License to Work
Sample Collection and Second Edition Revisions
The 102 occupations sampled in the first edition of License to Work, released in 2012, were identified by first downloading a list of licensed occupations from CareerOneStop (www.careeronestop.org/), a career website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. That list was then cross tabulated against occupational lists maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Any occupation that did not appear in the BLS lists was excluded to create a list of “recognized” occupations. Finally, the BLS-referenced list was rank ordered by average income. Any occupation that fell above the national average income was excluded, resulting in the list of 102 low- and middle-income occupations observed for the original License to Work report.
For this second edition of License to Work, several revisions were made to the original list of occupations to achieve greater clarity and consistency in licenses observed across states. By coincidence, both editions record licensing burdens for 102 occupations, though the mix of occupations changed slightly. These revisions limit the comparability between editions.
First and most expansive, the second edition takes an improved approach to recording contractor licenses. While both editions of License to Work cover contracting work in both commercial and residential settings, the first edition includes contractor licenses that are not specific to a particular setting, sometimes called a “general contractor license,” only in commercial contractor occupations, labeling those occupations “General/Commercial.” Even though such general licenses often apply to residential contracting work, the first edition excluded them from residential contractor occupations to avoid double counting. By contrast, the second edition records such licenses in both commercial and residential contractor occupations. While this results in counting some licenses twice, it gives a more robust and accurate description of the residential contracting landscape. The contractor occupations are now labeled “Commercial” and “Residential.” See Appendix B for further details on contractor licensing.
Second, several occupations from the first edition have been split into two separate occupations for this new edition. This was done to more fully capture the scope of work within the occupations. The occupations affected are:
- Three contractor occupations: door repair contractor, landscape contractor and paving equipment operator contractor, each of which has been separated into commercial and residential in the second edition.
- Truck driver, which has been separated into “Tractor-Trailer” and “Other.” The first edition looked at licenses for smaller large-capacity trucks, such as box trucks used for furniture delivery (now labeled “Other”), but excluded licenses for larger trucks, such as semis and other tractor-trailers (now labeled “Tractor-Trailer”).
- Animal control officer, which has been separated into “Animal Control Officer” and “Wildlife Control Operator” to better capture two closely related fields. Animal control officers generally work for the government and handle neglected or abused animals, while wildlife control operators work in the private sector and deal with nuisance wild animals.
- HVAC contractor, which has been separated into “HVAC Contractor” and “HVAC Sheet Metal Contractor” to better capture two closely related fields. When recording HVAC contractor licenses, the first edition focused on licenses to install sheet metal attached to an HVAC system, such as ducts. This occupation is now labeled HVAC sheet metal contractor, and HVAC contractor has been added to capture licenses to install HVAC systems. Both occupations have commercial and residential categories.
Third, within the broad category of child care workers, different licenses may apply depending on the setting and other factors, making it difficult to record burdens consistently. In the interest of consistency and in keeping with a preference for recording sole-proprietor licenses (see the “Data Collection section” below), this second edition observes licenses required to run a day care facility out of one’s home (“Child Care Family Home”).
Fourth and finally, the second edition eliminates several occupations from the original sample:
- Five tester or inspector occupations: backflow prevention assembly tester, cathodic protection tester, cross-connection survey inspector, fire sprinkler system tester and tank tester. Regulations governing testers and inspectors vary widely across states, making it unusually difficult to achieve consistency in license observation. As a result, these occupations have been eliminated from the second edition.
- Court clerk. Court clerks work in courts of law. However, the first edition observed municipal clerk licenses, which are required to work in city or town councils, not courts of law. Since no state issues a license to work as a court clerk, the occupation has been eliminated from this second edition.
- Non-contractor pipelayer. The first edition recorded licenses required for those who work for pipelayer contractors. The second edition observes instead licenses required to work as a sole proprietor in the field (“Pipelayer Contractor”).
During data collection for this report, several principles were used to determine which regulations should be counted as occupational licenses. First, this report counts as a license any state (not federal or municipal) permission slip required to legally work in an occupation. This includes licenses that require personal credentials and simple registrations that require only notification of name and address and payment of a fee to the state, as long as such registration is mandatory.
Second, licenses are included even if states call them something else, such as a “permit” or “certification.” For example, South Carolina issues a certificate for athletic trainers. Although it is not called a license, it is included in this report because it is necessary to legally practice as an athletic trainer in South Carolina and thus functions as a license. For simplicity, throughout this report, any state-mandated permission slip is referred to as a license.
Third, because this report is concerned with state requirements to practice an occupation, it does not include laws that only restrict the use of an occupational title (e.g., “interior designer,” “registered interior designer” or “certified interior designer”), even where such laws are called “licenses.” This is because such “titling” laws (which may take the form of certification schemes) do not restrict freedom of occupational practice.
Fourth, this report excludes laws that set standards for an occupation but do not explicitly require government permission to practice it. For example, some states require only that bartenders be of a minimum age or that they be trained by their employers. This report does not consider such states as licensing bartenders.
In addition to these principles, several others guided the selection of which license or licenses to record in cases where more than one could apply to a given occupation. First, when possible, this report records licenses for sole proprietors in order to show the burdens entrepreneurs face when trying to enter an occupation. However, for occupations in which sole proprietorship is not a realistic option, this report records licenses for workers. For example, dietetic technicians—one of the occupations observed in this report—assist in the provision of nutrition programs under the supervision of dietitians and thus, by definition, cannot work on their own as a sole proprietor.
Second, in cases where multiple licenses are required to practice an occupation, this report records the requirements for all of those licenses. This approach more completely captures the requirements associated with earning a license to practice fully and independently. For example, because most states require aspiring barbers to obtain an apprentice’s license before obtaining a full barber’s license, this report records both licenses.
Third, where a state issues multiple licenses for the practice of an occupation, this report generally records the least restrictive one to avoid overstating burdens. However, in some cases, a more restrictive license is recorded in keeping with an occupation’s definition or in the interest of properly stating the burdens for continuous practice of an occupation. For example, in Utah, mason contractors can choose between two license classifications: general masonry or stone masonry. While the general masonry classification requires one more exam than the stone masonry classification, it better fits the mason contractor occupation’s definition. The general masonry classification is therefore observed in this report, even though it is more burdensome. In another example, many states issue both a continuously renewable professional teaching license for public preschool teachers and a preliminary one. Licenses of the latter type are less burdensome, but they are also only temporary. For this reason, this report observes states’ continuously renewable licenses.
Following these principles, the main requirements to secure a license were recorded across five categories for all 102 occupations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia: fees, education/experience, exams, minimum age and minimum grade. Other common state requirements, such as surety bonds, character references and CPR training, were noted during the data collection process but excluded from the data. Tuition for required third-party schooling was excluded as well, as it is an indirect cost that is often variable and impractical to record.
In those occasional cases where a state allows occupational aspirants to choose from a list of options to meet certain licensure requirements, this report observes the option that would reflect the lowest burden in the data. For example, to obtain a cosmetology license in Michigan, aspirants must complete either 1,500 hours of cosmetology school or a two-year apprenticeship. Under this report’s conversion metrics (see the “Measuring Burden” section below), the cosmetology school route results in an estimated 350 days lost, while the apprenticeship route results in 730 days lost. Because it results in fewer days lost to education/experience, the cosmetology school route is used in the data.
For this second edition of License to Work, all licenses and requirements were researched from scratch. To collect licensure requirements, the following resources were consulted:
- State statutes and administrative codes.
- State licensing board websites.
- State agency websites (e.g., departments of education, departments of public safety, departments of human services).
- Professional association websites.
- Direct correspondence with licensing authorities.
To derive a measure of burden across occupations and states, the five licensure requirements collected were combined in a multi-step process.
Step 1: Each requirement’s subrequirements were combined. Three of the requirement types (fees, education/experience and exams) had subrequirements that needed combining. For fees, applicants are often required to pay fees of various types: application fees, processing fees, licensing fees, etc. These were summed to create an overall fee. The final metric was dollars. Likewise, discrete exams were summed across exam types, which commonly included written, oral and practical exams. Some states also require multi-part exams, which were considered as one exam. The final metric was number of exams.
Combining education/experience subrequirements itself required a multi-step process. Some of the education/experience subrequirements are reported in days, some in hours, some in years, some in degree completion and so forth. These subrequirements were therefore converted into a common measurement of days, representing an estimate of calendar days lost while meeting licensing requirements. The conversions are as follows:
- Education/experience clock or contact hours were converted to days by first dividing hour requirements by six, which is about how much time a person might spend per day in full-time education (such as trade school or courses) or gaining on-the-job experience (such as working as a technician for an employer). If the total number of hours was equal to or more than 30, this was converted to weeks by dividing by five, to represent a five-day work week. Weeks were then converted back to days by multiplying by seven. The final number represents the total number of calendar days a person is shut out of their chosen occupation as a result of education/experience requirements.
- Apprenticeship clock or contact hours were converted to days by first dividing hour requirements by eight, which is about how much time a person might spend per day in an apprenticeship. This was converted to weeks by dividing by five, to represent a five-day work week. Weeks were then converted back to days by multiplying by seven. The final number represents the total number of calendar days a person is shut out of their chosen occupation as a result of apprenticeship requirements.
- Days at or over five were divided by five, to represent a five-day work week, then multiplied by seven to convert them into estimated calendar days lost.
- Weeks were multiplied by seven.
- Months were multiplied by 30.33.
- Years were multiplied by 365.
- Jobs (contractor occupations) were multiplied by 16, which is the approximate average number of days a contracting project takes. 1 This was converted to weeks by dividing by five, to represent a five-day work week. Weeks were then converted into estimated calendar days lost by multiplying by seven.
- Jobs (mobile home installer occupation) were multiplied by 30.33, because, on average, a mobile home installation project takes about a month’s time. 2
- Births (direct entry midwife occupation) were multiplied by 20, which is the average number of days a midwife will go between attending births. 3
- Continuing education units were divided by seven, which is the number of units that can be completed in one day. 4
- Credit/semester hours were multiplied by seven, which assumes that one credit hour can be completed in a seven-day week.
- Degrees were converted to years, which were then multiplied by 365. Although completion times of degree programs vary, this report uses standard completion times (i.e., associate’s=2 years, bachelor’s=4 years, master’s=2 years).
For minimum grade level, the final metric was a number representing the minimum grade (i.e., 10th grade=10, high school completion=12, etc.). For minimum age, it was years.
Not every license comes with every type of requirement. For example, a school bus driver’s license in Illinois requires fees, exams and a minimum age, but no education/experience or minimum grade. In such cases, a zero value was assigned to absent requirements. For states with no license for a given occupation, no value was assigned.
Step 2: Requirements were averaged across states.
Step 3: Because the different requirement types are measured in different units—dollars, days, exams, grades and ages—they could not simply be added or averaged to produce a single measure of burden for each occupation. Instead, requirements were converted into a common metric—known as standard scores—to facilitate combining. Specifically, requirements were converted into T-scores.
Step 4: Because some requirements are more burdensome than others, weights were applied to the requirements. This approach acknowledges that education/experience, for example, represents more of a barrier to entering an occupation than fees or age requirements. Specifically, a weight of 20 was applied to the education/experience requirement, while a weight of 1.5 was applied to the minimum grade requirement.
Step 5: The weighted T-scores for each requirement were summed. This score was used for the ranking in Table 2.
Step 6: Each occupation’s weighted T-score was multiplied by the number of states that license the occupation. This score was used for the ranking in Table 3.
Step 1: The final requirement metrics created in Occupations–Step 1 above were averaged across all occupations for each state. This resulted in an average fee, education/experience, exam, minimum grade and minimum age requirement for each state.
Step 2: Requirements were converted into T-scores.
Step 3: Requirements were weighted as described in Occupations–Step 4 above.
Step 4: The weighted T-scores for each requirement were summed. This score was used for the ranking in Table 5.
Step 5: Each state’s weighted T-scores were multiplied by the number of occupations licensed by the state. This score was used for the ranking in Table 6.
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**||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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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.
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|
|Makeup Artist||Louisiana and Nevada|
|Skin Care Specialist||New Jersey|
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.
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.
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.
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 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)|
|Recreation (Hiking, Camping, etc.)||Maine, New York and Oregon|
|General Guide (Any of the Above)||California and West Virginia|
Appendix C: Research on Occupational Licensing
When it comes to occupational regulation, policymakers may see their options as action or inaction: licensing or no licensing. In fact, policymakers can choose from a plethora of alternatives that provide the purported benefits of licensing, without the downsides. This paper discusses 10 less restrictive alternatives to licensing that can protect consumers as well as or better than licensing, without shutting people out of work. It makes the case that before imposing, or continuing to impose, any occupational regulation, policymakers should demand systematic, empirical evidence of harm—and then select the least restrictive and most appropriate option to provide the desired consumer protections.
Carpenter, D. M. (2012). Testing the utility of licensing: Evidence from a field experiment on occupational regulation. Journal of Applied Business and Economics, 13(2), 28–41. http://www.na-businesspress.com/JABE/CarpenterDM_Web13_2_.pdf
Carpenter, D. M., & McGrath, L. (2014). The balance between public protection and the right to earn a living [Resource brief]. Lexington, KY: Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation. https://ij.org/report/the-balance-between-public-protection-and-the-right-to-earn-a-living/
Department of the Treasury Office of Economic Policy, Council of Economic Advisers, & Department of Labor. (2015). Occupational licensing: A framework for policymakers. Washington, DC: White House. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/docs/licensing_report_final_nonembargo.pdf
Erickson, A. C. (2013). White out: How dental industry insiders thwart competition from teeth-whitening entrepreneurs. Arlington, VA: Institute for Justice. https://ij.org/report/white-out/
Erickson, A. C. (2016a). Barriers to braiding: How job-killing licensing laws tangle natural hair care in needless red tape. Arlington, VA: Institute for Justice. https://ij.org/report/barriers-to-braiding/
Erickson, A. C. (2016b). Putting licensing to the test: How licenses for tour guides fail consumers—and guides. Arlington, VA: Institute for Justice. https://ij.org/report/putting-licensing-test/
Fetsch, E. (2016). No bars: Unlocking the economic power of the formerly incarcerated. Kansas City, MO: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. http://www.kauffman.org/~/media/kauffman_org/microsites/mayors2016/occupational%20licensing%20and%20the%20formerly%20incarcerated_final.pdf
Flanders, W., & Roth, C. (2017). Fencing out opportunity: The effect of licensing regulations on employment. Milwaukee, WI: Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. http://www.will-law.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/FOO2-FINAL-v3.pdf
Fontinelle, A., Mitchell, D., & Snyder, T. (2016). Unnatural rights in the natural state: Occupational licensing in Arkansas. Conway, AR: Arkansas Center for Research in Economics, University of Central Arkansas. http://uca.edu/acre/files/2014/07/ACRE_OccupationalLicensing_InteractiveWeb.pdf
Gius, M. (2016). Waiting to work: The effects of occupational licensing on wages and employment. Hartford, CT: Yankee Institute for Public Policy. http://www.yankeeinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/16-312-YI_CCW_OccupationalLicensing_Study_web-1.pdf
Hall, J. C., & Pokharel, S. B. (2016). Barber licensure and the supply of barber shops: Evidence from U.S. states. Cato Journal, 36(3), 647–657.
Hemphill, T. A., & Carpenter, D. M. (2016). Occupations: A hierarchy of regulatory options. Regulation, 39(3), 20–24. https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/regulation/2016/9/regulation-v39n3-5_0.pdf
Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. (2014). SEA 421 Report: Establishing a process for self-certification registration: A playbook for future occupational regulation in Indiana. Indianapolis, IN. https://www.in.gov/pla/files/IPLA_Legislative_Report_-_Self-Certification_Registration.pdf
Johnson, E., Aggarwal, S., Bezjak, S, Butitova, D., Islam, M. M., & Poudel, H. (2016). Occupational licensing and women entrepreneurs in Missouri: A report to the Women’s Foundation (IPP Research Report). The Women’s Foundation. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/545815dce4b0d75692c341a8/t/582b2125e4fcb54bebfd651e/1479221544420/OL+and+Women+Entrepreneurs+in+MO+-+Final+11.14.16.pdf
Kleiner, M. M. (2015a). Guild-ridden labor markets: The curious case of occupational licensing. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. http://research.upjohn.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1254&context=up_press
Kleiner, M. M. (2015b). Reforming occupational licensing policies (Discussion Paper 2015-01). Washington, DC: The Hamilton Project, Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/THP_KleinerDiscPaper_final.pdf
Kleiner, M. M., & Vorotnikov, E. (2017). Analyzing occupational licensing among the states. Journal of Regulatory Economics. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11149-017-9333-y
Kleiner, M. M., Marier, A., Park, K. W., & Wing, C. (2016). Relaxing occupational licensing requirements: Analyzing wages and prices for a medical service. Journal of Law and Economics, 59(2), 261–291.
Laird, M., Moore, A., & Staley, S. (2016). Occupational licensing in Florida: Unnecessary licenses are killing jobs (Policy Brief No. 131). Los Angeles, CA: Reason Foundation. http://reason.org/files/occupational_licensing_florida.pdf
Little Hoover Commission. (2016). Jobs for Californians: Strategies to ease occupational licensing barriers (Report #234). Sacramento, CA. http://www.lhc.ca.gov/sites/lhc.ca.gov/files/Reports/234/Report234.pdf
Meehan, B., & Benson, B. L. (2015). The occupations of regulators influence occupational regulation: Evidence from the US private security industry. Public Choice, 162(1), 97–117.
Mellor, W., & Carpenter, D. M. (2016). Bottleneckers: Gaming the government for power and private profit. New York, NY: Encounter Books.
Nunn, R. (2016). Occupational licensing and American workers. Washington, DC: The Hamilton Project, Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/occupational_licensing_and_the_american_worker.pdf
Pizzola, B., & Tabarrok, A. (2017). Occupational licensing causes a wage premium: Evidence from a natural experiment in Colorado’s funeral services industry. International Review of Law and Economics, 50, 50–59.
Rodriguez, M. N., & Avery, B. (2016). Unlicensed and untapped: Removing barriers to state occupational licenses for people with records. New York, NY: National Employment Law Project. http://nelp.org/content/uploads/Unlicensed-Untapped-Removing-Barriers-State-Occupational-Licenses.pdf
Roth, C., & Ramlow, E. (2016). Fencing out opportunity: Occupational licensing in the Badger State. Milwaukee, WI: Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. http://www.will-law.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Licensure-FINAL.pdf
Skorup, J. (2017). This isn’t working: How Michigan’s licensing laws hurt workers and consumers. Midland, MI: Mackinac Center for Public Policy. https://www.mackinac.org/archives/2017/s2017-02.pdf
Slivinski, S. (2015). Bootstraps tangled in red tape: How state occupational licensing hinders low-income entrepreneurship (Policy Report No. 272). Phoenix, AZ: Goldwater Institute. https://goldwater-media.s3.amazonaws.com/cms_page_media/2015/4/15/OccLicensingKauffman.pdf
Slivinski, S. (2016). Turning shackles into bootstraps: Why occupational licensing reform is the missing piece of criminal justice reform (Policy Report No. 2016-01). Tempe, AZ: Center for the Study of Economic Liberty, Arizona State University. https://research.wpcarey.asu.edu/economic-liberty/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/CSEL-Policy-Report-2016-01-Turning-Shackles-into-Bootstraps.pdf
Smith, D. J. (2014). Reforming occupational licensing in Alabama. Troy, AL: Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy, Troy University. https://nebula.wsimg.com/f298ad4627c3d5c72150a568437623a8?AccessKeyId=F0B126F45D4E1A4094F7&disposition=0&alloworigin=1
Snyder, T. J. (2016). The effects of Arkansas’ occupational licensure regulations. Conway, AR: Arkansas Center for Research in Economics, University of Central Arkansas. http://uca.edu/acre/files/2016/06/The-Effects-of-Arkansas-Occupational-Licensure-Regulations-by-Dr.-Thomas-Snyder.pdf
Svorny, S. V. (2015). Asymmetric information and medical licensure. Cato Unbound. https://www.cato-unbound.org/2015/04/10/shirley-v-svorny/asymmetric-information-medical-licensure
Tabarrok, A., & Cowen, T. (2015). The end of asymmetric information. Cato Unbound. https://www.cato-unbound.org/2015/04/06/alex-tabarrok-tyler-cowen/end-asymmetric-information
Thierer, A., Koopman, C., Hobson, A., & Kuiper, C. (2015). How the internet, the sharing economy, and reputational feedback mechanisms solve the “lemons problem” (Mercatus Working Paper). Arlington, VA: Mercatus Center, George Mason University. https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Thierer-Lemons-Problem.pdf
Timmons, E. J., & Mills, A. (2015). Bringing the effects of occupational licensing into focus: Optician licensing in the United States (Mercatus Working Paper). Arlington, VA: Mercatus Center, George Mason University. https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/Timmons-OpticianLicensing.pdf