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Arkansas

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

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

Highlights

52 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
2nd most burdensome licensing laws
5th most extensively and onerously licensed state

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

Summary

Arkansas is the fifth most broadly and onerously licensed state in the country. One needs a license to practice 52 of the 102 low- and moderate-income occupations studied -- more than all but 10 other states. The barriers to entering these occupations are significant -- the second most burdensome of all the states -- and combine with the large number of licensed occupations to place Arkansas in the top tier of most broadly and onerously licensed states.

The high ranking is driven mainly by the five years of education and experience required for many of the construction trades. Workers in other states are required to undergo only between 507 days (sheet metal workers) and 390 days (insulation contractors) of training to get a job in the same occupations, on average. Many states either do not have training requirements or do not require a license at all.

Arkansas licenses a number of occupations that few other states do, such as funeral attendants, psychiatric technicians and residential dry wall installers. Moreover, many occupations are subject to entry restrictions that exceed national averages. Opticians in Arkansas, for instance, must train for more than three years, about a year more than the national average. Fire alarm installers lose 1,095 days to education and experience requirements versus a national average of 486 days.

Thirty occupations take longer to break into in Arkansas than emergency medical technician, most by a considerable margin. The state allows EMTs to work in ambulances after 28 days of training. Massage therapists, on the other hand, are required to complete 117 days of training. Barbers and cosmetologists must obtain 350 days of training.

To improve job prospects for residents, Arkansas could reduce or eliminate many of its licensing requirements.

Licensing Requirements

Burden RankOccupationNumber of States that LicenseFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age
1 Preschool Teacher 49 100 1,825 3 0 0
2 Mason Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Glazier Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Drywall Installation Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Floor Sander Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Terrazzo Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Cement Finishing Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Insulation Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Iron/Steel Contractor (General/Commercial) 31 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Sheet Metal Contractor (General/Commercial) 28 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Painting Contractor (General/Commercial) 28 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Paving Equipment Operator Contractor 27 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Pipelayer Contractor 29 175 1,825 1 0 0
2 Door Repair Contractor 35 175 1,825 1 0 0
16 Athletic Trainer 46 425 1,460 1 0 0
17 Optician 22 200 1,120 2 12 21
18 Fire Alarm Installer 34 240 1,095 1 0 0
19 Teacher Assistant 29 325 730 0 12 0
20 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) 9 833 730 2 0 0
21 HVAC Contractor (General/Commercial) 40 205 730 1 0 18
22 Veterinary Technologist 37 175 730 1 0 0
23 Barber 50 115 350 3 8 16.5
24 Cosmetologist 51 115 350 2 10 16
25 Earth Driller 47 150 365 1 0 18
26 Massage Therapist 39 325 117 2 12 18
27 Makeup Artist 36 145 140 2 10 16
28 Skin Care Specialist 50 140 140 2 10 16
29 Psychiatric Technician 4 116 210 1 12 0
30 Manicurist 50 60 140 2 10 0
31 Mobile Home Installer 39 2750 1 1 0 0
32 Midwife 29 700 0 2 12 0
33 School Bus Driver 51 62 4 6 0 18
34 Bus Driver (City/Transit) 51 92 0 5 0 18
35 Child Care Worker 33 10 2 0 12 18
36 Truck Driver 51 92 0 4 0 18
37 Emergency Medical Technician 51 70 28 2 0 18
38 Pharmacy Technician 12 76 0 0 12 0
39 Bill Collector Agency 30 140 0 0 0 21
40 Slot Key Person 21 75 0 0 0 21
40 Gaming Supervisor 23 75 0 0 0 21
42 Security Guard 37 81 1 0 0 18
43 Fisher 41 25 0 0 0 16
44 Pest Control Applicator 51 35 0 2 0 0
44 Vegetation Pesticide Handler 51 35 0 2 0 0
46 Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester 18 180 9 1 0 0
47 Milk Sampler 34 10 0 1 0 0
48 Landscape Worker 10 150 0 0 0 0
49 Funeral Attendant 9 135 0 0 0 0
50 Security Alarm Installer 34 81 0 0 0 0
51 Animal Trainer 20 25 0 0 0 0
52 Nursery Worker 2 10 0 0 0 0

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