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Welcome to CSG’s Occupational Licensure website. Here you will be able to find all the publications and information we have to offer.

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Over the last 60 years, the number of jobs requiring an occupational license, or government approval to practice a profession, has grown from about one in 20 to nearly one in four. When implemented properly, occupational licensing can help protect the health and safety of consumers by requiring practitioners to undergo a designated amount of training and education in their field. However, differences and disparities in occupational licensing laws across states can create barriers for those looking to enter the labor market and make it harder for workers to relocate across state lines. Certain populations—including military spouses and families, immigrants with work authorization, people with criminal records, and unemployed and dislocated workers—are affected especially hard by the requirements and variances of occupational licensing.

To begin looking for solutions to these problems, the National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, NGA Center, and The Council of State Governments, or CSG, are launching a three-year project entitled Occupational Licensing: Assessing State Policy and Practice, with the goal of enhancing the portability of occupational licenses. This work is made possible through a grant from the U. S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

Blog

Should Licensing Reformers Still Be Talking About African Hair Braiding?

If you’ve studied the issue of occupational licensing reform for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly heard about African hair braiders. The issue of state government regulating the hair braiding industry is a compelling one. Why would a state subject a hair braider to obtain a full cosmetology license, endure hundreds of hours of unnecessary …

Pennsylvania Joins Arizona in Universal License Recognition

Often a licensed professional wishing to enter into a new state finds difficulty obtaining the license needed to practice their profession. The delay in obtaining their professional license could mean a lack of income, lost employment opportunities or even a decision to not move into the state. On July 1, 2019, Gov.  Tom Wolf signed …

Understanding Arizona’s Universal Occupational Licensing Recognition Bill

In his 2019 State of the State address, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, former CSG Toll Fellow, urged the Legislature to pass legislation granting universal recognition for occupational licenses, saying “workers don’t lose their skills simply because they move to Arizona.” HB 2569 which was signed into law by Gov. Ducey in April, makes Arizona the first state …

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