License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
48 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
20th most burdensome licensing laws
16th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
New Jersey is the 16th most broadly and onerously licensed state, placing it in the second tier of states. The average barriers for the 48 occupations licensed are $179 in fees, 292 days lost to education and experience and one exam -- the 20th most burdensome licensing requirements. For six occupations, New Jersey has the most burdensome requirements. The state also licenses 25 occupations that a majority of other states choose not to license.
New Jersey's poor ranking is from requiring training and fees for many of its licensed occupations beyond what other states require and from licensing more occupations than most states. For example, the state licenses 11 residential contractor occupations, for which only around 10 states require a license.
The state also has large barriers to entry in occupations that most other states do not even license. For example court clerks, only licensed by three other states, are required to have two years of experience. The other states do not require anything near that much time. Aspiring locksmiths lose more than three years to education, yet the 12 other states that license these workers do not require any more than 16 days. Cathodic protection testers (those who inspect certain systems designed to protect buried or submerged metal piping and tanks) lose two years to training. Only one other state requires more than eight days.
New Jersey is the only state to require that city/transit bus drivers possess a driver's license for three years prior to working. Only eight states have any such requirement, and New Jersey's is the longest. Most states and the District of Columbia require only tests, fees and a minimum age. Animal control officers are required to pay $749 in fees, the highest fee among the 17 states that license the occupation; average fees are $116. School sports coaches must be licensed teachers, which requires earning a four-year degree. Only three other states require anything close to that; the national average is 254 days.
To encourage employment opportunities in these low- and moderate-income occupations, New Jersey could drastically reduce the higher burdens or eliminate some licenses all together.