License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
41 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
23rd most burdensome licensing laws
27th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
The District of Columbia licenses 41 of the 102 occupations studied, slightly fewer than average, but imposes the 23rd most burdensome licensing laws. On average, those hoping to break into these occupations must pay $240 in fees, lose 311 days to mandatory training and pass one exam.
For several occupations, D.C.'s laws are among the most onerous in the nation. All 50 states and D.C. license pest control workers; 38 of those require 10 days of training or less. The District requires a full year. D.C. and three states require a teaching license -- which requires at least four years of education -- for school sports coaches, while most states require far less training. HVAC contractors face the second most restrictive rules in the country -- five years of training requirements compared to a national average of 891 days.
Besides the District, only three states license interior designers. All four require enormous time and expense -- six years -- to meet the education and experience requirements. D.C. also requires social and human service assistants to obtain a bachelor's degree. Only three states require that much training; in fact, only six states license the occupation at all.
D.C. could boost employment prospects by repealing or easing such restrictive rules.