Illinois

40 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed

35th most burdensome licensing laws

39th most broadly and onerously licensed state

Illinois’ licensing laws for lower-income occupations are the 35th most burdensome. On average, Illinois’ barriers to entry are $244 in fees, 249 days lost to education and experience, and around one exam. Licensing 40 of the 102 lower-income occupations studied here, Illinois is the 39th most broadly and onerously licensed state.

Illinois imposes more onerous requirements than many other states for some occupations. For example, sign language interpreters—the state’s most onerously licensed occupation—must pay a $900 fee, complete four years and 40 hours of education (roughly 1,469 days total), and pass two exams to become licensed. But more than half of states (29) do not license the occupation at all and, among those that do, the average requirements are just $661 in fees, about 1,088 days of education and experience, and two exams.

Illinois also imposes burdens on some occupations that seem excessive compared to those for other occupations that may present greater risks to the public. For example, it takes more schooling to become a barber or a cosmetologist in Illinois than it does to become an EMT. EMTs can become licensed after completing about 37 days (160 hours) of education. Barbers and cosmetologists, on the other hand, must spend nearly 10 times as long in school (1,500 hours or roughly 350 days) before they can work. Illinois could expand lower-income employment opportunities by reducing or repealing these and other licensing burdens, or—if government regulation is necessary—by replacing them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives.

Burden Rank Occupation States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Min. Grade Min. Age
1 Interpreter, Sign Language 22 $900 1469 4 years and 40 clock hours 2 12 18
2 Preschool Teacher, Public School 50 $660 1460 4 years 3 0 0
3 Athletic Trainer 49 $500 1460 4 years 1 0 0
4 Security Alarm Installer 37 $328 1095 3 years 1 0 21
5 Fire Alarm Installer 39 $328 1095 3 years 1 0 21
6 Earth Driller, Water Well 51 $50 730 2 years 1 0 18
7 Veterinary Technician 36 $360 730 2 years 1 0 0
8 Barber 51 $157 350 1500 clock hours 1 12 16
9 Bill Collection Agency 31 $750 365 1 years 0 0 18
10 Cosmetologist 51 $210 350 1500 clock hours 1 0 16
11 Makeup Artist 41 $186 175 750 clock hours 1 12 16
11 Skin Care Specialist 50 $186 175 750 clock hours 1 12 16
13 Pharmacy Technician 44 $169 140 600 clock hours 1 12 18
14 Pest Control Applicator 51 $325 112 16 credit hours 2 12 0
15 Massage Therapist 44 $370 140 600 clock hours 1 0 18
16 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $65 37 160 clock hours 1 12 18
17 Auctioneer 30 $271 0 1 12 18
18 Manicurist 50 $210 82 350 clock hours 1 0 16
19 School Bus Driver 51 $114 0 6 0 21
20 Gaming Supervisor 30 $1050 0 0 0 21
20 Slot Supervisor 28 $1050 0 0 0 21
22 Child Care Home, Family 44 $27 4 21 clock hours 0 12 18
23 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer 51 $110 0 5 0 18
24 Bus Driver, City/Transit 51 $50 0 5 0 18
25 Truck Driver, Other 51 $110 0 4 0 18
26 Locksmith 14 $174 3 20 clock hours 1 0 18
27 Mobile Home Installer 39 $150 2 10 clock hours 1 0 18
28 Gaming Cage Worker 29 $250 0 0 0 21
28 Gaming Dealer 28 $250 0 0 0 21
30 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator 51 $60 0 4 0 0
31 Wildlife Control Operator 23 $0 0 1 0 18
32 Security Guard, Unarmed 34 $55 0 0 0 18
33 Coach, Head (High School Sports) 48 $0 1 4 clock hours 0 0 19
34 Milk Sampler 42 $25 0 1 0 0
35 Fisher, Commercial 43 $60 0 0 0 0
36 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) 47 $50 0 0 0 0
36 Landscape Contractor (Residential) 48 $50 0 0 0 0
36 Travel Guide 37 $50 0 0 0 0
39 Taxidermist 28 $26 0 0 0 0
40 Animal Breeder 28 $25 0 0 0 0
N/A Midwife, Direct Entry 28 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

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