Occupational Licensing: Research and Publications

Research and Publications

Universal Licensure Recognition

Because licensing laws are established independently by each state government, significant differences and disparities in licensing requirements often exist across states. Universal licensure is a state recognizing when a person’s occupational license that was granted in one state is recognized as valid in another state. | March 2021

State Efforts to Improve Occupational Licensing Mobility

Licensing mobility refers to the ability of workers to perform their jobs across state lines. To reduce the adverse effects licensing can have on workers’ mobility, policymakers and regulators have developed various solutions. | March 2021
Apprenticeships: A Path to Working in a Licensed Occupation Occupational licensing and apprenticeships each represent a distinct, yet often intertwined pathway to highly skilled jobs. Learn how these major labor market institutions can work together. | January 2021
Occupational Licensing Final Report: Assessing State Policies and Practices Take a deep dive into the lessons learned, including challenges and promising practices, during NCSL's Occupational Licensing Learning Consortium. The three-year projected allowing 11 state teams in-depth technical assistance wrapped up in December of 2020. | December 4, 2020
NCSL and Partners Reflect on Occupational Licensing Lessons As NCSL's Occupational Licensing Learning Consortium draws to a close, state teams and partners reflect on lessons learned from the project. | State Legislatures Magazine | December 2020
COVID-19: Occupational Licensing During Public Emergencies Many of the occupations in high demand throughout the COVID-19 pandemic are regulated in a way that can limit the flow of necessary skilled professionals across state lines. See how states are addressing these issues with a variety of regulatory solutions. | October 2020
Universal Licensure Recognition Universal licensure is a state recognizing a person's occupational license that was granted in another state as valid in their own. Read more about how states are exploring universal licensure as a solution to interstate mobility issues that can occur in licensed fields. | November 2020
Law Enforcement Certification and Discipline Like many other regulated professions, requirements for peace officer training and certification vary greatly from state to state and lack a cohesive regulatory approach. This resource provides information on key issues related to officer training, discipline and decertification, and regulation. | August 2020
Podcast: Occupational Licensing - Economic Pros and Cons NCSL interviews economist Dr. Morris Kleiner about the broad impacts occupational licensing has on the economy and the workforce. | February 2020
The Evolving State of Occupational Licensing Occupational licensing research offers important lessons about the effects, costs and benefits of licensing policies, as well as best practices and tools for designing a smart regulatory approach. This report provides an overview of occupational licensing trends, policy issues and best practices and highlights state legislative and executive actions that aim to protect consumers, foster employment growth and remove barriers to work. | November 2019
Occupational Licensing: Barriers to Work Series This series focuses on the unique challenges and barriers specific to four population  groups when they wish to enter a licensed occupation: immigrants with work authorization, people with criminal records, low-income, unemployment and dislocated workers and veterans and military spouses. | July 2018
License Overload?  Lawmakers are questioning whether we’ve gone too far with occupational and professional licensing. | State Legislatures Magazine | April 2018
Population Spotlight Occupational licensing can create barriers to entering the labor market for all workers, but certain populations are disproportiantely affected by these policies including military families, immigrants with work authorization, people with criminal records and unemployed or dislocated workers. | Sept. 25, 2017 
The State of Occupational Licensing Drawing from the vast body of occupational licensing research, this report provides an overview of occupational licensing trends and policy issues, summarizes best practices and recommendations for licensing policies, and highlights state legislative and executive actions that aim to protect consumers, foster employment growth and remove barriers to work. | Oct. 11, 2017
Anti-Trust and Occupational Licensing: State Approaches Background and highlights of how states have responded to the US. Supreme Court's decision on North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC  | Sept. 18, 2017