Kentucky licenses 38 out of 102 lower-income occupations (more than half of the occupations included in the study) . The state’s licensing laws are more burdensome than most other states. The state's licensing laws rank 13th in the nation. Kentucky licensed occupations includes occupations that are rarely licensed elsewhere. Few other states license Packer (7 other).
On average, Kentucky requires $281 in licensing fees, 404 days of education and about 2 exam. Fees for a license exceed $1000 for Midwife, Direct Entry.
Out of the 38 occupations that require an occupational license in Kentucky, a license for Preschool Teacher, Public School has the highest burden. A Preschool Teacher, Public School license requires $403 in fees, 2 exams, 1 year experience, and 4 years of education.
Out of the 38 occupations that require an occupational license in Kentucky, a license for Packer has the lowest burden. A Packer license requires $20 in fees, no exams, no experience, and no of education.
An occupational license in Kentucky costs the most for Midwife, Direct Entry. A Midwife, Direct Entry license requires $2351 in fees, 1 exams, no experience, and 3 clock hours & 2 years of education.
An occupational license for in Kentucky costs the least for Mobile Home Installer. A Mobile Home Installer license requires $8 in fees, 1 exams, 60 days experience, and 15 clock hours of education.
In Kentucky, an occupational license takes the most time (due to required education/experience) for Preschool Teacher, Public School. It takes 1825 days (5 years) total. A Preschool Teacher, Public School license requires $403 in fees, 2 exams, 1 year experience, and 4 years of education.
In Kentucky, an occupational license takes the least time due to required education/experience (0 days) for Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer, Bus Driver, City/Transit, Truck Driver, Other, Vegetation Pesticide Applicator, Wildlife Control Operator, Pharmacy Technician, Fisher, Commercial, Taxidermist, Landscape Contractor (Commercial), Landscape Contractor (Residential), Packer.
In Kentucky, to obtain an occupational license there is at least one exam required for: Preschool Teacher, Public School, HVAC Contractor (Commercial), HVAC Contractor (Residential), Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial), Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential), Athletic Trainer, Midwife, Direct Entry, Optician, Earth Driller, Water Well, Pest Control Applicator, Veterinary Technician, Barber, Interpreter, Sign Language, Auctioneer, Cosmetologist, Shampooer, Skin Care Specialist, Manicurist, Massage Therapist, Emergency Medical Technician, School Bus Driver, Coach, Head (High School Sports), Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer, Bus Driver, City/Transit, Truck Driver, Other, Mobile Home Installer, Travel Guide, Vegetation Pesticide Applicator, Wildlife Control Operator, Milk Sampler. School Bus Driver requires 6 exams.
Kentucky’s lower-income occupational licensing laws rank as the 12th most burdensome, requiring, on average, $240 in fees, 466 days of education and experience, and around two exams. Because Kentucky licenses relatively few of the lower-income occupations studied here—37 out of 102—it ranks as the 40th most broadly and onerously licensed state.
Kentucky imposes more onerous requirements than many other states for several occupations. For example, the average license requirements for auctioneers are a $278 fee, 94 days of education and experience, and one exam. Kentucky, on the other hand, requires nearly twice as much in fees ($530), nearly eight times as much education and experience (around 751 days, comprising two years of experience and 92 hours of education), and twice as many exams (two). These steep requirements are out of sync with the relatively lower burdens imposed by other states that license auctioneers, and 31 states do not license them at all.
Kentucky also makes it much more difficult to enter 20 occupations than it does to become an EMT. EMTs must only pay a $168 fee, complete about 28 days (119 hours) of education and pass two exams to obtain a license. But cosmetologists, for example, must pay $200 in fees, sacrifice an estimated 602 days to education and experience (comprising 1,800 hours of education and six months of experience), and pass three exams before being allowed to work in Kentucky. To open up opportunity for lower-income workers, Kentucky should repeal or reduce its heavy burdens for cosmetologists and other occupations, or—if government regulation is necessary—replace 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||Preschool Teacher, Public School||50||403||1825||4 years||1 year||2||0||0|
|2||HVAC Contractor (Commercial)||37||406||1460||None||4 years||2||0||18|
|2||HVAC Contractor (Residential)||35||406||1460||None||4 years||2||0||18|
|2||Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial)||37||406||1460||None||4 years||2||0||18|
|2||Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential)||36||406||1460||None||4 years||2||0||18|
|6||Athletic Trainer||49||490||1460||4 years||None||1||0||0|
|7||Midwife, Direct Entry||37||2351||731||3 clock hours & 2 years||None||1||12||0|
|9||Earth Driller, Water Well||51||480||730||None||2 years||3||0||18|
|10||Pest Control Applicator||51||250||730||None||2 years||2||0||18|
|11||Veterinary Technician||36||350||730||2 years||None||1||0||0|
|12||Barber||51||500||532||1500 clock hours||6 months||2||12||18|
|13||Interpreter, Sign Language||22||415||420||60 credit hours||None||2||12||18|
|14||Auctioneer||28||560||386||92 clock hours||1 year||2||12||18|
|15||Cosmetologist||51||200||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|15||Shampooer||33||200||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|17||Skin Care Specialist||51||200||175||750 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|18||Manicurist||51||125||105||450 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|19||Massage Therapist||45||370||140||600 clock hours||None||1||0||18|
|20||Emergency Medical Technician||51||163||35||150 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|21||School Bus Driver||51||70||4||21 clock hours||None||6||0||21|
|22||Coach, Head (High School Sports)||47||25||4||26.33 clock hours||None||1||12||21|
|23||Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer||51||125||0||None||None||5||0||18|
|24||Bus Driver, City/Transit||51||65||0||None||None||5||0||18|
|25||Child Care Home, Family||44||40||1||6 clock hours||None||0||12||18|
|26||Truck Driver, Other||51||110||0||None||None||4||0||18|
|27||Mobile Home Installer||37||8||87||15 clock hours||60 days||1||0||0|
|28||Travel Guide||37||217||1||3 clock hours||None||1||0||18|
|29||Vegetation Pesticide Applicator||51||230||0||None||None||4||0||0|
|30||Makeup Artist||37||50||1||3 clock hours||None||0||12||0|
|31||Wildlife Control Operator||23||100||0||None||None||1||0||18|
|33||Milk Sampler||43||15||1||6.75 clock hours||None||1||0||0|
|36||Landscape Contractor (Commercial)||47||40||0||None||None||0||0||0|
|36||Landscape Contractor (Residential)||48||40||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