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Occupational licensure – when the government mandates training, tests, and fees before someone can legally perform certain jobs – has a larger effect on the Michigan economy than any other labor issue. The state requiring this permission to work costs jobs and income and causes higher prices for consumers.

Read the Center’s study or
watch the licensing video.

Jarrett Skorup Vice President for Marketing and Communications

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State licensing hurts Michigan residents.

Occupational licensing laws in Michigan raise prices for consumers by up to 30 percent, costing families thousands of dollars each year. These laws mean 80,000 fewer jobs while costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to try and regulate them.

Separate fact from fiction with this FAQ.

30% Raises prices for consumers by up to 30 percent
-125,480 Michigan jobs
Michigan citizens pay $10.4 billion annually in higher prices
Michigan spends $150m+ directly on licensing individual occupations

Nationally, licensing has grown dramatically.

In 1950, less than 5 percent of workers were licensed; now about 30 percent of workers are. Almost every state licenses doctors, lawyers, dentists, opticians and other technical and specialized occupations and many of these requirements are similar across the states. But many states also require licenses for a range of other jobs, including auctioneers, court clerks, fishermen, floor sanders, painters, interior designers and tree trimmers. Altogether, Michigan licenses about 160 occupations.

View our complete licensing database.

Licensure Requirements in Michigan:


  • 60 hours of education
  • 1 exam
  • $285


  • 1,500 hours of education
  • 1 exam
  • $200


  • DDS or DMD
  • 1 exam
  • $3,070

Electrical Journeyman

  • 8,000 hours of education
  • 1 exam
  • $140


  • 60 hours of education
  • 1 exam
  • $295

Real Estate Broker

  • 90 hours of education
  • 3 years of experience
  • 1 exam
  • $383

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