Pennsylvania

51 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed

50th most burdensome licensing laws

31st most broadly and onerously licensed state

Pennsylvania’s licensing laws for lower-income occupations are some of the least burdensome in the nation, ranking 50th out of all 50 states and D.C. The laws require, on average, $138 in fees, 117 days of education and experience, and around one exam. Licensing fewer of the occupations studied here than most states—51 of 102—Pennsylvania ranks as the 31st most broadly and onerously licensed state.

Pennsylvania frequently licenses occupations that are unlicensed by other states, such as upholsterers (licensed by nine other states), weighers (24 others), taxidermists (27 others) and auctioneers (29 others). Of those, auctioneers are particularly onerously licensed, facing $270 in fees, 140 days of education (20 credit hours) and one exam. Given that so many other states do not require licensure of auctioneers, these requirements are excessive.

Pennsylvania also imposes burdens on some occupations that appear disproportionate compared to those for other occupations that may present greater risks to the public. For example, it is considerably more difficult to become a barber or cosmetologist than it is to become an EMT. While barbers and cosmetologists must complete 292 days (1,250 hours) of education, EMTs need only complete 35 days (150 hours) of education. It should not require eight times more schooling to become a barber or cosmetologist than to become an emergency first responder. Pennsylvania could open up employment opportunities by reducing or repealing these and other illogical occupational licenses, 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 Preschool Teacher, Public School 50 $528 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
2 Athletic Trainer 49 $320 1461 4 years and 3 clock hours 1 0 20
3 Veterinary Technician 36 $345 730 2 years 1 0 0
4 Barber 51 $150 292 1250 clock hours 2 8 16
5 Cosmetologist 51 $110 292 1250 clock hours 1 10 16
6 Massage Therapist 44 $260 140 600 clock hours 1 12 0
7 Child Care Home, Family 44 $41 140 600 clock hours 0 12 18
8 Makeup Artist 41 $110 70 300 clock hours 1 10 16
8 Skin Care Specialist 50 $110 70 300 clock hours 1 10 16
10 Manicurist 50 $110 47 200 clock hours 1 10 16
11 Auctioneer 30 $270 140 20 credit hours 1 0 0
12 School Bus Driver 51 $35 3 14 clock hours 6 clock hours 6 0 18
13 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator 51 $155 0 4 0 18
14 Crane Operator 18 $325 0 2 0 18
15 Bus Driver, City/Transit 51 $35 0 5 0 18
16 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer 51 $30 0 5 0 18
17 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $80 35 150 clock hours 2 0 16
18 Truck Driver, Other 51 $30 0 4 0 18
19 Gaming Cage Worker 29 $350 0 0 0 18
19 Gaming Dealer 28 $350 0 0 0 18
19 Gaming Supervisor 30 $350 0 0 0 18
19 Slot Supervisor 28 $350 0 0 0 18
19 Travel Agency 7 $350 0 0 0 18
24 Pest Control Applicator 51 $135 0 2 0 18
25 Mobile Home Installer 39 $350 3 15 clock hours 1 0 0
26 Animal Breeder 28 $371 0 0 0 0
27 Weigher 25 $60 0 0 0 18
28 Wildlife Control Operator 23 $75 0 1 0 0
29 Milk Sampler 42 $45 0 1 0 0
30 Travel Guide 37 $100 1 8 clock hours 0 0 0
31 Taxidermist 28 $100 0 0 0 0
32 Earth Driller, Water Well 51 $88 0 0 0 0
33 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Residential) 30 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential) 30 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Door Repair Contractor (Residential) 29 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) 30 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Floor Sander Contractor (Residential) 27 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Glazier Contractor (Residential) 30 $50 0 0 0 0
33 HVAC Contractor (Residential) 35 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Insulation Contractor (Residential) 30 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential) 30 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Mason Contractor (Residential) 31 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Painting Contractor (Residential) 28 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Paving Contractor (Residential) 28 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) 36 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential) 31 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Terrazzo Contractor (Residential) 28 $50 0 0 0 0
33 Upholsterer 10 $50 0 0 0 0
49 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) 47 $40 0 0 0 0
49 Landscape Contractor (Residential) 48 $40 0 0 0 0
51 Farm Labor Contractor 10 $25 0 0 0 0

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