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Massachusetts

50 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed

10th most burdensome licensing laws for moderate-income occupations

29th most extensively and onerously licensed state for moderate-income occupations

Summary

License to Work

The data and information here come from IJ’s License to Work report, released in November 2017.

Massachusetts’ licensing laws for lower-income occupations are the 10th most burdensome, requiring, on average, $309 in fees, 513 days lost to education and experience, and roughly one exam. Massachusetts licenses fewer lower-income occupations than most states—50 of 102—making it the 29th most broadly and onerously licensed state.

Massachusetts licenses some occupations much more onerously than other states, including some that are already among the nation’s most burdened occupations. For example, both of the state’s commercial sheet metal contractor licenses—HVAC and other—require five years (1,825 days) of experience. But the average education and experience requirement across licensed states is 1,215 days for HVAC sheet metal contractors and just 567 days for other sheet metal contractors. These disparities are particularly jarring given that several states do not license these occupations at all.

Massachusetts also imposes burdens on some occupations that seem excessive compared to those for other occupations that may present greater risks to the public. Cosmetologists, for example, must complete 1,000 hours of education and then demonstrate two years of experience (the equivalent of 963 days)—the heaviest education and experience requirements of their type. But Massachusetts deems EMTs able to administer life-saving aid after having demonstrated only 150 hours (about 35 days) of education. To expand opportunity for lower-income workers, Massachusetts should repeal or reduce irrationally heavy licensing burdens, or—if government regulation is necessary—replace them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives.

State Licensing Requirements for Lower-Income Occupations

Select a chart to view:
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 $405 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
2 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) 37 $370 1,825 5 years 1 12 17
2 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Commercial) 26 $370 1,825 5 years 1 12 17
4 Athletic Trainer 49 $447 1,460 4 years 1 0 0
5 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) 36 $370 1,095 3 years 1 12 17
5 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential) 31 $370 1,095 3 years 1 12 17
7 School Bus Driver 51 $200 1,107 28 clock hours 3 years and 32 clock hours 6 0 18
8 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Residential) 30 $500 1,095 3 years 1 0 18
8 Door Repair Contractor (Residential) 29 $500 1,095 3 years 1 0 18
8 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) 30 $500 1,095 3 years 1 0 18
8 Glazier Contractor (Residential) 30 $500 1,095 3 years 1 0 18
8 Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential) 30 $500 1,095 3 years 1 0 18
8 Mason Contractor (Residential) 31 $500 1,095 3 years 1 0 18
14 Earth Driller, Water Well 51 $275 1,095 3 years 1 0 0
15 Cosmetologist 51 $270 963 1000 clock hours 2 years 2 0 0
16 Optician 22 $509 730 2 years 3 12 18
17 Fire Alarm Installer 39 $330 800 300 clock hours 2 years 2 12 0
18 Barber 51 $164 779 1000 clock hours 18 months 3 0 18
19 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) 37 $115 700 1000 clock hours 2000 clock hours 1 12 18
20 Pest Control Applicator 51 $450 730 2 years 2 0 18
20 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator 51 $450 730 2 years 2 0 18
22 Security Alarm Installer 37 $276 800 300 clock hours 2 years 2 0 0
23 Child Care Home, Family 44 $135 189 6 months and 32 clock hours 0 12 18
24 Massage Therapist 44 $225 152 650 clock hours 0 12 18
25 Shampooer 37 $188 233 1000 clock hours 2 0 0
26 Bus Driver, City/Transit 51 $150 0 5 0 18
27 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer 51 $140 0 5 0 18
28 Gaming Supervisor 30 $1000 0 0 0 18
28 Slot Supervisor 28 $1000 0 0 0 18
30 Truck Driver, Other 51 $140 0 4 0 18
31 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $150 35 150 clock hours 2 0 18
32 Bill Collection Agency 31 $1300 0 0 0 0
33 Pharmacy Technician 44 $150 56 240 clock hours 1 0 18
34 Skin Care Specialist 50 $188 70 300 clock hours 2 0 0
35 Funeral Attendant 3 $70 7 1 credit hours 0 12 0
36 Auctioneer 30 $100 19 83 clock hours 1 0 18
37 Crane Operator 18 $75 0 2 0 18
38 Gaming Cage Worker 29 $300 0 0 0 18
38 Gaming Dealer 28 $300 0 0 0 18
40 Manicurist 50 $188 23 100 clock hours 2 0 0
41 Dental Assistant 9 $60 1 4 clock hours 0 0 18
42 Wildlife Control Operator 23 $136 1 1 days 1 0 0
43 Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential) 30 $250 0 0 0 0
43 Insulation Contractor (Residential) 30 $250 0 0 0 0
43 Painting Contractor (Residential) 28 $250 0 0 0 0
46 Fisher, Commercial 43 $195 0 0 0 0
47 Travel Guide 37 $65 0 0 0 0
48 Animal Breeder 28 $32 0 0 0 0
49 Milk Sampler 42 $20 0 0 0 0
50 Coach, Head (High School Sports) 48 $0 1 6.5 clock hours 0 0 0