License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
59 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
6th most burdensome licensing laws
3rd most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Oregon is the third most broadly and onerously licensed state, placing it in the top tier just below Arizona and California. Oregon licenses 59 of the 102 low- to moderate income occupations studied, more than all but three states. On average, these barriers cost $267 in fees, 568 days lost to education and experience and one exam -- the sixth most burdensome licensing laws.
Oregon ranks so poorly because of its licensing of the construction occupations. Oregon requires four years of experience plus a short course in 15 of the 27 contractor occupations it licenses, mainly for commercial work. For most of these occupations, about 20 states do not even require a license, and around 19 of the 30 that do require no experience at all. By contrast, Oregon's residential contractors have no experience requirement and need only take a short course.
The state has above-average fees and training requirements in numerous other occupations. For example, the state charges $2,100 in fees to become a licensed midwife and $900 to become an athletic trainer, while the average across the states is only $619 and $443, respectively. Aspiring fire alarm installers lose nearly four years to experience, but 18 of the 34 licensed states do not require any experience. Oregon is one of only eight states to require that city/transit bus drivers possess a driver's license for one year (or longer) prior to working. Most states and the District of Columbia require only tests, fees and a minimum age. Oregon is one of only four states to license cross-connection survey inspectors, and its requirements far exceed any other state, with $415 in fees and five years of training.
Reducing or eliminating these and other barriers to entry could help Oregon improve job prospects for its low-income workers.