License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
33 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
19th most burdensome licensing laws
40th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
New York licenses fewer lower-income occupations than most states, only 33, but for those it does license, it imposes substantial barriers. The state has the 19th most burdensome licensing laws, requiring, on average, $145 in fees, 283 days lost to training and two exams. If New York wants to improve employment prospects for low- to moderate income workers, it could reduce or eliminate these barriers to entry.
For a number of occupations, New York has above-average requirements. For example, aspiring crane operators lose three years to experience, but 12 of the 18 states that license the occupation do not require even one day. A barber is expected to have nearly two-and-a-half years of experience and education. The average training across the states in this occupation is just over a year -- 416 days.
Aspiring mobile home installers lose two years in New York compared to the national average of 245 days. Child care workers must have a year of training, outpacing every other state except for New Jersey. At most the other 31 states that license child care workers require two weeks.
In addition to examining barriers that are excessive compared to other states, New York policymakers should look at those that are higher than occupations with a more direct link to public safety. While one can become a licensed emergency medical technician with about 35 days of training, it takes four times that to become a makeup artist or skin care specialist. It takes even longer to earn a license as a massage therapist, cosmetologist, mobile home installer or barber.