The Continuing Burden of Occupational Licensing in the United States

This study follows up an earlier study in which we examined the scope and burden of 102 occupational licensing laws in the United States for low‐ and moderate‐income occupations. Using data collected in 2017, findings indicate that the licences studied require of aspiring workers, on average, US$262 in fees, one exam, and about 12 months of education and training, plus minimum grade and age levels. Data also indicate striking disparities in requirements within and between occupations and within and between states. A comparison with licensing requirements in 2012 indicates that requirements have generally increased, with the greatest increase being in fees. Among states, Alaska and Hawaii saw the greatest increases in licensing requirements.

Suggested citation: Carpenter, D. M., Knepper, L., Sweetland, K., & McDonald, J. (2018). The continuing burden of occupational licensing in the United States. Economic Affairs, 38(3), 380-405.

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