?
No, the prevailing wage of Arkansas does not have different rates for the hours worked on a weekend. The same holds true for nights and any legal holidays.
For work hours incurred on legal holidays, the pay is up to you, the contractor. If you give your employees holidays or vacations, then you can take a credit toward the employee’s fringe benefit.
The Arkansas prevailing wage regulations do not enforce different wage rates for different shifts (day shift and graveyard shift).
What are the allowed fringe benefits for prevailing wage workers in Arkansas?
In the Arkansas prevailing wage regulation, prevailing wage refers to the employee’s basic hourly rate plus his fringe benefits. Fringe benefits include the rate of contribution irrevocably made by a contractor through a third party to a fund or plan, and the rate of costs to the contractor in providing benefits to its prevailing wage workers. These benefits can be:

  • medical or hospital care,
  • pensions,
  • retirement,
  • death,
  • compensation for occupational injuries and illness,
  • insurance,
  • vacation and holiday pay,
  • costs of apprenticeship, and
    other bona fide fringe benefits.
How much should I pay for my apprentices in Arkansas? Do I need to contribute for any training fund?
u can make contributions to the training fund credited to the fringe benefit portion of your employee’s prevailing wage. Arkansas prevailing wage laws allow lower rates for any apprentice enrolled in a Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) certified apprentice school or program.
If I am hiring apprentices for my public construction project in Arkansas, what are the things I should remember?
As a prevailing wage contractor who hires apprentices in Arkansas, it is your duty to:

  • track the education of your apprentice,
  • provide a certified copy of the apprentice’s enrolment in a certified apprenticeship program, and
  • provide the current completion percentage.

If an apprentice is not enrolled in a BAT-approved apprenticeship school, then he must be paid the full journeyman rate in the prevailing wage schedule.

How should I compute for my apprentice’s compensation if he is enrolled in a BAT certified school or program?
An apprentice’s compensation can be computed by multiplying the percentage of his progress in a BAT approved school to the basic hourly rate. The apprentice must be provided fringe benefits, as per the agreement of the apprenticeship school with BAT. If no agreement exists, then the apprentice must be paid with full amount of fringe benefits.
How many apprentices can I hire for my public construction project in Arkansas?
The allowed number or ratio of apprentices to journeymen in a project site is dependent to the registered apprenticeship program.
What is the apprenticeship document I should secure if I am employing apprentices?
You must keep a copy of the apprentice certification, which is issued by the Department of Labor, BAT.
Do I need to pay for my prevailing wage worker’s travel and subsistence?
The Arkansas prevailing wage law does not mandate payment for travel and subsistence of prevailing wage workers.
As a contractor, is there any licensing requirement I should take note of when taking government projects?

Your contracting company should be licensed by the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board. Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC workers must also be licensed by the state. Licenses must all be valid during the time of the project.

For Electrical Contractors:
To obtain a license, contractor must submit the following to the Board:

(a) Board-approved application form;
(b) documentary proof that the electrical contractor is a master electrician who must be licensed;
(c) a statement under oath, executed by the master electrician, that he is affiliated with other electrical contractor and that he is employed as a manager or superintendent of the applicant electrical contractor. This applies only if the electrical contractor is not itself a master electrician.

For Master Electricians:
The following requirements must be met to obtain a master electrician license:

(a) a degree in electrical engineering PLUS one year of experience; or
(b) at least 6 years’ experience in the construction industry (both residential and commercial) INCLUDING 2 years’ experience as a licensed journeyman electrician; or
(c) any combination of training and experience as the board may approve, (e.g. formal electrical apprenticeship programs specifically approved by the board, on-the-job training specifically approved by the board, or a combination of training and construction experience that is determined by the board to be equivalent to that as specified in (a) or (b)

For Journeyman Electricians:
The following must be met to earn a license as journeyman electrician:

(a) at least 4 years or 8,000 hours of experience in electrical work, subject to board approval;
(b) at least 4 years of training or experience, or a combination of both, subject to board approval, including formal apprenticeship programs, on-the-job training, and other electrical training programs, whether private or public; or
(c) “Notice of Apprenticeship Committee Action – Released for Test” issued by the corresponding training program, if applicable, and subject to approval by the Department of Workforce Education. The journeyman electrician may take the examination upon completing 4 years of training and submitting a duly approved Released for Test form.
(d) Maintenance experience in electrical work may be considered provided:

(1) the applicant has completed a BAT-approved construction sponsored apprenticeship program; and
(2) electrical work must be:

(A) performed under the direct supervision of an engineer, licensed master electrician, or licensed journeyman electrician; and
(B) verified and documented in detail; and

(3) experience must either:

(A) have at least 4 years or 8,000 hours of experience in electrical work, subject to board approval; or
(B) have at least 6 years or 10,000 hours or experience in electrical maintenance work, 2 years of which have been used in electrical construction.

What are the penalties for contractors violating the prevailing wage requirements in Arkansas?
Submitting false payroll documents or information is fined at around $50 – $1000 for each violation. Each day of the violation is a separate offense, and will be fined accordingly. Any civil penalties should not be greater than 10% of the contract or 10% of the unpaid wages due to the wage workers.
Who maintains the list of contractors not allowed to bid on public works contracts?
Submitting false payroll documents or information is fined at around $50 – $1000 for each violation. Each day of the violation is a separate offense, and will be fined accordingly. Any civil penalties should not be greater than 10% of the contract or 10% of the unpaid wages due to the wage workers.


Public works is a demanding work and will require your full attention and focus. Not to mention, your public works project has a deadline that you cannot miss, which is essential in ensuring that your next bidding will be successful.
ARCHER JORDAN will help you focus on your project. Our job is to take care of your employees’ prevailing wage concerns, especially their fringe benefits. We will ensure that you are compliant with Arkansas prevailing wage laws to spare you from trouble which could cause you thousands of dollars in losses. Call ARCHER JORDAN today and let us be your winning partner in your government contracting bids.

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