Arizona

68 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed
4th most burdensome licensing laws
4th most broadly and onerously licensed state

Arizona remains one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to licensing burdens for lower-income occupations. It licenses 68 of the 102 occupations studied here, and its licensing laws rank as the fourth most burdensome, due to high licensing fees and arduous education and experience requirements. Occupational licenses in Arizona require an average of $612 in fees, 765 days—more than two years—of education and experience, and approximately two exams. Because it licenses so many occupations so onerously, Arizona ranks as the fourth most broadly and onerously licensed state.

Arizona imposes particularly burdensome fees and experience requirements on would-be licensees in several occupations. Its highest fees are roughly three times the national average. Bill collection agencies face Arizona’s heftiest fees, paying $1,500 (compared to the $551 average across licensed states). Water well earth drillers must pay $1,031 (compared to the $356 national average). And Arizona’s experience burdens for aspiring opticians are some of the heaviest of their type in the nation, requiring 1,095 days (three years) of experience. This is considerably higher than the average 714 days required in the 22 states that license opticians.

Arizona’s licensing laws are also rife with irrationalities, often imposing burdens on some occupations that seem excessive compared with those for others that may pose greater risks. For example, 15 of the 33 Arizona contractor licenses studied are more burdensome than the state’s direct entry midwife license, and all of the contractor licenses studied are considerably more onerous than its EMT license, which merely requires a 110-hour course (an estimated 26 days lost), an $80 fee and two exams. To improve its rankings, Arizona should reduce or repeal its onerous licenses for contractors and other occupations, 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 $437 2190 4 years 2 years 2 0 0
2 Interpreter, Sign Language $820* 1469* 4 years and 40 clock hours* - 2 12 18
3 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Commercial) $956 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
3 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Residential) $956 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
3 Door Repair Contractor (Commercial) $956 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
3 Door Repair Contractor (Residential) $956 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
3 Fire Alarm Installer $956 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
3 Mason Contractor (Commercial) $956 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
3 Mason Contractor (Residential) $956 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
10 Iron/Steel Contractor (Commercial) $886 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
10 Pipelayer Contractor $886 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
12 Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential) $826 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
12 Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential) $826 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
14 Cement Finishing Contractor (Commercial) $686 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
15 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) $586 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
15 Landscape Contractor (Residential) $586 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
17 Paving Contractor (Commercial) $836 1460 - 4 years 1 0 18
18 Paving Contractor (Residential) $636 1460 - 4 years 1 0 18
19 Athletic Trainer $622 1460 4 years - 1 0 0
20 Midwife, Direct Entry $1150 1095 3 years - 2 12 21
21 Optician $650 1095 - 3 years 3 12 18
22 Earth Driller, Water Well $1031 1095 - 3 years 3 0 18
23 Glazier Contractor (Commercial) $956 1095 - 3 years 2 0 18
23 Glazier Contractor (Residential) $956 1095 - 3 years 2 0 18
23 Terrazzo Contractor (Commercial) $956 1095 - 3 years 2 0 18
23 Terrazzo Contractor (Residential) $956 1095 - 3 years 2 0 18
27 Mobile Home Installer $454 1096 8 clock hours 3 years 1 0 0
28 HVAC Contractor (Residential) $956 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
28 Painting Contractor (Commercial) $956 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
28 Painting Contractor (Residential) $956 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
28 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) $956 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
32 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) $686 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
32 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) $686 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
34 Drywall Installation Contractor (Commercial) $906 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
34 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) $906 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
34 Floor Sander Contractor (Commercial) $906 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
34 Floor Sander Contractor (Residential) $906 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
34 Insulation Contractor (Commercial) $906 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
34 Insulation Contractor (Residential) $906 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
34 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Commercial) $906 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
34 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential) $906 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
42 Veterinary Technician $150 730 2 years - 2 0 18
43 Pest Control Applicator $645 449 12 credit hours 1 years 4 0 18
43 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator $645 449 12 credit hours 1 years 4 0 18
45 Cosmetologist $247 373 1600 clock hours - 2 10 16
46 School Bus Driver $57 371 14 clock hours 1 years and 20 clock hours 7 0 18
47 Barber $140 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 16
48 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer $50 365 - 1 years 5 0 18
49 Bus Driver, City/Transit $35 365 - 1 years 5 0 18
50 Truck Driver, Other $50 365 - 1 years 4 0 18
51 Massage Therapist $412 163 700 clock hours - 1 12 18
52 Pharmacy Technician $197 140 - 600 clock hours 1 12 18
53 Manicurist $247 140 600 clock hours - 2 10 16
53 Skin Care Specialist $247 140 600 clock hours - 2 10 16
55 Coach, Head (High School Sports) $129 163 15 credit hours 250 clock hours 0 0 0
56 Emergency Medical Technician $80 26 110 clock hours - 2 0 18
57 Travel Guide $337 0 - - 1 0 18
58 Bill Collection Agency $1500 0 - - 0 0 0
59 Weigher $48 0 - - 1 0 18
60 Gaming Cage Worker $250 0 - - 0 0 18
60 Gaming Dealer $250 0 - - 0 0 18
60 Gaming Supervisor $250 0 - - 0 0 18
60 Slot Supervisor $250 0 - - 0 0 18
64 Security Alarm Installer $192 0 - - 0 0 18
65 Security Guard, Unarmed $72 1 8 clock hours - 0 0 18
66 Taxidermist $150 0 - - 0 0 0
67 Animal Breeder $75 0 - - 0 0 0
68 Milk Sampler $50 0 - - 0 0 0