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

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

Florida



Highlights

45 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
4th most burdensome licensing laws
7th most extensively and onerously licensed state

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

Summary

Florida's occupational licensing regime is in the top tier as one of the most restrictive in the nation. The state enforces burdensome laws that deter entry into 45 of the 102 low- and moderate-income occupations surveyed. On average, breaking into one of these occupations requires $274 in fees, 603 days lost to education and experience -- over a year-and-a-half -- and one exam.

The state requires four years of education or experience to work in many of the construction trades studied -- a requirement that far exceeds most other states. For instance, only 30 states license contractors working in carpentry. Of these, 19 have no training requirement at all. Likewise, 22 of the 34 states that license door repair contractors have no education and experience requirements. In Florida, it takes four years to obtain a license in both.

Florida is one of only four jurisdictions to license interior designers, though its license is limited to interior designers working on commercial spaces. Aspiring interior designers face the toughest requirements in the state -- six years of education and experience and an exam. Midwives need three years of education and experience. No other state requires more than two. Florida's pest control workers must have 1,275 days of education and experience compared to a national average of 191. Florida is the only state save California that requires farm labor contractors to pass an exam. Florida is one of only two states to require that school bus drivers possess a driver's license for five years prior to working. Most states have no such requirement; 22 states require a short course or training session instead, while eight states and the District of Columbia require only tests, fees and a minimum age.

Would-be emergency medical technicians train in Florida for about 34 days. This is less than what Florida requires for 25 of the occupations it licenses. For example, massage therapists must train for 117 days, more than three times as long as EMTs.

To improve job prospects for low- and moderate-income Floridians, the state should ease or eliminate unnecessary barriers to entry.

(Last updated May 1, 2012)

Licensing Requirements

Burden RankOccupationNumber of States that LicenseFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age
1 Interior Designer 4 $130 2,190 1 0 0
2 School Bus Driver 51 $62 1,830 6 0 18
3 Athletic Trainer 46 $525 1,460 1 0 21
4 Mason Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $421 1,460 1 0 18
5 Door Repair Contractor 35 $421 1,460 1 0 18
5 Iron/Steel Contractor (General/Commercial) 31 $421 1,460 1 0 18
5 Glazier Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 $421 1,460 1 0 18
5 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 $421 1,460 1 0 18
5 Drywall Installation Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 $421 1,460 1 0 18
5 Pipelayer Contractor 29 $421 1,460 1 0 18
5 Sheet Metal Contractor (General/Commercial) 28 $421 1,460 1 0 18
5 HVAC Contractor (General/Commercial) 40 $421 1,460 1 0 18
13 Pest Control Applicator 51 $375 1,275 1 12 18
14 Midwife 29 $1,200 1,095 2 12 21
15 Preschool Teacher 49 $132 1,460 0 0 0
16 Security Alarm Installer 34 $628 1,095 0 0 18
17 Optician 22 $850 730 3 12 18
18 Veterinary Technologist 37 $50 730 2 0 18
19 Earth Driller 47 $150 730 1 0 18
20 Skin Care Specialist 50 $125 280 2 12 16
20 Makeup Artist 36 $125 280 2 12 16
20 Cosmetologist 51 $125 280 2 12 16
23 Barber 50 $242 280 2 0 16
24 Auctioneer 33 $1,000 19 2 0 18
25 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $75 34 1 12 18
26 Funeral Attendant 9 $305 11 0 12 18
27 Massage Therapist 39 $205 117 1 0 18
28 Manicurist 50 $165 56 2 10 0
29 Bus Driver (City/Transit) 51 $82 0 5 0 18
30 Truck Driver 51 $75 0 4 0 18
31 Mobile Home Installer 39 $300 2 1 0 18
32 Vegetation Pesticide Handler 51 $100 0 2 0 18
33 Farm Labor Contractor 9 $160 0 1 0 18
34 Child Care Worker 33 $0 1 1 0 18
35 Slot Key Person 21 $93 0 0 0 21
35 Gaming Supervisor 23 $93 0 0 0 21
35 Gaming Dealer 24 $93 0 0 0 21
38 Gaming Cage Worker 22 $83 0 0 0 21
39 Security Guard 37 $87 9 0 0 18
40 Coach (School Sports) 24 $75 31 0 0 0
41 Travel Agent 8 $300 0 0 0 0
42 Animal Control Officer 17 $199 9 0 0 0
43 Bill Collector Agency 30 $200 0 0 0 0
44 Milk Sampler 34 $0 0 1 0 0
45 Fisher 41 $150 0 0 0 0

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

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