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Texas

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

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

Highlights

34 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
17th most burdensome licensing laws
32nd most extensively and onerously licensed state

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

Summary

Texas licenses 34 lower-income occupations, fewer than most states, but has the 17th most burdensome licensing laws. These laws impose an average of $304 in fees, 326 days of training and two exams on those wishing to enter licensed occupations. Texas can promote employment for low-income workers by reducing these high barriers -- or eliminating them altogether.

Texas outpaces most other states' education and experience requirements for a few occupations. Because they must be licensed teachers, aspiring school sports coaches lose four years to education, one of only four states to require anything remotely close to that. Texas is the only state to require more than two weeks of training to become a backflow prevention assembly tester, and it requires two years.

Aspiring practitioners in Texas also face high fees. For example, fishers must pay fees of $4,800 -- 10 times higher than the average fee of $403. Texas is also one of only five states to license shampooers, requiring a worker to pay $128 in fees and to pass two exams in order to wash somebody's hair.

In Texas, it takes just 33 days of training to earn a license as an emergency medical technician. But it takes substantially more to become a licensed massage therapist (117 days), manicurist (140), skin care specialist (175), cosmetologist (350) or barber (350). Occupations like these, where training required does not line up with public safety concerns, make possible targets for reform, as well as occupations that are more difficult to enter in Texas than elsewhere.

Licensing Requirements

Burden RankOccupationNumber of States that LicenseFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age
1 Preschool Teacher 49 117 1,825 2 0 18
2 Athletic Trainer 46 669 1,460 3 0 0
3 Coach (School Sports) 24 0 1,460 0 0 0
4 HVAC Contractor (General/Commercial) 40 178 1,095 1 0 18
5 Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester 18 111 739 1 12 0
6 Security Alarm Installer 34 58 733 1 0 18
6 Fire Alarm Installer 34 58 733 1 0 18
8 Midwife 29 275 730 2 0 0
9 Earth Driller 47 270 730 1 0 0
10 Cosmetologist 51 178 350 2 12 17
11 Barber 50 70 350 2 0 16
12 Pest Control Applicator 51 115 381 1 0 0
13 Skin Care Specialist 50 181 175 2 12 17
14 Manicurist 50 53 140 2 12 0
15 Massage Therapist 39 204 117 3 0 18
16 Emergency Medical Technician 51 134 33 2 12 18
17 Auctioneer 33 175 19 1 12 18
18 School Bus Driver 51 76 3 6 0 18
19 Fisher 41 4800 0 0 0 0
20 Child Care Worker 33 2 2 0 12 18
21 Bus Driver (City/Transit) 51 76 0 5 0 18
22 Truck Driver 51 61 0 4 0 18
23 Security Guard 37 58 7 2 0 18
24 Animal Trainer 20 87 0 2 0 18
25 Iron/Steel Contractor (General/Commercial) 31 500 0 0 0 18
25 Door Repair Contractor 35 500 0 0 0 18
27 Vegetation Pesticide Handler 51 204 0 3 0 0
28 Locksmith 13 45 0 0 0 18
29 Optician 22 105 1 2 0 0
30 Mobile Home Installer 39 600 3 1 0 0
31 Shampooer 5 128 0 2 0 0
32 Milk Sampler 34 0 1 1 0 0
33 Animal Control Officer 17 115 2 0 0 0
34 Travel Guide 21 125 0 0 0 0

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