Oklahoma

41 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed

18th most burdensome licensing laws

35th most broadly and onerously licensed state

Oklahoma licenses 41 of the 102 lower-income occupations studied here. Its laws are the 18th most burdensome, requiring an average of $234 in fees, 399 days of education and experience, and around two exams. Because of the state’s higher than average burdens but lower than average number of occupations licensed, Oklahoma ranks as the 35th most broadly and onerously licensed in the nation.

Oklahoma licenses some occupations that are unlicensed elsewhere, such as packers (licensed by just six states), title examiners (seven), dental assistants (nine), locksmiths (14) and veterinary technicians (36). Among those, vet techs are particularly onerously licensed, facing $440 in fees, two years (730 days) of education and two exams. Security and fire alarm installers—each licensed in roughly three dozen states—also face particularly heavy burdens in Oklahoma. The state’s alarm installer licenses require hundreds of dollars in fees and 1,460 days—four years—of experience. But the average education or experience requirement across licensed states is 836 days for security alarm installers and 915 days for fire alarm installers.

Oklahoma 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, EMTs must pay $165 in fees, complete 154 hours (around 36 days) of education and pass two exams. But barbers and cosmetologists face education requirements that are nearly 10 times as high—1,500 hours (roughly 350 days). Oklahoma could improve employment prospects for its lower-income residents by reducing or repealing its arduous requirements for barbers, cosmetologists and other occupations, or—if government regulation is necessary—by replacing them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives such as inspections or voluntary certification.

Burden Rank Occupation States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Min. Grade Min. Age
1 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) 37 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
1 HVAC Contractor (Residential) 35 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
1 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) 37 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
1 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) 36 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
5 Security Alarm Installer 37 $518 1460 4 years 2 0 18
6 Fire Alarm Installer 39 $469 1460 4 years 2 0 18
7 Coach, Head (High School Sports) 48 $334 1460 4 years 2 0 0
7 Preschool Teacher, Public School 50 $334 1460 4 years 2 0 0
9 Athletic Trainer 49 $467 1460 4 years 1 0 0
10 Veterinary Technician 36 $440 730 2 years 2 0 0
11 Earth Driller, Water Well 51 $550 730 2 years 1 0 0
12 Barber 51 $60 350 1500 clock hours 2 8 16
12 Cosmetologist 51 $60 350 1500 clock hours 2 8 16
12 Shampooer 37 $60 350 1500 clock hours 2 8 16
15 Pharmacy Technician 44 $40 140 600 clock hours 1 12 18
16 Makeup Artist 41 $60 140 600 clock hours 2 8 16
16 Manicurist 50 $60 140 600 clock hours 2 8 16
16 Skin Care Specialist 50 $60 140 600 clock hours 2 8 16
19 Child Care Home, Family 44 $53 84 12 credit hours 0 12 21
20 School Bus Driver 51 $57 4 19 clock hours 5 clock hours 6 0 18
21 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer 51 $153 0 5 0 18
22 Bus Driver, City/Transit 51 $57 0 5 0 18
23 Title Examiner 7 $550 0 1 0 18
24 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $165 36 154 clock hours 2 0 18
25 Truck Driver, Other 51 $133 0 4 0 18
26 Security Guard, Unarmed 34 $91 9 40 clock hours 2 0 18
27 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator 51 $200 0 4 0 0
28 Animal Breeder 28 $365 0 0 0 14
29 Wildlife Control Operator 23 $75 3 16 clock hours 1 0 18
30 Pest Control Applicator 51 $150 0 3 0 0
31 Fisher, Commercial 43 $427 0 0 0 0
32 Mobile Home Installer 39 $200 1 8 clock hours 0 0 0
33 Locksmith 14 $74 0 1 0 0
34 Gaming Cage Worker 29 $166 0 0 0 0
34 Gaming Supervisor 30 $166 0 0 0 0
34 Slot Supervisor 28 $166 0 0 0 0
37 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) 47 $100 0 0 0 0
37 Landscape Contractor (Residential) 48 $100 0 0 0 0
39 Travel Guide 37 $90 0 0 0 0
40 Dental Assistant 9 $50 0 0 0 0
41 Packer 6 $35 0 0 0 0

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