Alabama

64 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed
47th most burdensome licensing laws
25th most broadly and onerously licensed state

Alabama licenses more lower-income occupations than average—63 of the 102 studied here—and its laws are the 47th most burdensome. On average, Alabama’s barriers to entry into lower-income occupations are $329 in fees, 142 days of education and experience, and approximately one exam. The state ranks as the 25th most broadly and onerously licensed, placing it right in the middle of the pack.

Alabama licenses some occupations that are rarely licensed elsewhere. For example, few other states license animal trainers (eight), bartenders (12) or locksmiths (13). And Alabama charges much higher fees than many other states for pipelayer contractors: $592 compared to the $377 average in the 27 states that license them.

Alabama 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, auctioneer is Alabama’s seventh most onerously licensed occupation, requiring $500 in fees and 385 days of education and experience (comprising an 85-hour course and a one-year apprenticeship). These barriers are higher than both the average barriers in the 30 states that license auctioneers ($278 in fees and 94 days of education and experience) and Alabama’s own fee and education and experience requirements for EMTs, an occupation that has far more to do with public health and safety. Aspiring EMTs need only pay a $90 fee and complete an estimated 42 days (180 hours) of education to become licensed. To expand opportunity for workers in the state, Alabama should reduce or repeal irrational licensing burdens, or—if government regulation is necessary—replace them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives.

Burden Rank Occupation Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Preschool Teacher, Public School $594 1460 4 years - 4 0 0
2 Athletic Trainer $475 1460 4 years - 1 0 0
3 Veterinary Technician $410 730 2 years - 2 0 18
4 Earth Driller, Water Well $275 730 - 2 years 1 0 0
5 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) $315 700 - 3000 clock hours 1 0 0
5 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) $315 700 - 3000 clock hours 1 0 0
7 Auctioneer $500 385 85 clock hours 1 years 3 0 19
8 Cosmetologist $235 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 16
9 Pest Control Applicator $295 365 - 1 years 1 0 0
10 Barber $235 233 1000 clock hours - 2 10 16
10 Makeup Artist $235 233 1000 clock hours - 2 10 16
10 Skin Care Specialist $235 233 1000 clock hours - 2 10 16
13 Manicurist $235 175 750 clock hours - 2 10 16
14 Massage Therapist $320 152 650 clock hours - 1 0 18
15 Interpreter, Sign Language $580* 0 - - 2 12 18
16 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) $721 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 3 0 0
17 Pipelayer Contractor $592 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
18 Paving Contractor (Commercial) $502 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
19 School Bus Driver $81 3 16 clock hours - 8 0 21
20 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
20 Cement Finishing Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
20 Door Repair Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
20 Drywall Installation Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 Jobs, Contractors 2 0 0
20 Floor Sander Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
20 Glazier Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
20 Insulation Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
20 Iron/Steel Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
20 Mason Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
20 Painting Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
20 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
20 Terrazzo Contractor (Commercial) $492 67 - 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
32 Child Care Home, Family $49 4 - 24 clock hours 0 12 19
33 Emergency Medical Technician $90 42 180 clock hours - 2 0 18
34 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer $111 0 - - 5 0 18
35 Bus Driver, City/Transit $81 0 - - 5 0 18
36 Truck Driver, Other $101 0 - - 4 0 18
37 Security Alarm Installer $490 4 22 clock hours - 2 0 0
38 Bartender $0 1 5 clock hours - 1 0 21
39 Landscape Contractor (Residential) $325 0 - - 2 0 0
40 Fire Alarm Installer $425 0 - - 1 0 0
41 Mobile Home Installer $400 2 12 clock hours - 1 0 0
42 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Residential) $403 0 - - 1 0 0
42 Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential) $403 0 - - 1 0 0
42 Mason Contractor (Residential) $403 0 - - 1 0 0
45 Security Guard, Unarmed $90 1 8 clock hours - 0 0 18
46 Pharmacy Technician $60 0 - - 0 0 17
47 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator $295 0 - - 1 0 0
48 Shampooer $75 0 - - 0 0 16
49 Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential) $350 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Door Repair Contractor (Residential) $350 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) $350 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Floor Sander Contractor (Residential) $350 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Glazier Contractor (Residential) $350 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Insulation Contractor (Residential) $350 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Painting Contractor (Residential) $350 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Paving Contractor (Residential) $350 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential) $350 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Terrazzo Contractor (Residential) $350 0 - - 0 0 0
59 Locksmith $190 0 - - 1 0 0
60 Fisher, Commercial $100 0 - - 0 0 0
61 Coach, Head (High School Sports) $40 1 5.5 clock hours - 0 0 0
62 Weigher $20 0 - - 0 0 0
63 Animal Trainer $5 0 - - 0 0 0
64 Midwife, Direct Entry $0 0 - - 0 0 0