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Wisconsin

42 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed

42nd most burdensome licensing laws for moderate-income occupations

36th 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.

Wisconsin licenses 42 of the 102 lower-income occupations studied here, which is fewer than most states. Ranking as the 42nd most burdensome, Wisconsin’s licensing laws require, on average, $259 in fees, 214 days of education and experience, and around one exam. The state ranks as the nation’s 36th most broadly and onerously licensed.

Wisconsin frequently licenses occupations that are unlicensed by other states. For example, few other states license animal trainers (eight), farm labor contractors (nine), bartenders (12) or sign language interpreters (21). Among those, sign language interpreters face particularly steep education and experience requirements: 1,469 days (four years and 40 clock hours) of education. The average in states that license the occupation, meanwhile, is 1,088 days. And bill collection agencies, which are unlicensed in 20 states, face unusually high fees in Wisconsin ($1,200 versus an average of $551).

Wisconsin also imposes burdens on some occupations that seem excessive compared to those for other occupations that may present a greater risk to public safety. For example, it takes over 10 times as long to become a cosmetologist in Wisconsin as it does to become an EMT. EMTs must complete roughly 35 days (150 hours) of education, while cosmetologists need an estimated 362 (1,550 hours). Wisconsin could expand lower-income employment opportunities by reducing or repealing its licensing burdens for cosmetologists and other occupations, or—if government regulation is necessary—by replacing them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives such as inspections or voluntary certification.

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 $520 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
2 Interpreter, Sign Language 22 $750 1,469 4 years and 40 clock hours 2 0 18
3 Athletic Trainer 49 $375 1,460 4 years 1 0 0
4 Midwife, Direct Entry 28 $1085 730 2 years 1 12 0
5 Veterinary Technician 36 $475 730 2 years 2 0 18
6 Earth Driller, Water Well 51 $100 731 6 clock hours 2 years 1 0 20
7 Shampooer 37 $391 233 1000 clock hours 2 12 18
8 Cosmetologist 51 $391 362 1550 clock hours 2 0 18
9 Massage Therapist 44 $345 140 600 clock hours 2 12 18
10 Barber 51 $391 233 1000 clock hours 2 0 18
11 Makeup Artist 41 $391 105 450 clock hours 2 0 18
11 Skin Care Specialist 50 $391 105 450 clock hours 2 0 18
13 Manicurist 50 $391 70 300 clock hours 2 0 18
14 School Bus Driver 51 $129 0 6 0 18
15 Bus Driver, City/Transit 51 $124 0 5 0 18
15 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer 51 $124 0 5 0 18
17 Truck Driver, Other 51 $124 0 4 0 18
18 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $80 35 150 clock hours 2 0 18
19 Pipelayer Contractor 27 $540 0 1 0 18
20 Bill Collection Agency 31 $1200 0 0 0 0
21 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator 51 $199 2 2 days 2 0 16
22 Auctioneer 30 $201 0 1 0 18
23 Mobile Home Installer 39 $115 2 12 clock hours 1 0 18
24 Child Care Home, Family 44 $68 21 3 credit hours 0 0 18
25 Pest Control Applicator 51 $152 1 1 days 1 0 16
26 Security Guard, Unarmed 34 $114 0 0 0 18
27 Animal Breeder 28 $625 0 0 0 0
28 Travel Guide 37 $40 0 0 0 18
29 Bartender 13 $0 1 3 clock hours 0 0 18
30 Animal Control Officer 7 $60 9 40 clock hours 1 0 0
31 Animal Trainer 9 $25 0 0 0 10
32 Milk Sampler 42 $60 0 1 0 0
33 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) 37 $175 0 0 0 0
33 HVAC Contractor (Residential) 35 $175 0 0 0 0
33 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) 37 $175 0 0 0 0
33 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) 36 $175 0 0 0 0
37 Farm Labor Contractor 10 $100 0 0 0 0
38 Taxidermist 28 $50 0 0 0 0
39 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) 47 $30 0 0 0 0
39 Landscape Contractor (Residential) 48 $30 0 0 0 0
41 Coach, Head (High School Sports) 48 $0 1 4 clock hours 0 0 0
42 Fisher, Commercial 43 $2 0 0 0 0