In an article today at Michigan Capitol Confidential, I focus on painting to highlight some of the absurdities in Michigan’s licensing laws. As the article notes, “Michigan law requires painting contractors to pay $235, take 60 hours of state-approved prelicensure education, pass two exams and be over 18 years of age … Michigan is one of only 10 states that licenses painters — and only five states require any education to paint for a living.”

Here is the required “education,” from the state website:

The 60 hours of approved prelicensure courses must include at least six hours in each subject below: 

1)         Business Management, Estimating, and Job Costing; 

2)         Design and Building Science; 

3)          Contracts, Liability, and Risk Management; 

4)         Marketing and Sales; 

5)         Project Management and Scheduling; 

6)         The Michigan Residential Code; 

7)         MIOSHA Construction Safety Standards; 

8)         The rest of the 18 hours may come from other topics on the approved course list. 

Ignoring the whole argument for why the state mandates licensing for painters in the first place, the actual requirements are unnecessary. A mandated six hours of marketing and sales? Do state bureaucrats know more about how individual contractors should market their services than the people involved in those fields?