Appendix B: Explanation of Specific Occupations

Several occupations warrant greater explanation than space in the Occupation Profiles permits. Following below are further details of these occupations and how they were observed.

Contractor Occupations – Commercial and Residential

Contractor licensing schemes vary from state to state. Some states issue different licenses for work performed in commercial and residential settings, while other states require the same license regardless of setting. (Such non-specific licenses are sometimes called general contractor licenses.) In addition, states usually set a minimum contract size (often expressed in dollars of revenue) that contracted jobs must meet before the contractor license is required, and these minimums vary by state.

Table B1 shows state regulation of settings (commercial, residential or both) for contractor licensing. It also lists the titles or types of licenses observed, as well as any minimum contract sizes (in dollars).

Table B1 covers licenses for all of the contractor occupations observed in this report, except for those related to HVAC systems (see Table B2), with an important caveat: It only covers the specific contractor occupations licensed by each state. For example, terrazzo contractors are not licensed by New Mexico, while other types of contractors, such as masonry and insulation, are. The State Profiles indicate which contractor occupations are licensed by each state.

In Table B1, a “specialty classification” is a state-specified contractor license category that covers the type of work the contractor will perform. In this report, it varies by contractor occupation because the type of work varies. For example, in California, a glazier contractor needs a “C-17 – Glazing Contractor” specialty classification, while a drywall contractor needs a “C-9 – Drywall Contractor” specialty classification.

Landscape contractors often face special requirements in addition to or instead of those listed in Table B1. In addition to any contractor licenses listed in the table, landscape contractors in 14 states also need one of the following types of nursery or landscaping-related licenses in both commercial and residential settings, unless otherwise noted:

  • Horticulturist license: Louisiana (commercial only) and Mississippi (commercial only).
  • Landscape contractor license: Arkansas and Idaho.
  • Landscaper license: Tennessee.
  • Nursery license: North Dakota.
  • Nursery outlet license: Utah.
  • Nursery/plant dealer license: Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Washington and West Virginia.
  • Setting of landscape plants and turf/pest control licenses: Alabama (commercial only).

In 28 states, instead of any contractor licenses listed in Table B1, landscape contractors need one of the following nursery or landscaping-related licenses in both commercial and residential settings, unless otherwise noted:

  • Horticulturist license: Louisiana (residential only) and Mississippi (residential only).
  • Landscape contractor business and landscape construction professional licenses: Oregon.
  • Nursery license: Colorado and Delaware.
  • Nursery-floral license: Texas.
  • Nursery dealer license: Missouri.
  • Nursery landscaper license: Oklahoma.
  • Nursery/plant dealer license: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
  • Setting of landscape plants and turf/pest control licenses: Alabama (residential only).

Licenses for the HVAC contractor and HVAC sheet metal contractor occupations are excluded from Table B1 because many of them are completely different licenses issued by different boards and subject to different contract size minimums.

Table B2 shows state regulation of settings (commercial, residential or both) for the HVAC contractor and HVAC sheet metal contractor occupations. The table also lists the titles of licenses observed, as well as any minimum contract sizes (in dollars).

Table B1: Contractor Licensing (Excluding HVAC and HVAC Sheet Metal)

State Setting Title or Type of License(s) Min. Contract Size ($)
Alabama Commercial Prime contractor – specialty classification* $50,000
Alabama Residential Residential home builder $10,000
Alaska Both Construction contractor – specialty classification* $10,000
Arizona Commercial Contractor – specialty classification* $1,000
Arizona Residential Contractor – specialty classification* $1,000
Arkansas Commercial Contractor – specialty classification* $50,000
Arkansas Residential Home improvement contractor – specialty classification* $2,000
California Both Contractor – specialty classification* $500
Connecticut** Commercial Major contractor None
Connecticut** Residential Home improvement contractor $200
District of Columbia Commercial Class E contractor* None
District of Columbia Residential Home improvement contractor and salesperson licenses* $300
Florida Both Certified contractor – specialty classification $1,000
Georgia*** Both Utility contractor, manager and foreman licenses None
Hawaii Both Contractor – specialty classification* $1,000
Idaho Both Contractor registration* $2,000
Iowa Both Construction contractor registration* None
Louisiana**** Commercial Contractor – specialty classification* $50,000
Louisiana**** Residential Home improvement contractor $7,500
Maryland Residential Home improvement contractor* None
Massachusetts***** Residential Home improvement contractor and construction supervisor licenses* $500
Michigan Residential Maintenance and alteration contractor – specialty classification $600
Mississippi Commercial Contractor – specialty classification* $50,000
Mississippi Residential Residential remodeler $10,000
Nebraska Both Contractor registration* None
Nevada Both Contractor – specialty classification* $1,000
New Jersey Residential Home improvement contractor* None
New Mexico Both General construction contractor – specialty classification $7,200
North Carolina Both General contractor – specialty classification* $30,000
North Dakota Both General contractor – class D* $4,000
Oregon Commercial Commercial specialty contractor – level 2 $1,000
Oregon Residential Residential specialty contractor $1,000
Pennsylvania Residential Home improvement contractor $500
Rhode Island Both Contractor registration None
South Carolina Commercial Contractor – specialty classification $5,000
South Carolina Residential Residential contractor – specialty classification $200
Tennessee Both General contractor – specialty classification* $25,000
Utah Both Contractor – specialty classification* $3,000
Virginia Both Class C contractor – specialty classification* $1,000
Washington Both Contractor – specialty classification* $500
West Virginia Both Contractor – specialty classification* $2,500
Wisconsin*** Both Utility contractor registration None

*License applies to landscape contractors.

**In lieu of the major contractor license, commercial glazier contractors in Connecticut require specialized flat glass contractor and journeyperson licenses. The contractor license applies for jobs involving panes of glass of 30 square feet or larger.

***These states’ licenses are required only for the pipelayer contractor occupation. Otherwise, with the exception of Connecticut, all of the licenses in the table that apply in commercial or both settings are required for that occupation.

****In addition to the contractor’s license, commercial door repair contractors in Louisiana require a door hardware certificate from the state fire marshal.

*****In Massachusetts, residential cement finishing, insulation and painting contractors require only the home improvement contractor license. Also, the home improvement and construction supervisor licenses do not apply to residential non-HVAC sheet metal contractors. Instead, these contractors must have the following two licenses, regardless of setting: unlimited sheet metal journeyperson and apprentice. There is no minimum contract size.

Table B2: HVAC and HVAC Sheet Metal Contractor Licensing

State Setting Title of HVAC Contractor License(s) Title of HVAC Sheet Metal Contractor License(s) Min. Contract Size ($)
Alabama Commercial HVAC contractor certification and mechanical contractor license – HVAC subclassification (Same) Certification: None; License: $50,000
Alaska Commercial Mechanical administrator – unlimited HVAC/sheet metal category (Same) None
Alaska Residential Mechanical administrator – residential HVAC category (Same) None
Arizona Commercial Comfort heating, ventilating, evaporative cooling specialty commercial contractor (Same) $1,000
Arizona Residential Comfort heating, ventilating, evaporative cooling specialty dual contractor (Same) $1,000
Arkansas Commercial HVACR specialty building contractor and HVACR class A trade licenses Duct sheet metal specialty building contractor and HVACR class D trade licenses $50,000
Arkansas Residential HVACR class B trade HVACR class D trade None
California Both Warm-air heating, ventilating and air-conditioning contractor Sheet metal contractor $500
Connecticut Both Limited air conditioning, refrigeration and warm air contractor and journeyperson licenses Limited sheet metal contractor and journeyperson licenses (commercial); Limited residential/light commercial sheet metal contractor and journeyperson licenses (residential) None
District of Columbia Both Refrigeration and air conditioning contractor and limited master mechanic licenses (Same) None
Delaware Both Master HVACR (Same) None
Florida Both Mechanical contractor certification Sheet metal contractor certification $1,000
Georgia Commercial Conditioned air contractor, class II (Same) None
Georgia Residential Conditioned air contractor, class I (Same) None
Hawaii Both Ventilating and air conditioning specialty contractor Sheet metal specialty contractor $1,000
Idaho Both HVAC contractor, journeyman and apprentice licenses (Same) None
Iowa Both HVAC/R contractor, master, journeyman and apprentice licenses as well as construction contractor registration (Same) None
Kentucky Both Master HVAC contractor, journeyman mechanic and apprentice licenses (Same) None
Louisiana Both Mechanical contractor – HVAC, duct work and refrigeration specialty Sheet metal duct work specialty contractor (commercial); Home improvement contractor (residential) HVAC: $10,000; HVAC Sheet Metal: $50,000 (commercial), $7,500 (residential)
Maryland Both Master HVACR contractor, journeyman and apprentice licenses (Same) None
Massachusetts Commercial Refrigeration contractor, technician and apprentice licenses Unlimited sheet metal journeyperson and apprentice licenses (commercial); Limited sheet metal journeyperson and apprentice licenses (residential) None
Michigan Both Mechanical contractor – HVAC equipment specialty Mechanical contractor – ductwork specialty None
Mississippi Commercial HVAC contractor (Same) $50,000
Mississippi Residential Residential remodeler (Same) $10,000
Nebraska Both Contractor registration (Same) None
Nevada Both Heating, cooling and circulating air specialty contractor Using sheet metal specialty contractor HVAC: None; HVAC Sheet Metal: $1,000
New Jersey Both Master HVACR contractor, journeyperson and apprentice licenses (Same) None
New Mexico Both Mechanical contractor – HVAC specialty classification Mechanical contractor – HVAC specialty classification and journeyman sheet metal licenses $7,200
North Carolina Commercial Heating – group 3, class I (Same) None
North Carolina Residential Heating – group 3, class II (Same) None
North Dakota Both General contractor – class D (Same) $4,000
Ohio Commercial HVAC contractor (Same) None
Oklahoma Both HVAC/R mechanical contractor and apprentice licenses Sheet metal mechanical contractor and apprentice licenses None
Oregon Commercial Commercial specialty contractor – level 2 (Same) $1,000
Oregon Residential Residential specialty contractor (Same) $1,000
Pennsylvania Residential Home improvement contractor (Same) $500
Rhode Island Both Class II pipefitter/refrigeration master, journeyperson and apprentice licenses Class I sheet metal master, journeyperson and apprentice licenses (commercial); Class II sheet metal master, journeyperson and apprentice licenses (residential) None
South Carolina Commercial Mechanical contractor – air conditioning and heating specialties Mechanical contractor – packaged equipment specialty $5,000
South Carolina Residential Residential contractor – heating and air specialty (Same) $200
Tennessee Both Mechanical contractor – HVAC, refrigeration and gas piping specialty (Same) $25,000
Texas Commercial Class A environmental air conditioning contractor and ACR technician licenses (Same) None
Texas Residential Class B environmental air conditioning contractor and ACR technician licenses (Same) None
Utah Both HVAC specialty contractor Sheet metal specialty contractor HVAC: None; HVAC Sheet Metal: $3,000
Virginia Both Class C contractor – HVAC specialty and HVAC master and journeyman tradesmen licenses (Same) $1,000
Washington Both HVAC/R specialty contractor (Same) $500
West Virginia Both HVAC specialty contractor Contractor $2,500
Wisconsin Both HVAC contractor credentials (Same) None

Emergency Medical Technician

Often, states only set topics that must be covered in education requirements for emergency medical technician licenses. In such cases, education length had to be found by randomly sampling state-approved private providers or, if the state aligns its education requirements with such, national standards.

Makeup Artist

Two states (Louisiana and Nevada) issue a license specific to makeup artists. However, in 39 other states, makeup application is interpreted as falling under the scope of other licenses administered by cosmetology boards. While some of the 39 states exempt from licensure makeup application performed in certain settings (e.g., theatrical productions, television or retail demonstrations), this report considers the broad occupation of makeup artist to be licensed in all of those states.

To give a better understanding of which licenses are observed in each state for the makeup artist occupation, the type of license (cosmetician, esthetician/aesthetician, facials specialist, makeup artist or skin care specialist) and the state(s) that observe that license type are listed in Table B3 below.

Table B3: Makeup Artist Licensing

Type of License State(s)
Cosmetician Nebraska and Oklahoma
Esthetician/Aesthetician Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin
Facials Specialist Florida
Makeup Artist Louisiana and Nevada
Skin Care Specialist New Jersey

Milk Sampler

In four states (Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Texas), education length was not stated and therefore had to be approximated based on the education length given in Indiana and Kentucky. Experience (usually, this is on-the-job training provided by another licensed sampler) was similarly estimated in Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Maryland.

Optician

In line with principles detailed in Appendix A, this report generally observes the least restrictive possible license for a given occupation in each state. In the case of the optician occupation, this approach resulted in observation of licenses allowing the performance of significantly different duties. Fourteen states have only one option for licensure: a license that allows licensees to fit or dispense both regular eyeglass lenses and contact lenses. However, eight other states (Alaska, Arkansas, California, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia) offer an option that allows licensees to fit or dispense regular eyeglass lenses only (in Arkansas and Rhode Island, this is the only option for licensure). As this is the least restrictive (or only) option in those states, this is the license observed.

Pharmacy Technician

In seven states (Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington), pharmacy technicians must receive experience via on-the-job training with the employing pharmacy, during which certain topics must be covered. The states do not, however, specify how long pharmacy technicians must spend in this training. As it happens, most of the topics required to be covered in this training closely align with the entry-level pharmacy technician curriculum goals of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Because of this similarity, ASHP’s training program length (600 hours) is used where training hours are not specified.

Public School Teacher

Some states offer preliminary licenses for public school teachers, including two teaching occupations studied in this report: public preschool teachers, who must be licensed teachers in every state that licenses them, and head coaches, who must be licensed teachers in seven of the 48 states that license them. These licenses are less burdensome than those states’ continuously renewable professional teaching licenses, but they are also only temporary: In order to continue teaching, teachers must eventually convert them to a continuously renewable license by logging teaching experience on the preliminary license and completing a mentoring or teacher induction program. In keeping with principles outlined in Appendix A, this report therefore observes the requirements for states’ continuously renewable licenses, which include the requirements for a preliminary license where one must be obtained first.

In the public preschool teacher occupation, 17 states have only the continuously renewable professional teaching license: Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Florida, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming. The remaining 33 states require a preliminary license before they will issue the continuously renewable one.

In the head coach occupation, three states (Arkansas, Oklahoma and Virginia) have only the continuously renewable professional teaching license. The other four states that require coaches to be teachers (Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey and Ohio) require a preliminary license before they will issue the continuously renewable one.

Shampooer

Seven states (Alabama, Louisiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia) issue a license specific to shampooers. However, in 30 states, shampooing is interpreted as falling under the scope of other licenses administered by barbering and cosmetology boards. And, because those 30 states do not exempt shampooing from licensure, this report considers them to license the broad occupation of shampooer.

To give a better understanding of which licenses are observed in each state for the shampooer occupation, the type of license (barber, barber assistant/technician, cosmetologist, hairstylist/dresser/cutter/designer or shampoo assistant/technician/technologist) and the states that observe that license type are listed in Table B4 below.

Table B4: Shampooer Licensing

Type of License States
Barber California, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming
Barber Assistant/Technician Arkansas, South Carolina and Texas
Cosmetologist Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota
Hairstylist/Dresser/Cutter/Designer Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri and Ohio
Shampoo Assistant/Technician/Technologist Alabama, Louisiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Tennessee and West Virginia

Travel Guide

Travel guides work in a variety of settings, including fishing, hunting and rafting, to name only a few. Some states only license travel guides working in a single setting. For example, a state might license hunting guides but no other types of travel guides. In cases of states that license more than one setting, the setting requiring the least burdensome license is used. This approach creates variability in the type of license observed across states. The type of travel guide license observed in each state is listed in Table B5 below.

Table B5: Travel Guide Licensing

Type of License State(s)
Hunting Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming (deer/antelope only)
Fishing Alaska (freshwater), Georgia (saltwater), Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland (freshwater), Massachusetts (saltwater), Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island (saltwater), South Carolina (saltwater), Texas (freshwater), Virginia (saltwater) and Washington (freshwater)
Hunting or Fishing Arkansas
Hunting and Fishing Connecticut, North Carolina, Tennessee (and trapping) and Wisconsin (and trapping)
River Rafting Colorado
Recreation (Hiking, Camping, etc.) Maine, New York and Oregon
General Guide (Any of the Above) California and West Virginia

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