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Alaska

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

Highlights

44 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
40th most burdensome licensing laws
29th most extensively and onerously licensed state

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

Summary

Alaska requires a license to work in 44 of the 102 low- and medium-income occupations studied. To obtain a license, job seekers must give up an average of 179 days for education and training, pay $373 in fees and pass one exam. Would-be workers face the 40th most burdensome licensing requirements among the states.

Alaska also ranks as the 29th most broadly and onerously licensed state, suggesting there is room for improvement. Alaska could improve employment prospects by eliminating or easing licensing requirements. For example, aspiring workers in several occupations -- such as HVAC contractors and tank testers -- face barriers to entry that far exceed those in most other states. Alaska requires four years of training to become an HVAC contractor compared to a national average of 891 days. Of the 14 states that license tank testers, nine mandate 10 hours or fewer of training. The 365 days Alaska requires is exceeded only by Iowa. Alaska also charges exorbitant fees to midwives ($3,688) and commercial fishermen ($3,000), which far exceed the national averages for those occupations.

Alaska should also examine whether the requirements to enter some occupations are truly necessary or seem excessive compared to others. For instance, education and experience requirements are nearly three times longer for barbers and cosmetologists than for emergency medical technicians.

Licensing Requirements

Burden RankOccupationNumber of States that LicenseFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age
1 Preschool Teacher 49 191 1,825 1 0 0
2 HVAC Contractor (General/Commercial) 40 425 1,460 1 0 0
3 School Bus Driver 51 229 1,097 6 0 21
4 Midwife 29 3688 730 1 12 18
5 Veterinary Technologist 37 260 730 1 0 0
6 Optician 22 275 420 2 12 0
7 Barber 50 290 385 2 0 0
8 Cosmetologist 51 240 385 2 0 0
9 Tank Tester 14 150 365 1 0 0
10 Emergency Medical Technician 51 125 140 2 12 19
11 Travel Guide 21 550 125 2 0 21
12 Bill Collector Agency 30 250 0 0 12 19
13 Bus Driver (City/Transit) 51 140 0 5 0 19
14 Makeup Artist 36 205 82 2 0 0
14 Skin Care Specialist 50 205 82 2 0 0
16 Teacher Assistant 29 45 0 1 12 0
17 Truck Driver 51 140 0 4 0 19
18 Fisher 41 3000 0 0 0 0
19 Auctioneer 33 520 0 2 0 18
20 Pest Control Applicator 51 25 2 2 0 18
20 Vegetation Pesticide Handler 51 25 2 2 0 18
22 Bartender 13 30 1 1 0 21
23 Weigher 24 48 0 1 0 18
24 Security Guard 37 104 11 0 0 18
25 Child Care Worker 33 0 5 0 0 18
26 Manicurist 50 240 3 2 0 0
27 Cathodic Protection Tester 16 155 8 1 0 0
28 Paving Equipment Operator Contractor 27 310 0 0 0 0
29 Drywall Installation Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 300 0 0 0 0
29 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 300 0 0 0 0
29 Glazier Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 300 0 0 0 0
29 Cement Finishing Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 300 0 0 0 0
29 Painting Contractor (General/Commercial) 28 300 0 0 0 0
29 Pipelayer Contractor 29 300 0 0 0 0
29 Terrazzo Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 300 0 0 0 0
29 Floor Sander Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 300 0 0 0 0
29 Sheet Metal Contractor (General/Commercial) 28 300 0 0 0 0
29 Iron/Steel Contractor (General/Commercial) 31 300 0 0 0 0
29 Door Repair Contractor 35 300 0 0 0 0
29 Insulation Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 300 0 0 0 0
41 Security Alarm Installer 34 250 0 0 0 0
41 Mason Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 250 0 0 0 0
41 Fire Alarm Installer 34 250 0 0 0 0
44 Taxidermist 26 200 0 0 0 0

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