Georgia

41 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed

14th most burdensome licensing laws

34th most broadly and onerously licensed state

Georgia’s licensing laws for lower-income occupations rank as the 14th most burdensome, requiring, on average, $185 in fees, 464 days of education and experience, and about two exams. But because Georgia licenses a below-average number of the occupations studied here (41 out of 102), it ranks as the 34th most broadly and onerously licensed state.

Georgia licenses some occupations more onerously than many other states do. Pipelayer contractors, for example, must demonstrate 1,097 days of education and experience (comprising 12 hours of education and three years of experience). That is twice the average (546 days) required across licensed states. Pipelayer contractors are not even licensed everywhere: Just 26 other states deem licensure necessary. And Georgia licenses other occupations that are rarely licensed by other states, such as non-instructional teacher assistants (just four other states) and opticians (21 others).

Georgia 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, the education requirements for personal care occupations can be up to 13 times higher than those for EMTs: Cosmetologists and barbers must complete 1,500 hours (about 350 days) of education, and skin care specialists 1,000 hours (about 233 days), while EMTs must complete only 110 hours (about 26 days). Georgia can improve its rankings by reducing or repealing its heavy burdens for cosmetologists, barbers, skin care specialists 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 Preschool Teacher, Public School 50 $351 2555 4 years 3 years 3 0 0
2 Coach, Head (High School Sports) 48 $281 2555 4 years 3 years 3 0 0
3 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) 37 $297 1829 24 clock hours 5 years 1 0 18
3 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) 37 $297 1829 24 clock hours 5 years 1 0 18
5 HVAC Contractor (Residential) 35 $297 1463 16 clock hours 4 years 1 0 18
5 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) 36 $297 1463 16 clock hours 4 years 1 0 18
7 Athletic Trainer 49 $350 1460 4 years 1 0 0
8 Pipelayer Contractor 27 $253 1097 12 clock hours 3 years 1 0 18
9 School Bus Driver 51 $115 734 24 clock hours 2 years 6 0 18
10 Earth Driller, Water Well 51 $725 730 2 years 3 0 0
11 Veterinary Technician 36 $360 730 2 years 1 0 18
12 Optician 22 $115 365 1 years 3 12 18
13 Cosmetologist 51 $139 350 1500 clock hours 2 12 17
14 Barber 51 $30 350 1500 clock hours 2 7 16
15 Makeup Artist 41 $139 233 1000 clock hours 2 12 17
15 Skin Care Specialist 50 $139 233 1000 clock hours 2 12 17
17 Fire Alarm Installer 39 $237 365 1 years 1 0 0
17 Security Alarm Installer 37 $237 365 1 years 1 0 0
19 Massage Therapist 44 $320 117 500 clock hours 1 12 18
20 Manicurist 50 $139 123 525 clock hours 2 12 17
21 Auctioneer 30 $420 19 80 clock hours 1 12 18
22 Bus Driver, City/Transit 51 $120 0 5 0 18
23 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer 51 $115 0 5 0 18
24 Truck Driver, Other 51 $115 0 4 0 18
25 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $155 26 110 clock hours 2 0 18
26 Teacher Assistant, Non-Instructional 5 $0 0 0 12 0
27 Child Care Home, Family 44 $101 31 120 clock hours 16 clock hours 0 0 18
28 Wildlife Control Operator 23 $35 0 1 0 18
29 Mobile Home Installer 39 $300 1 1 days 1 0 0
30 Pharmacy Technician 44 $100 0 0 0 17
31 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator 51 $190 0 2 0 0
32 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) 47 $75 0 0 0 18
32 Landscape Contractor (Residential) 48 $75 0 0 0 18
34 Pest Control Applicator 51 $185 0 2 0 0
35 Travel Guide 37 $25 0 0 0 18
36 Fisher, Commercial 43 $17 0 0 0 18
37 Taxi Driver/Chauffeur 16 $15 0 0 0 18
38 Animal Breeder 28 $263 0 0 0 0
39 Taxidermist 28 $150 0 0 0 0
40 Milk Sampler 42 $0 0 1 0 0
41 Weigher 25 $15 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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