Pennsylvania

51 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed
50th most burdensome licensing laws
31st most broadly and onerously licensed state

Pennsylvania’s licensing laws for lower-income occupations are some of the least burdensome in the nation, ranking 50th out of all 50 states and D.C. The laws require, on average, $138 in fees, 117 days of education and experience, and around one exam. Licensing fewer of the occupations studied here than most states—51 of 102—Pennsylvania ranks as the 31st most broadly and onerously licensed state.

Pennsylvania frequently licenses occupations that are unlicensed by other states, such as upholsterers (licensed by nine other states), weighers (24 others), taxidermists (27 others) and auctioneers (29 others). Of those, auctioneers are particularly onerously licensed, facing $270 in fees, 140 days of education (20 credit hours) and one exam. Given that so many other states do not require licensure of auctioneers, these requirements are excessive.

Pennsylvania also imposes burdens on some occupations that appear disproportionate compared to those for other occupations that may present greater risks to the public. For example, it is considerably more difficult to become a barber or cosmetologist than it is to become an EMT. While barbers and cosmetologists must complete 292 days (1,250 hours) of education, EMTs need only complete 35 days (150 hours) of education. It should not require eight times more schooling to become a barber or cosmetologist than to become an emergency first responder. Pennsylvania could open up employment opportunities by reducing or repealing these and other illogical occupational licenses, or—if government regulation is necessary—by replacing 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 $528 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
2 Athletic Trainer $320 1461 4 years and 3 clock hours - 1 0 20
3 Veterinary Technician $345 730 2 years - 1 0 0
4 Barber $150 292 1250 clock hours - 2 8 16
5 Cosmetologist $110 292 1250 clock hours - 1 10 16
6 Massage Therapist $260 140 600 clock hours - 1 12 0
7 Child Care Home, Family $41 140 - 600 clock hours 0 12 18
8 Makeup Artist $110 70 300 clock hours - 1 10 16
8 Skin Care Specialist $110 70 300 clock hours - 1 10 16
10 Manicurist $110 47 200 clock hours - 1 10 16
11 Auctioneer $270 140 20 credit hours - 1 0 0
12 School Bus Driver $35 3 14 clock hours 6 clock hours 6 0 18
13 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator $155 0 - - 4 0 18
14 Crane Operator $325 0 - - 2 0 18
15 Bus Driver, City/Transit $35 0 - - 5 0 18
16 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer $30 0 - - 5 0 18
17 Emergency Medical Technician $80 35 150 clock hours - 2 0 16
18 Truck Driver, Other $30 0 - - 4 0 18
19 Gaming Cage Worker $350 0 - - 0 0 18
19 Gaming Dealer $350 0 - - 0 0 18
19 Gaming Supervisor $350 0 - - 0 0 18
19 Slot Supervisor $350 0 - - 0 0 18
19 Travel Agency $350 0 - - 0 0 18
24 Pest Control Applicator $135 0 - - 2 0 18
25 Mobile Home Installer $350 3 15 clock hours - 1 0 0
26 Animal Breeder $371 0 - - 0 0 0
27 Weigher $60 0 - - 0 0 18
28 Wildlife Control Operator $75 0 - - 1 0 0
29 Milk Sampler $45 0 - - 1 0 0
30 Travel Guide $100 1 8 clock hours - 0 0 0
31 Taxidermist $100 0 - - 0 0 0
32 Earth Driller, Water Well $88 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Door Repair Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Floor Sander Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Glazier Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 HVAC Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Insulation Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Mason Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Painting Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Paving Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Terrazzo Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
33 Upholsterer $50 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) $40 0 - - 0 0 0
49 Landscape Contractor (Residential) $40 0 - - 0 0 0
51 Farm Labor Contractor $25 0 - - 0 0 0