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Rhode Island

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

Highlights

49 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
37th most burdensome licensing laws
22nd most extensively and onerously licensed state

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

Summary

Rhode Island is the 22nd most broadly and onerously licensed state, placing it in the second tier of states. It licenses 49 of the 102 occupations studied. Rhode Island has the 37th most burdensome licensing laws, with an average of $164 in fees, 211 days -- about seven months -- lost to education and experience and one exam.

A handful of Rhode Island occupations require excessive training requirements compared with other states. For example, Rhode Island has the most burdensome laws for HVAC contractors, requiring over five years of experience. The average across licensed states is less than two-and-a-half years. Rhode Island is one of only eight states to require that truck drivers and city/transit bus drivers possess a driver's license for a year or more prior to licensure. It is also one of 20 states with a similar requirement for school bus drivers, and Rhode Island's is among the longest at three years. Other states require only tests, fees, a minimum age and in some states a short course or training session for these occupations.

Some of Rhode Island's requirements also appear overly burdensome compared to other occupations the state licenses. For example, it takes only 37 days of training to become an emergency medical technician, but nearly twice that time to earn a manicurist license. Barbers, cosmetologists, skin care specialists and massage therapists must undergo even more training.

Rhode Island could expand employment prospects for low-income workers by reducing or removing overly burdensome or needless barriers to low- and moderate-income jobs.

Licensing Requirements

Burden RankOccupationNumber of States that LicenseFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age
1 HVAC Contractor (General/Commercial) 40 111 1,900 1 0 18
2 Preschool Teacher 49 50 1,825 2 0 0
3 Athletic Trainer 46 362 1,460 1 0 0
4 Optician 22 70 1,095 2 12 18
5 School Bus Driver 51 114 1,097 7 0 21
6 Bus Driver (City/Transit) 51 94 730 5 0 18
7 Midwife 29 130 730 1 0 0
8 Barber 50 75 350 2 12 18
9 Cosmetologist 51 50 350 2 12 18
10 Truck Driver 51 70 365 4 0 18
11 Skin Care Specialist 50 50 140 2 12 18
12 Manicurist 50 31 70 2 12 0
13 Auctioneer 33 725 19 1 0 18
14 Massage Therapist 39 50 117 1 0 18
15 Sign Language Interpreter 16 710 2 3 0 0
16 Emergency Medical Technician 51 180 37 2 0 18
17 Teacher Assistant 29 45 7 1 12 0
18 Security Guard 37 400 0 0 0 18
19 Taxi Driver/Chauffeur 12 110 0 2 0 18
20 Crane Operator 18 105 0 2 0 18
21 Pest Control Applicator 51 45 0 2 0 18
21 Vegetation Pesticide Handler 51 45 0 2 0 18
23 Fire Alarm Installer 34 440 0 1 0 0
24 Security Alarm Installer 34 205 0 0 0 18
25 Floor Sander Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 200 0 0 0 18
25 Painting Contractor (General/Commercial) 28 200 0 0 0 18
25 Pipelayer Contractor 29 200 0 0 0 18
25 Mason Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 200 0 0 0 18
25 Drywall Installation Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 200 0 0 0 18
25 Door Repair Contractor 35 200 0 0 0 18
25 Glazier Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 200 0 0 0 18
25 Terrazzo Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 200 0 0 0 18
25 Insulation Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 200 0 0 0 18
25 Cement Finishing Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 200 0 0 0 18
25 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 200 0 0 0 18
25 Iron/Steel Contractor (General/Commercial) 31 200 0 0 0 18
25 Paving Equipment Operator Contractor 27 200 0 0 0 18
38 Animal Control Officer 17 10 0 1 0 18
39 Tree Trimmer 7 25 28 2 0 0
40 Bartender 13 0 1 0 0 18
41 Earth Driller 47 200 0 1 0 0
42 Bill Collector Agency 30 200 0 0 0 0
43 Tank Tester 14 100 9 0 0 0
44 Gaming Supervisor 23 150 0 0 0 0
44 Upholsterer 7 150 0 0 0 0
44 Slot Key Person 21 150 0 0 0 0
47 Animal Breeder 26 100 0 0 0 0
48 Fisher 41 50 0 0 0 0
49 Coach (School Sports) 24 25 0 0 0 0

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