Analysis of occupational licensing burdens ranks California No. 3


California ranked third among U.S. states that have burdensome licensing laws for lower-income jobs, according to a report by the Institute for Justice (IJ).

California requires an occupational license for 76 out of 102 lower-income jobs studied in the IJ analysis, making it the “most broadly and onerously licensed state.” The report says licensed workers pay an average of $486 in fees and lose an average of 827 days to education, experience, and usually at least one exam.

How do the burdens of getting an occupational license compare in California?

California occupational licensing requirements

Burden RankOccupationStates LicensedFeesEstimated Calendar Days LostEducationExperienceExams
1Preschool Teacher, Public School50$3981,8254 years and 1 year

2
2Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Commercial)25$5791,460

4 years3
2Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Residential)30$5791,460

4 years3
2Cement Finishing Contractor (Commercial)24$5791,460

4 years3
2Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential)30$5791,460

4 years3
2Drywall Installation Contractor (Commercial)25$5791,460

4 years3
2Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential)30$5791,460

4 years3
2Earth Driller, Water Well51$5791,460

4 years3
2Fire Alarm Installer39$5791,460

4 years3
2Floor Sander Contractor (Commercial)22$5791,460

4 years3
2Floor Sander Contractor (Residential)27$5791,460

4 years3
2Glazier Contractor (Commercial)26$5791,460

4 years3
2Glazier Contractor (Residential)30$5791,460

4 years3
2HVAC Contractor (Commercial)37$5791,460

4 years3
2HVAC Contractor (Residential)35$5791,460

4 years3
2Insulation Contractor

(Commercial)

25$5791,460

4 years3
2Insulation Contractor

(Residential)

30$5791,460

4 years3
2Iron/Steel Contractor

(Commercial)

26$5791,460

4 years3
2Iron/Steel Contractor

(Residential)

30$5791,460

4 years3
2Landscape Contractor (Commercial)47$5791,460

4 years3
2Landscape Contractor (Residential)48$5791,460

4 years3
2Mason Contractor (Commercial)26$5791,460

4 years3
2Mason Contractor (Residential)31$5791,460

4 years3
2Painting Contractor (Commercial)22$5791,460

4 years3
2Painting Contractor (Residential)28$5791,460

4 years3
2Paving Contractor (Commercial)24$5791,460

4 years3
2Paving Contractor (Residential)28$5791,460

4 years3
2Pipelayer Contractor27$5791,460

4 years3
2Security Alarm Installer37$5791,460

4 years3
2Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial)37$5791,460

4 years3
2Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential)36$5791,460

4 years3
2Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Commercial)26$5791,460

4 years3
2Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential)31$5791,460

4 years3
2Terrazzo Contractor (Commercial)23$5791,460

4 years3
2Terrazzo Contractor (Residential)28$5791,460

4 years3
36Door Repair Contractor (Commercial)24$5791,460

4 years2
36Door Repair Contractor (Residential)29$5791,460

4 years2
38Mobile Home Installer39$5291,460

4 years2
38Tree Trimmer7$5291,460

4 years2
40Midwife, Direct Entry28$1,2491,0953 years

1
41Animal Trainer9$2501,095

3 years2
42Pest Control Applicator51$71674216 clock hours40 clock hours and 2 years2
43Veterinary Technician36$3517302 years

1
44Psychiatric Technician5$3493571530 clock hours

1
45Cosmetologist51$1253731600 clock hours

2
46Barber51$1253501500 clock hours

2
46Shampooer37$1253501500 clock hours

2
48Makeup Artist41$115140600 clock hours

2
48Skin Care Specialist50$115140600 clock hours

2
50Manicurist50$11093400 clock hours

2
51Optician22$4240

1
52Gaming Supervisor30$3,1500

0
52Slot Supervisor28$3,1500

0
54School Bus Driver51$99720 clock hours20 clock hours6
55Pharmacy Technician44$2900

1
56Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer51$730

5
57Bus Driver, City/Transit51$420

5
58Truck Driver, Other51$730

4
59Emergency Medical Technician51$12937160 clock hours

2
60Crane Operator18$2250

2
61Security Guard, Unarmed34$9918 clock hours

1
62Gaming Cage Worker29$2500

0
62Gaming Dealer28$2500

0
64Child Care Home, Family44$1640

0
65Fisher, Commercial43$1370

0
66Farm Labor Contractor10$8430

1
67Vegetation Pesticide Applicator51$3400

2
68Still Machine Setter, Dairy Equipment3$1000

2
69Milk Sampler42$750

2
70Travel Agency7$3750

0
71Upholsterer10$3600

0
72Travel Guide37$2160

0
73Weigher25$750

0
74Locksmith14$690

0
75Dental Assistant9$0210 clock hours

0
76Coach, Head

(High School Sports)

48                         *$014.5 clock hours

0
Source: Institute for Justice

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