License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
44 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
51st most burdensome licensing laws
38th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Pennsylvania has the least burdensome licensing laws, but because it requires a license for 44 of the 102 low- to moderate-income occupations studied, it ranks as the 38th most broadly and onerously licensed state. Aspiring practitioners of these occupations pay $176 in fees, lose 113 days to training and take one exam.
For 23 of the 44 occupations, the state requires only fees. In five of these occupations, Pennsylvania's fees are the highest in the nation. Pennsylvania charges $2,500 in fees to become a gaming supervisor, more than five times the average of $449. The state charges $350 to become a gaming cage worker, gaming dealer, slot key person or a travel agent, which all average around $200 in the other states.
Twenty-one of the occupations Pennsylvania licenses are also licensed by less than half of the other states. This includes 12 contractor occupations, which require $50 in fees. Upholsterers are licensed in only seven states and must pay $50 to work in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania could assist low-income workers by reducing or eliminating barriers to entry, including fees.