License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
29 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
11th most burdensome licensing laws
41st most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Oklahoma licenses only 29 of the 102 occupations studied, but it has the 11th most burdensome licensing laws, requiring an average of $116 in fees, 416 days -- more than a year -- lost to training and two exams.
The high burden ranking is largely accounted for by the number of exams required and the occupations with above-average training requirements. For example, aspiring social and human service assistants lose six years to education and experience, two more years than even the closest states. Forty-four states do not require a license to become a social and human service assistant at all. Oklahoma is also one of only four states to mandate that school sports coaches also be licensed teachers, thus requiring a four-year degree. The national average of training for coaches is just 254 days. Aspiring security alarm installers lose almost four years to training compared to the national average of a year-and-a-half.
Though Oklahoma has a fairly low ranking, it could promote low-income jobs by reducing or removing some of the barriers. Not only do some of the current burdens exceed most of the other states, there are a number of occupations that are unlicensed in most other states. For example, Oklahoma is one of only six states to license title examiners and seven states to license packagers.