Colorado

34 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed
36th most burdensome licensing laws
47th most broadly and onerously licensed state

Colorado licenses 34 of the 102 lower-income occupations studied here, and its laws are the 36th most burdensome. On average, Colorado’s barriers to entry are $344 in fees, 260 days lost to education and experience, and roughly two exams. Because Colorado licenses fewer occupations than most states, it ranks as only the 47th most broadly and onerously licensed.

Despite this relatively good ranking, Colorado still has room for improvement. For example, it has one of the most burdensome licenses for bill collection agencies, requiring $1,500 in fees and 730 days—two years—of experience before an agency can open for business. By comparison, 20 states do not even license bill collection agencies, and those that do require an average of $551 in fees and 159 days of education and experience.

Colorado also imposes restrictions on barbers and cosmetologists that are disproportionately burdensome compared to those for occupations that may pose greater risks to the public. Aspiring barbers must pay a $155 fee and complete 1,500 hours (around 350 days) of education, while would-be cosmetologists must pay a $177 fee and complete 1,800 hours (roughly 420 days) of education. Both must also pass two exams. EMTs, on the other hand, must only pay a $98 fee, demonstrate 150 hours (about 35 days) of education and pass two exams. Colorado should reduce, if not repeal, its inconsistent or irrational burdens for lower-income workers, 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 $280 1825 4 years and 1 years - 1 0 0
2 Midwife, Direct Entry $2100 1195 3 years 5 births 1 12 19
3 Athletic Trainer $400 1460 4 years - 1 0 0
4 Earth Driller, Water Well $230 730 - 2 years 3 0 21
5 Bill Collection Agency $1500 730 - 2 years 0 0 0
6 Pest Control Applicator $513 728 - 24 months 2 0 0
7 Cosmetologist $177 420 1800 clock hours - 2 0 16
8 Barber $155 350 1500 clock hours - 2 0 16
9 Psychiatric Technician $65 224 32 credit hours - 1 12 0
10 Shampooer $155 280 1200 clock hours - 2 0 16
11 Mobile Home Installer $100 183 8 clock hours 6 months 1 0 18
12 Makeup Artist $177 140 600 clock hours - 2 0 16
12 Manicurist $177 140 600 clock hours - 2 0 16
12 Skin Care Specialist $177 140 600 clock hours - 2 0 16
15 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator $576 121 - 4 months 4 0 0
16 Massage Therapist $315 117 500 clock hours - 1 0 0
17 School Bus Driver $132 0 - - 6 0 21
18 Bus Driver, City/Transit $257 0 - - 5 0 18
18 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer $257 0 - - 5 0 18
20 Truck Driver, Other $257 0 - - 4 0 18
21 Gaming Supervisor $1275 0 - - 0 0 21
21 Slot Supervisor $1275 0 - - 0 0 21
23 Emergency Medical Technician $98 35 150 clock hours - 2 0 18
24 Child Care Home, Family $43 3 - 16 clock hours 1 0 18
25 Travel Guide $100 12 50 clock hours - 0 0 18
26 Gaming Cage Worker $115 0 - - 0 0 21
26 Gaming Dealer $115 0 - - 0 0 21
28 Coach, Head (High School Sports) $75 1 4.5 clock hours - 1 0 0
29 Milk Sampler $50 0 - - 1 0 0
30 Weigher $25 0 - - 1 0 0
31 Animal Breeder $306 0 - - 0 0 0
32 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) $90 0 - - 0 0 0
32 Landscape Contractor (Residential) $90 0 - - 0 0 0
34 Fisher, Commercial $40 0 - - 0 0 0