Rhode Island licenses 70 out of 102 lower-income occupations (more than half of the occupations included in the study) . The state’s licensing laws are about average when compared to other states. The state's licensing laws rank 25th in the nation. Rhode Island licensed occupations includes occupations that are rarely licensed elsewhere. Few other states license Teacher Assistant, Non-Instructional (5 other), Conveyor Operator (1 other), Tree Trimmer (8 other), Upholsterer (9 other).
On average, Rhode Island requires $236 in licensing fees, 297 days of education and about 1 exam. Fees for a license exceed $1000 for Midwife, Direct Entry.
Out of the 70 occupations that require an occupational license in Rhode Island, licenses for , HVAC Contractor (Commercial), HVAC Contractor (Residential) have the highest burden.
Out of the 70 occupations that require an occupational license in Rhode Island, a license for Security Guard, Unarmed has the lowest burden. A Security Guard, Unarmed license requires $5 in fees, no exams, no experience, and no of education.
An occupational license in Rhode Island costs the most for Midwife, Direct Entry. A Midwife, Direct Entry license requires $1380 in fees, 1 exams, no experience, and 2 years of education.
An occupational license for in Rhode Island costs the least for Teacher Assistant, Non-Instructional, Bartender where the license costs $0.
In Rhode Island, an occupational license takes the most time (due to required education/experience) for HVAC Contractor (Commercial), HVAC Contractor (Residential).It takes 2920 days (8 years) total.
In Rhode Island, an occupational license takes the least time due to required education/experience (0 days) for Interpreter, Sign Language, Vegetation Pesticide Applicator, Pest Control Applicator, Bill Collection Agency, Conveyor Operator, Fire Alarm Installer, Crane Operator, Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Commercial), Cement Finishing Contractor (Commercial), Door Repair Contractor (Commercial), Drywall Installation Contractor (Commercial), Floor Sander Contractor (Commercial), Glazier Contractor (Commercial), Insulation Contractor (Commercial), Iron/Steel Contractor (Commercial), Mason Contractor (Commercial), Painting Contractor (Commercial), Paving Contractor (Commercial), Pipelayer Contractor, Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Commercial), Terrazzo Contractor (Commercial), Wildlife Control Operator, Security Alarm Installer, Bartender, Earth Driller, Water Well, Gaming Supervisor, Slot Supervisor, Tree Trimmer, Gaming Cage Worker, Upholsterer, Animal Breeder, Travel Guide, Fisher, Commercial, Security Guard, Unarmed.
In Rhode Island, to obtain an occupational license there is at least one exam required for: HVAC Contractor (Commercial), HVAC Contractor (Residential), Preschool Teacher, Public School, Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial), Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential), Athletic Trainer, Optician, School Bus Driver, Bus Driver, City/Transit, Midwife, Direct Entry, Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer, Truck Driver, Other, Barber, Cosmetologist, Shampooer, Skin Care Specialist, Manicurist, Emergency Medical Technician, Massage Therapist, Interpreter, Sign Language, Vegetation Pesticide Applicator, Pest Control Applicator, Conveyor Operator, Fire Alarm Installer, Crane Operator, Wildlife Control Operator, Security Alarm Installer, Bartender, Earth Driller, Water Well, Tree Trimmer. School Bus Driver requires 7 exams.
Rhode Island is one of the worst states in the nation for occupational licensing, ranking as the 10th most broadly and onerously licensed. The state licenses more lower-income occupations than most states—72 of the 102 studied here. Rhode Island’s licensing laws rank as the 27th most burdensome, requiring an average of $223 in fees, 326 days of education and experience, and around one exam.
Rhode Island licenses some occupations that are rarely licensed elsewhere. It is the only state to license conveyor operators. And few other states license non-instructional teacher assistants (four), tree trimmers (six), bartenders (12) or sign language interpreters (21). Among those, sign language interpreters face particularly steep burdens. Rhode Island’s license requires $700 in fees, four years and 40 hours of education (an estimated 1,469 days), and two exams. Given that so few states see fit to license sign language interpreters at all, such heavy requirements are questionable.
Rhode Island also imposes education and experience burdens on some occupations that seem excessive compared to those for other occupations that may present greater risks to the public. For example, barbers and cosmetologists must complete nearly one year (roughly 350 days or 1,500 hours) of education before becoming licensed. These burdens are considerably heavier than those for EMTs. These emergency first responders need less than a month (an estimated 26 days or 110 hours) of education, even though they arguably bear more responsibility for public safety. Rhode Island could improve its rankings by reducing or repealing its heavy occupational licensing burdens for barbers, cosmetologists and other occupations, or—if government regulation is necessary—by replacing them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives such as inspections or voluntary certification.
|Burden Rank||Occupation||Number of States that License||Fees||Education/Experience (Days)||Education||Experience||Exams||Minimum Grade||Minimum Age|
|1||HVAC Contractor (Commercial)||37||660||2920||None||8 years||4||0||18|
|1||HVAC Contractor (Residential)||35||660||2920||None||8 years||4||0||18|
|3||Preschool Teacher, Public School||50||586||2555||4 years||3 years||2||0||0|
|4||Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial)||37||510||1825||None||5 years||2||0||18|
|5||Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential)||36||468||1825||None||5 years||2||0||18|
|6||Athletic Trainer||49||450||1460||4 years||None||1||0||0|
|7||Optician||22||330||1095||2 years||1 year||2||12||18|
|8||School Bus Driver||51||168||1097||10 clock hours||3 years||7||0||21|
|9||Bus Driver, City/Transit||51||158||1095||None||3 years||5||0||21|
|10||Midwife, Direct Entry||37||1380||730||2 years||None||1||12||0|
|11||Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer||51||168||730||None||2 years||6||0||18|
|12||Truck Driver, Other||51||148||730||None||2 years||4||0||18|
|13||Barber||51||100||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|14||Cosmetologist||51||100||280||1200 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|14||Shampooer||33||100||280||1200 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|16||Taxi Driver/Chauffeur||13||33||365||None||1 year||0||0||21|
|17||Skin Care Specialist||51||100||140||600 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|18||Manicurist||51||100||70||300 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|19||Emergency Medical Technician||51||223||35||150 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|20||Massage Therapist||45||295||152||650 clock hours||None||1||0||18|
|21||Child Care Home, Family||44||110||4||24 clock hours||None||0||12||21|
|22||Pharmacy Technician||44||25||140||None||600 clock hours||0||0||18|
|23||Interpreter, Sign Language||22||455||0||None||None||2||0||18|
|24||Vegetation Pesticide Applicator||51||45||0||None||None||4||0||18|
|25||Teacher Assistant, Non-Instructional||5||0||7||30 clock hours||None||0||12||0|
|26||Pest Control Applicator||51||45||0||None||None||2||0||18|
|27||Bill Collection Agency||29||801||0||None||None||0||0||0|
|29||Fire Alarm Installer||39||462||0||None||None||2||0||0|
|31||Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Residential)||30||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential)||30||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Door Repair Contractor (Residential)||29||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential)||30||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Floor Sander Contractor (Residential)||27||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Glazier Contractor (Residential)||30||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Insulation Contractor (Residential)||30||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential)||30||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Mason Contractor (Residential)||31||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Painting Contractor (Residential)||27||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Paving Contractor (Residential)||28||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential)||31||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|31||Terrazzo Contractor (Residential)||28||200||1||5 clock hours||None||0||0||18|
|44||Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Commercial)||25||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Cement Finishing Contractor (Commercial)||24||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Door Repair Contractor (Commercial)||24||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Drywall Installation Contractor (Commercial)||25||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Floor Sander Contractor (Commercial)||22||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Glazier Contractor (Commercial)||26||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Insulation Contractor (Commercial)||24||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Iron/Steel Contractor (Commercial)||26||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Mason Contractor (Commercial)||26||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Painting Contractor (Commercial)||22||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Paving Contractor (Commercial)||24||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Commercial)||26||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|44||Terrazzo Contractor (Commercial)||23||200||0||None||None||0||0||18|
|58||Wildlife Control Operator||23||25||0||None||None||1||0||18|
|59||Security Alarm Installer||37||505||0||None||None||1||0||0|
|60||Bartender||12||0||0||2 clock hours||None||1||0||18|
|61||Earth Driller, Water Well||51||380||0||None||None||1||0||0|
|65||Gaming Cage Worker||30||185||0||None||None||0||0||0|
|70||Security Guard, Unarmed||34||5||0||None||None||0||0||0|
The data and information here come from IJ’s License to Work report, released in November 2022.View Report