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.