Michigan’s licensing burden is generally seen as about average when compared to other states. Michigan required licenses for 42 of the 102 “moderate-income” occupations looked at in the 2012 study by the Institute for Justice, which was 26th most in the country. Wyoming required the fewest licenses with 24 and Louisiana had the most with 71. When factoring in the number of licenses required in a state and the average fees and training required for licenses, IJ ranked Michigan 21st overall in terms of the burden of licensing requirements. The report found that Michigan requires an average of $198 in fees, 256 days of education or experience, and one exam to receive a license.
Another study, using information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and a polling firm, ranked Michigan 34th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the percentage of the workforce that is licensed. The report estimated that 20.6 percent of the workforce in Michigan requires a state license (and another 3.3 percent needing certification).
A broader review of every license in Michigan statutes finds a total of 164 occupations requiring some sort of license before it is legal to partake in an activity. This approach considers an occupation to be licensed if the state mandated fees and an exam or some level of education or training. According to this analysis, the average licensing fee costs $123 in Michigan and the average test costs $257. There were 26 occupations where the fee was higher than $500 and 11 where the cost was more than $1,000. The highest fee — $2,450 — was for a mortgage broker while the highest total cost — fees and exam costs — was for chiropractors — $3,460. A full list of these occupations can be found in Appendix B.