Table 1 lists all of the 102 lower-income occupations included in this report. Appendix A describes how we derived this list and collected the relevant data.
Despite sharing the trait of being low- to middle-income, the occupations are diverse. Some, such as family child care home operator, public school preschool teacher and non-instructional teacher assistant, cater to the needs of children. Others, like dental assistant, dietetic technician, optician and psychiatric worker, come from the health care sector. Still others represent the service sector and the construction and transportation trades. These include barber, bartender, cosmetologist, massage therapist, manicurist and skin care specialist; various contractor designations; and bus, taxi and truck driver. Many of the occupations are ideally suited for people initially entering or reentering the economy.
The list of 102 occupations includes some that are commonly licensed—and commonly recognized as such—including barber and cosmetologist, two ubiquitously and long-licensed occupations. Also on the list are many occupations that are generally familiar to the public, though the fact that they are licensed may not be. Such occupations include florist, funeral attendant, home entertainment installer, locksmith and upholsterer. Finally, there are some occupations on the list that are, along with their licenses, highly obscure: milk sampler, conveyor operator and dairy equipment still machine setter, for example. (See the Occupation Profiles for definitions of all 102 occupations.)
Some of the 102 occupations represent jobs in which practitioners work for others as employees. However, many offer opportunities for entrepreneurship. Occupations that frequently offer opportunities for individuals to open their own businesses include various construction and cosmetology trades, massage therapist, mobile home installer, taxi driver and chauffeur, animal breeder and trainer, and tree trimmer. By limiting entry into these types of occupations, licensing does more than reduce job opportunities on the crucial first rungs of the economic ladder; it also restricts new business growth in that same sector of the labor market.
Table 1: Breadth of Licensure
Number of States That License 102 Lower-Income Occupations