Illinois

41 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed
35th most burdensome licensing laws
39th most broadly and onerously licensed state

Illinois’ licensing laws for lower-income occupations are the 35th most burdensome. On average, Illinois’ barriers to entry are $244 in fees, 249 days lost to education and experience, and around one exam. Licensing 40 of the 102 lower-income occupations studied here, Illinois is the 39th most broadly and onerously licensed state.

Illinois imposes more onerous requirements than many other states for some occupations. For example, sign language interpreters—the state’s most onerously licensed occupation—must pay a $900 fee, complete four years and 40 hours of education (roughly 1,469 days total), and pass two exams to become licensed. But more than half of states (29) do not license the occupation at all and, among those that do, the average requirements are just $661 in fees, about 1,088 days of education and experience, and two exams.

Illinois 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, it takes more schooling to become a barber or a cosmetologist in Illinois than it does to become an EMT. EMTs can become licensed after completing about 37 days (160 hours) of education. Barbers and cosmetologists, on the other hand, must spend nearly 10 times as long in school (1,500 hours or roughly 350 days) before they can work. Illinois could expand lower-income employment opportunities by reducing or repealing these and other licensing burdens, 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 Interpreter, Sign Language $900* 1469* 4 years and 40 clock hours* - 2 12 18
2 Preschool Teacher, Public School $660 1460 4 years - 3 0 0
3 Athletic Trainer $500 1460 4 years - 1 0 0
4 Security Alarm Installer $328 1095 - 3 years 1 0 21
5 Fire Alarm Installer $328 1095 - 3 years 1 0 21
6 Earth Driller, Water Well $50 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
7 Veterinary Technician $360 730 2 years - 1 0 0
8 Barber $157 350 1500 clock hours - 1 12 16
9 Bill Collection Agency $750 365 - 1 years 0 0 18
10 Cosmetologist $210 350 1500 clock hours - 1 0 16
11 Makeup Artist $186 175 750 clock hours - 1 12 16
11 Skin Care Specialist $186 175 750 clock hours - 1 12 16
13 Pharmacy Technician $169 140 - 600 clock hours 1 12 18
14 Pest Control Applicator $325 112 16 credit hours - 2 12 0
15 Massage Therapist $370 140 600 clock hours - 1 0 18
16 Emergency Medical Technician $65 37 160 clock hours - 1 12 18
17 Auctioneer $271 0 - - 1 12 18
18 Manicurist $210 82 350 clock hours - 1 0 16
19 School Bus Driver $114 0 - - 6 0 21
20 Gaming Supervisor $1050 0 - - 0 0 21
20 Slot Supervisor $1050 0 - - 0 0 21
22 Child Care Home, Family $27 4 - 21 clock hours 0 12 18
23 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer $110 0 - - 5 0 18
24 Bus Driver, City/Transit $50 0 - - 5 0 18
25 Truck Driver, Other $110 0 - - 4 0 18
26 Locksmith $174 3 20 clock hours - 1 0 18
27 Mobile Home Installer $150 2 10 clock hours - 1 0 18
28 Gaming Cage Worker $250 0 - - 0 0 21
28 Gaming Dealer $250 0 - - 0 0 21
30 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator $60 0 - - 4 0 0
31 Wildlife Control Operator $0 0 - - 1 0 18
32 Security Guard, Unarmed $55 0 - - 0 0 18
33 Coach, Head (High School Sports) $0 1 4 clock hours - 0 0 19
34 Milk Sampler $25 0 - - 1 0 0
35 Fisher, Commercial $60 0 - - 0 0 0
36 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
36 Landscape Contractor (Residential) $50 0 - - 0 0 0
36 Travel Guide $50 0 - - 0 0 0
39 Taxidermist $26 0 - - 0 0 0
40 Animal Breeder $25 0 - - 0 0 0
41 Midwife, Direct Entry $0 0 - - 0 0 0