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

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

Alaska



Highlights

44 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
40th most burdensome licensing laws
29th most extensively and onerously licensed state

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

Summary

Alaska requires a license to work in 44 of the 102 low- and medium-income occupations studied. To obtain a license, job seekers must give up an average of 179 days for education and training, pay $373 in fees and pass one exam. Would-be workers face the 40th most burdensome licensing requirements among the states.

Alaska also ranks as the 29th most broadly and onerously licensed state, suggesting there is room for improvement. Alaska could improve employment prospects by eliminating or easing licensing requirements. For example, aspiring workers in several occupations -- such as HVAC contractors and tank testers -- face barriers to entry that far exceed those in most other states. Alaska requires four years of training to become an HVAC contractor compared to a national average of 891 days. Of the 14 states that license tank testers, nine mandate 10 hours or fewer of training. The 365 days Alaska requires is exceeded only by Iowa. Alaska also charges exorbitant fees to midwives ($3,688) and commercial fishermen ($3,000), which far exceed the national averages for those occupations.

Alaska should also examine whether the requirements to enter some occupations are truly necessary or seem excessive compared to others. For instance, education and experience requirements are nearly three times longer for barbers and cosmetologists than for emergency medical technicians.

(Last updated May 1, 2012)

Licensing Requirements

Burden RankOccupationNumber of States that LicenseFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age
1 Preschool Teacher 49 $191 1,825 1 0 0
2 HVAC Contractor (General/Commercial) 40 $425 1,460 1 0 0
3 School Bus Driver 51 $229 1,097 6 0 21
4 Midwife 29 $3,688 730 1 12 18
5 Veterinary Technologist 37 $260 730 1 0 0
6 Optician 22 $275 420 2 12 0
7 Barber 50 $290 385 2 0 0
8 Cosmetologist 51 $240 385 2 0 0
9 Tank Tester 14 $150 365 1 0 0
10 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $125 140 2 12 19
11 Travel Guide 21 $550 125 2 0 21
12 Bill Collector Agency 30 $250 0 0 12 19
13 Bus Driver (City/Transit) 51 $140 0 5 0 19
14 Skin Care Specialist 50 $205 82 2 0 0
14 Makeup Artist 36 $205 82 2 0 0
16 Teacher Assistant 29 $45 0 1 12 0
17 Truck Driver 51 $140 0 4 0 19
18 Fisher 41 $3,000 0 0 0 0
19 Auctioneer 33 $520 0 2 0 18
20 Vegetation Pesticide Handler 51 $25 2 2 0 18
20 Pest Control Applicator 51 $25 2 2 0 18
22 Bartender 13 $30 1 1 0 21
23 Weigher 24 $48 0 1 0 18
24 Security Guard 37 $104 11 0 0 18
25 Child Care Worker 33 $0 5 0 0 18
26 Manicurist 50 $240 3 2 0 0
27 Cathodic Protection Tester 16 $155 8 1 0 0
28 Paving Equipment Operator Contractor 27 $310 0 0 0 0
29 Painting Contractor (General/Commercial) 28 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Drywall Installation Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Iron/Steel Contractor (General/Commercial) 31 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Pipelayer Contractor 29 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Insulation Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Cement Finishing Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Terrazzo Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Sheet Metal Contractor (General/Commercial) 28 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Door Repair Contractor 35 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Glazier Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 $300 0 0 0 0
29 Floor Sander Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $300 0 0 0 0
41 Fire Alarm Installer 34 $250 0 0 0 0
41 Mason Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $250 0 0 0 0
41 Security Alarm Installer 34 $250 0 0 0 0
44 Taxidermist 26 $200 0 0 0 0

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

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