License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
47 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
48th most burdensome licensing laws
28th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Wisconsin is the 28th most broadly and onerously licensed state, licensing 47 of the 102 low- to moderate-income occupations studied. It has the 48th most burdensome licensing laws, requiring aspiring practitioners to pay $209 in fees, lose 145 days to education and experience and take one exam.
Because Wisconsin's burdens are fairly low, its ranking is accounted for mostly in the number of occupations it licenses. Twelve of these occupations are construction contractors with a general fee of $115. Wisconsin is the only state that licenses fire sprinkler system testers and pipelayers who are not contractors and one of four states to license cross connection survey inspectors and court clerks. Wisconsin could improve its low-income workers' prospects by addressing these barriers and those that are excessive compared to other states. For example, Wisconsin has the most burdensome requirements for aspiring veterinary technologists, requiring two years of training, three exams and $352 in fees. And it charges more than twice the average licensure fees for bill collector agencies and fishers -- $1,015 and $899 respectively.
The state also imposes fairly high requirements on barbers and cosmetologists -- costing them about 14 months in training -- compared to other states. These requirements are also high relative to other occupations licensed in Wisconsin. It takes 15 times the amount of training to become a barber or cosmetologist than it does to become an emergency medical technician. Massage therapists, makeup artists, skin care specialists and manicurists must also undergo substantially more training than EMTs.