New Jersey

54 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed
16th most burdensome licensing laws
28th most broadly and onerously licensed state

New Jersey licenses 54 of the 102 lower-income occupations studied here. Its laws rank as the 16th most burdensome and require, on average, $224 in fees, 422 days of education and experience, and around one exam. New Jersey ranks as the 28th most broadly and onerously licensed state.

New Jersey licenses several occupations rarely licensed elsewhere. For example, few other states license animal control officers (six), locksmiths (13), taxi drivers and chauffeurs (15), or crane operators (17). Among those, locksmiths and crane operators are particularly onerously licensed. Locksmiths face unusually high education and experience requirements—roughly 732 days, comprising two years of experience and 10 hours of education. By comparison, the average across licensed states is just 54 days lost to education and experience. And crane operators pay fees that are more than double the average across licensed states: $475 versus $225.

New Jersey 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, its education and experience requirements for barbers and cosmetologists are much higher than those for EMTs. Barbers must study for 900 hours (roughly 210 days) and cosmetologists for 1,200 hours (roughly 280 days), while EMTs need only 110 hours of education and 10 hours of experience (roughly 27 days total). New Jersey could improve job prospects for its lower-income residents by lifting or easing its heavy licensing burdens 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 Coach, Head (High School Sports) $535 2191 4 years and 4 clock hours 2 years 2 12 18
2 Preschool Teacher, Public School $535 2190 4 years 2 years 2 12 18
3 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) $331 1825 - 5 years 2 0 18
3 HVAC Contractor (Residential) $331 1825 - 5 years 2 0 18
3 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) $331 1825 - 5 years 2 0 18
3 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) $331 1825 - 5 years 2 0 18
7 Athletic Trainer $440 1460 4 years - 1 12 18
8 Security Alarm Installer $168 1460 - 4 years 1 12 18
9 Midwife, Direct Entry $1210 1095 3 years - 1 0 18
10 School Bus Driver $171 1095 - 3 years 6 0 21
11 Bus Driver, City/Transit $169 1095 - 3 years 5 0 21
12 Earth Driller, Water Well $350 1095 - 3 years 1 12 0
13 Optician $420 851 2 years 4 months 2 12 17
14 Locksmith $217 732 10 clock hours 2 years 1 12 18
15 Fire Alarm Installer $555 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
16 Cosmetologist $119 280 1200 clock hours - 2 12 17
17 Barber $80 210 900 clock hours - 2 12 17
17 Shampooer $80 210 900 clock hours - 2 12 17
19 Crane Operator $475 233 - 1000 clock hours 2 0 18
20 Makeup Artist $119 140 600 clock hours - 2 12 17
20 Skin Care Specialist $119 140 600 clock hours - 2 12 17
22 Manicurist $169 70 300 clock hours - 2 12 17
23 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator $230 29 4 clock hours 120 clock hours 4 0 18
24 Pharmacy Technician $85 0 - - 0 12 18
25 Truck Driver, Other $167 0 - - 4 0 18
25 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer $167 0 - - 4 0 18
27 Emergency Medical Technician $145 27 110 clock hours 10 clock hours 2 0 18
28 Pest Control Applicator $230 10 4 clock hours 40 clock hours 2 0 18
29 Massage Therapist $176 117 500 clock hours - 0 0 0
30 Gaming Supervisor $750 0 - - 0 0 0
30 Slot Supervisor $750 0 - - 0 0 0
32 Security Guard, Unarmed $116 4 24 clock hours - 0 0 18
33 Taxi Driver/Chauffeur $51 0 - - 0 0 21
34 Animal Control Officer $0 11 45 clock hours - 0 0 18
35 Milk Sampler $0 0 - - 2 0 0
36 Landscape Contractor (Residential) $185 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Door Repair Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Floor Sander Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Glazier Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Insulation Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Mason Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Painting Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Paving Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
37 Terrazzo Contractor (Residential) $110 0 - - 0 0 0
50 Fisher, Commercial $102 0 - - 0 0 0
51 Gaming Cage Worker $95 0 - - 0 0 0
51 Gaming Dealer $95 0 - - 0 0 0
53 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) $75 0 - - 0 0 0
54 Animal Breeder $18 0 - - 0 0 0