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

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

South Carolina



Highlights

51 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
14th most burdensome licensing laws
10th most extensively and onerously licensed state

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

Summary

South Carolina is the 10th most broadly and onerously licensed state. The state licenses 51 of the 102 low- to moderate-income occupations, with an average licensing burden of $166 in fees, 402 days-- more than a year -- lost to education and experience and one exam. These barriers make for the 14th most burdensome licensing laws in the nation.

The main reason for South Carolina's poor ranking is its high barriers to enter the construction trades. The state licenses 22 construction occupations, including both general and residential contractor licenses. Aspiring general contractors in 14 of the construction trades lose two years to experience, take one to two exams and pay fees between $250 and $325. A majority of these occupations are only licensed in around 30 states, 19 of which have no training requirement. Similarly, to obtain one of the eight residential contractor licenses, workers lose one year to experience and pay a $50 fee. These occupations are generally licensed by just 10 states, and South Carolina is one of only three to require any substantial amount of training.

South Carolina's poor ranking is also affected by the sheer number of licenses it issues. There are only 12 states that license more low- to moderate-income occupations.

Occupations that are not licensed or have lower barriers to entry elsewhere are candidates for reform, as well as those where requirements do not line up with public safety concerns. For example, emergency medical technicians in South Carolina undergo about one month of training. But those wishing to enter occupations like barber, cosmetologist and massage therapist face much longer training requirements.

South Carolina could promote job prospects for low- to moderate-income workers by reducing such barriers or removing them completely.

(Last updated May 2, 2012)

Licensing Requirements

Burden RankOccupationNumber of States that LicenseFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age
1 Preschool Teacher 49 $159 1,825 1 0 18
2 Athletic Trainer 46 $350 1,460 1 0 0
3 Optician 22 $150 730 3 12 0
4 Midwife 29 $400 730 2 0 0
5 Mobile Home Installer 39 $150 731 1 0 18
6 Iron/Steel Contractor (General/Commercial) 31 $325 730 2 0 0
6 Cement Finishing Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $325 730 2 0 0
6 Paving Equipment Operator Contractor 27 $325 730 2 0 0
6 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 $325 730 2 0 0
6 Pipelayer Contractor 29 $325 730 2 0 0
11 HVAC Contractor (General/Commercial) 40 $310 730 2 0 0
11 Glazier Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 $310 730 2 0 0
13 Veterinary Technologist 37 $25 730 1 0 18
14 Floor Sander Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $250 730 1 0 0
14 Drywall Installation Contractor (General/Commercial) 30 $250 730 1 0 0
14 Terrazzo Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $250 730 1 0 0
14 Door Repair Contractor 35 $250 730 1 0 0
14 Insulation Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $250 730 1 0 0
14 Painting Contractor (General/Commercial) 28 $250 730 1 0 0
14 Mason Contractor (General/Commercial) 29 $250 730 1 0 0
21 Cosmetologist 51 $80 350 2 12 16
22 Barber 50 $165 350 2 9 17
23 Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential) 11 $325 365 2 0 0
24 HVAC Contractor (Residential) 5 $150 365 1 0 0
25 Floor Sander Contractor (Residential) 9 $50 365 0 0 0
25 Insulation Contractor (Residential) 10 $50 365 0 0 0
25 Painting Contractor (Residential) 10 $50 365 0 0 0
25 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker (Residential) 10 $50 365 0 0 0
25 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) 9 $50 365 0 0 0
25 Mason Contractor (Residential) 10 $50 365 0 0 0
31 Massage Therapist 39 $150 117 1 12 18
32 Makeup Artist 36 $165 105 2 10 16
32 Skin Care Specialist 50 $165 105 2 10 16
34 Auctioneer 33 $870 19 2 0 18
35 Manicurist 50 $120 70 2 10 0
36 School Bus Driver 51 $34 5 6 0 18
37 Bus Driver (City/Transit) 51 $32 0 5 0 18
38 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $107 33 2 0 18
39 Truck Driver 51 $20 0 4 0 18
40 Vegetation Pesticide Handler 51 $100 0 2 0 18
40 Pest Control Applicator 51 $100 0 2 0 18
42 Fire Alarm Installer 34 $0 0 2 0 18
42 Security Alarm Installer 34 $0 0 2 0 18
44 Security Guard 37 $65 1 1 0 18
45 Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester 18 $225 6 2 0 0
46 Earth Driller 47 $50 0 1 0 18
47 Child Care Worker 33 $0 4 0 0 16
48 Fisher 41 $25 0 0 0 0
49 Weigher 24 $5 0 0 0 0
50 Coach (School Sports) 24 $0 0 0 0 0
50 Milk Sampler 34 $0 0 0 0 0

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

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