Oklahoma

41 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed
18th most burdensome licensing laws
35th most broadly and onerously licensed state

Oklahoma licenses 41 of the 102 lower-income occupations studied here. Its laws are the 18th most burdensome, requiring an average of $234 in fees, 399 days of education and experience, and around two exams. Because of the state’s higher than average burdens but lower than average number of occupations licensed, Oklahoma ranks as the 35th most broadly and onerously licensed in the nation.

Oklahoma licenses some occupations that are unlicensed elsewhere, such as packers (licensed by just six states), title examiners (seven), dental assistants (nine), locksmiths (14) and veterinary technicians (36). Among those, vet techs are particularly onerously licensed, facing $440 in fees, two years (730 days) of education and two exams. Security and fire alarm installers—each licensed in roughly three dozen states—also face particularly heavy burdens in Oklahoma. The state’s alarm installer licenses require hundreds of dollars in fees and 1,460 days—four years—of experience. But the average education or experience requirement across licensed states is 836 days for security alarm installers and 915 days for fire alarm installers.

Oklahoma 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, EMTs must pay $165 in fees, complete 154 hours (around 36 days) of education and pass two exams. But barbers and cosmetologists face education requirements that are nearly 10 times as high—1,500 hours (roughly 350 days). Oklahoma could improve employment prospects for its lower-income residents by reducing or repealing its arduous requirements for barbers, cosmetologists and other occupations, or—if government regulation is necessary—by replacing them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives such as inspections or voluntary certification.

Burden Rank Occupation Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) $615 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
1 HVAC Contractor (Residential) $615 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
1 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) $615 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
1 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) $615 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
5 Security Alarm Installer $518 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
6 Fire Alarm Installer $469 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
7 Coach, Head (High School Sports) $334 1460 4 years - 2 0 0
7 Preschool Teacher, Public School $334 1460 4 years - 2 0 0
9 Athletic Trainer $467 1460 4 years - 1 0 0
10 Veterinary Technician $440 730 2 years - 2 0 0
11 Earth Driller, Water Well $550 730 - 2 years 1 0 0
12 Barber $60 350 1500 clock hours - 2 8 16
12 Cosmetologist $60 350 1500 clock hours - 2 8 16
12 Shampooer $60 350 1500 clock hours - 2 8 16
15 Pharmacy Technician $40 140 - 600 clock hours 1 12 18
16 Makeup Artist $60 140 600 clock hours - 2 8 16
16 Manicurist $60 140 600 clock hours - 2 8 16
16 Skin Care Specialist $60 140 600 clock hours - 2 8 16
19 Child Care Home, Family $53 84 12 credit hours - 0 12 21
20 School Bus Driver $57 4 19 clock hours 5 clock hours 6 0 18
21 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer $153 0 - - 5 0 18
22 Bus Driver, City/Transit $57 0 - - 5 0 18
23 Title Examiner $550 0 - - 1 0 18
24 Emergency Medical Technician $165 36 154 clock hours - 2 0 18
25 Truck Driver, Other $133 0 - - 4 0 18
26 Security Guard, Unarmed $91 9 40 clock hours - 2 0 18
27 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator $200 0 - - 4 0 0
28 Animal Breeder $365 0 - - 0 0 14
29 Wildlife Control Operator $75 3 16 clock hours - 1 0 18
30 Pest Control Applicator $150 0 - - 3 0 0
31 Fisher, Commercial $427 0 - - 0 0 0
32 Mobile Home Installer $200 1 8 clock hours - 0 0 0
33 Locksmith $74 0 - - 1 0 0
34 Gaming Cage Worker $166 0 - - 0 0 0
34 Gaming Supervisor $166 0 - - 0 0 0
34 Slot Supervisor $166 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) $100 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Landscape Contractor (Residential) $100 0 - - 0 0 0
39 Travel Guide $90 0 - - 0 0 0
40 Dental Assistant $50 0 - - 0 0 0
41 Packer $35 0 - - 0 0 0