Colorado

34 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed

36th most burdensome licensing laws

47th most broadly and onerously licensed state

Colorado licenses 34 of the 102 lower-income occupations studied here, and its laws are the 36th most burdensome. On average, Colorado’s barriers to entry are $344 in fees, 260 days lost to education and experience, and roughly two exams. Because Colorado licenses fewer occupations than most states, it ranks as only the 47th most broadly and onerously licensed.

Despite this relatively good ranking, Colorado still has room for improvement. For example, it has one of the most burdensome licenses for bill collection agencies, requiring $1,500 in fees and 730 days—two years—of experience before an agency can open for business. By comparison, 20 states do not even license bill collection agencies, and those that do require an average of $551 in fees and 159 days of education and experience.

Colorado also imposes restrictions on barbers and cosmetologists that are disproportionately burdensome compared to those for occupations that may pose greater risks to the public. Aspiring barbers must pay a $155 fee and complete 1,500 hours (around 350 days) of education, while would-be cosmetologists must pay a $177 fee and complete 1,800 hours (roughly 420 days) of education. Both must also pass two exams. EMTs, on the other hand, must only pay a $98 fee, demonstrate 150 hours (about 35 days) of education and pass two exams. Colorado should reduce, if not repeal, its inconsistent or irrational burdens for lower-income workers, or—if government regulation is necessary—replace them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives.

Burden Rank Occupation States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Min. Grade Min. Age
1 Preschool Teacher, Public School 50 $280 1825 4 years and 1 years 1 0 0
2 Midwife, Direct Entry 28 $2100 1195 3 years 5 births 1 12 19
3 Athletic Trainer 49 $400 1460 4 years 1 0 0
4 Earth Driller, Water Well 51 $230 730 2 years 3 0 21
5 Bill Collection Agency 31 $1500 730 2 years 0 0 0
6 Pest Control Applicator 51 $513 728 24 months 2 0 0
7 Cosmetologist 51 $177 420 1800 clock hours 2 0 16
8 Barber 51 $155 350 1500 clock hours 2 0 16
9 Psychiatric Technician 5 $65 224 32 credit hours 1 12 0
10 Shampooer 37 $155 280 1200 clock hours 2 0 16
11 Mobile Home Installer 39 $100 183 8 clock hours 6 months 1 0 18
12 Makeup Artist 41 $177 140 600 clock hours 2 0 16
12 Manicurist 50 $177 140 600 clock hours 2 0 16
12 Skin Care Specialist 50 $177 140 600 clock hours 2 0 16
15 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator 51 $576 121 4 months 4 0 0
16 Massage Therapist 44 $315 117 500 clock hours 1 0 0
17 School Bus Driver 51 $132 0 6 0 21
18 Bus Driver, City/Transit 51 $257 0 5 0 18
18 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer 51 $257 0 5 0 18
20 Truck Driver, Other 51 $257 0 4 0 18
21 Gaming Supervisor 30 $1275 0 0 0 21
21 Slot Supervisor 28 $1275 0 0 0 21
23 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $98 35 150 clock hours 2 0 18
24 Child Care Home, Family 44 $43 3 16 clock hours 1 0 18
25 Travel Guide 37 $100 12 50 clock hours 0 0 18
26 Gaming Cage Worker 29 $115 0 0 0 21
26 Gaming Dealer 28 $115 0 0 0 21
28 Coach, Head (High School Sports) 48 $75 1 4.5 clock hours 1 0 0
29 Milk Sampler 42 $50 0 1 0 0
30 Weigher 25 $25 0 1 0 0
31 Animal Breeder 28 $306 0 0 0 0
32 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) 47 $90 0 0 0 0
32 Landscape Contractor (Residential) 48 $90 0 0 0 0
34 Fisher, Commercial 43 $40 0 0 0 0

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