Arkansas

72 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed
6th most burdensome licensing laws
3rd most broadly and onerously licensed state

Arkansas is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to licensing lower-income occupations. It licenses 72 of the 102 occupations studied here, and its licensing laws rank as the sixth most burdensome, due to high average education and experience burdens. On average, Arkansas requires $246 in fees, 642 days of education and experience, and about one exam. Because it licenses so many occupations so onerously, the state ranks as the third most broadly and onerously licensed.

Arkansas licenses several occupations that are rarely licensed elsewhere. For example, nursery workers are licensed by just one other state, psychiatric technicians by four and title examiners by six. Among these, title examiners face particularly steep burdens. They need at least one year of experience to become licensed in Arkansas, which is more than three times the average required in other licensed states (about 104 days).

The most onerously licensed occupation in Arkansas is fire alarm installer. Licensees must have 1,825 days—five years—of experience, pay $1,443 in fees and pass four exams before they can open for business. By comparison, the average across licensed states is about half that: $557 in fees, 915 days lost to education and experience, and two exams. To open up more employment opportunities in the state, Arkansas should reduce, if not repeal, these and other particularly onerous 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 Fire Alarm Installer $1443 1825 - 5 years 4 0 18
2 Earth Driller, Water Well $750 1825 - 5 years 2 0 18
3 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) $485 1825 - 5 years 2 0 18
4 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) $380 1825 - 5 years 2 0 18
5 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) $330 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Cement Finishing Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Door Repair Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Drywall Installation Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Floor Sander Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Glazier Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Insulation Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Iron/Steel Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Mason Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Painting Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Paving Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Pipelayer Contractor $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
6 Terrazzo Contractor (Commercial) $180 1825 - 5 years 1 0 0
20 Preschool Teacher, Public School $421 1460 4 years - 2 0 0
21 Coach, Head (High School Sports) $395 1462 4 years and 9 clock hours - 2 0 0
22 Athletic Trainer $425 1460 4 years - 1 0 0
23 Optician $260 1095 - 3 years 2 12 21
24 Midwife, Direct Entry $900 800 - 40 births 2 12 0
25 Security Alarm Installer $1118 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
26 HVAC Contractor (Residential) $255 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
26 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) $255 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
28 Veterinary Technician $350 730 2 years - 1 0 0
29 Barber $115 350 1500 clock hours - 3 8 17
30 Cosmetologist $125 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 16
31 Pest Control Applicator $350 365 - 1 years 2 0 18
32 Title Examiner $50 365 - 1 years 1 0 18
33 Massage Therapist $375 117 500 clock hours - 2 12 18
34 Manicurist $125 140 600 clock hours - 2 10 16
34 Skin Care Specialist $125 140 600 clock hours - 2 10 16
36 Psychiatric Technician $38 210 900 clock hours - 1 12 0
37 Mobile Home Installer $2790 92 1 days 3 jobs, mobile home installers 1 0 0
38 Makeup Artist $125 140 600 clock hours - 1 10 16
39 School Bus Driver $92 4 24 clock hours - 6 0 19
40 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator $700 0 - - 4 0 18
41 Child Care Home, Family $50 0 - - 0 12 21
42 Bus Driver, City/Transit $92 0 - - 5 0 18
42 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer $92 0 - - 5 0 18
44 Shampooer $35 31 20 days 20 clock hours 1 12 0
45 Truck Driver, Other $92 0 - - 4 0 18
46 Pharmacy Technician $73 0 - - 0 12 0
47 Emergency Medical Technician $80 28 120 clock hours - 2 0 18
48 Auctioneer $339 0 - - 2 0 18
49 Security Guard, Unarmed $75 1 6 clock hours - 1 0 18
50 Bill Collection Agency $140 0 - - 0 0 21
51 Gaming Cage Worker $75 0 - - 0 0 21
51 Gaming Supervisor $75 0 - - 0 0 21
51 Slot Supervisor $75 0 - - 0 0 21
54 Interpreter, Sign Language $170 0 - - 2 0 0
55 Milk Sampler $10 0 - - 1 0 0
56 Landscape Contractor (Residential) $200 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Door Repair Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Floor Sander Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Glazier Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Insulation Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Mason Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Painting Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Paving Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
57 Terrazzo Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
70 Fisher, Commercial $25 0 - - 0 0 0
70 Travel Guide $25 0 - - 0 0 0
72 Nursery Worker $10 0 - - 0 0 0