Did you know you have to be licensed to work as a wrestling announcer in Washington (and many other states)? Or to be a beekeeper in Rhode Island? In fact lots of careers require state occupational licenses.
What kinds of jobs need licenses?
Since the purpose behind most occupational licenses is to protect the public’s safety, jobs where you work with people or address safety issues tend to require licenses. Examples of occupations that are licensed in many states include:
- Jobs in health care including doctors, nurses, dental assistants, and emergency medical tehnicians (EMTs)
- Jobs in finance including accountants, stockbrokers, and investment advisors
- Jobs working with children including teachers and child-care providers
- Jobs in personal care such as barbers and cosmetologists
- Jobs in building trades such as plumbers, electricians, and contractors
How do I get a license?
Getting an occupational license can be easy or complicated, depending on the occupation and the state. Most require a certain amount of training (anywhere from one hour to hundreds of hours) and passing an exam. Both the training and the exam can cost money, and again, the range is huge: anywhere from less than $100 to thousands of dollars. State agencies set the guidelines—and they vary from state to state—so find the licensing agencies in your state to get details.
If you’re just getting started exploring careers, or thinking about making a shift from one to another—it’s worth your time to find out if your dream job requires a license.
Since each state sets their own requirements, it’s also worth investigating if you’re considering moving from one state to another.
Visit CareerOneStop’s License Finder for more information.
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