Education and Licensing Research - United States

Professional Licenses and Certifications

Around 1,100 occupations in the US require an occupational license, or almost 1 in 4 jobs. The number of professions requiring license or certification has been increasing in the US over the last 60 years.

Number of Professional Licenses

  • According to The National Occupational Licensing Database, almost 1 in 4 jobs in the US require a professional (occupational) license granted by state governments.
  • As of 2016, 1,100 occupations required an occupational license.
  • Between 23% and 30% of all workers in the US must have an occupational license.
  • However, this is not a perfect estimate. Occupational licensing laws are set by each state individually, therefore, some states have more strict requirements than others.
  • The number of professions requiring an occupational license has grown over the past 60 years. Previously, only 1 in 20 jobs required a professional license.
  • Fields that have the highest percentage of workers with an occupational license are healthcare, education/library, legal and protective services, community and social services, and personal care.

Professional Certifications

  • Other occupations may have certification laws that “protect job titles (e.g., chartered financial analyst) but do not prohibit uncertified work”.
  • Around 3% of employed people in the US held a certification but not a license as of 2015.
  • The most common fields requiring certification are computer/mathematical, installation, maintenance and repair, community and social services, healthcare, and architecture/engineering.

Healthcare Licenses and Certifications

  • 76.9% of healthcare practitioners or technicians (nurses, doctors, and physical, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, etc) hold a license or certification (or both), while 51.8% of those employed in healthcare support (nursing, psychiatric, home health aides, etc) hold a license or certification (or both).
  • Types of licenses vary by state, but in Maine, some license types for the medical field include Administrative License, Camp Physician License, Educational Certificate, Emergency License, Medical Doctor permanent license, Medical Doctor Administrative, Emeritus License, Medical Doctor Volunteer permanent license, Physician Assistant, Physician Assistant Non-clinical, Temporary Doctor License, and Consultative Telemedcine.
  • A list of license and certification types for those in healthcare related occupations in Florida includes Licensed Acupuncturist, Anesthesiologist Assistant, Audiologist, Certified Nursing Assistant, Chiropractic Physician, Dietitian/Nutritionist, Paramedic, Medical Doctor, and more.

Legal and Protective Licenses

  • 68.1% of people employed in legal occupations held a certificate, license or both.
  • 40% of those employed in the protective services field held a certificate, license or both.
  • Examples of jobs requiring certification or license in legal and protective services include arbitration, attorney, court reporter, security guard, locksmith, private investigator, security officer, training instructor (firearms and baton), and private patrol operator.

Education and Training Licenses

  • 55.5% of those employed in education and training held a license, certification, or both.
  • Examples of certification or licenses in the educational field include Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Elementary Education, Secondary Education — English, Secondary Education — Mathematics, Secondary Education — Sciences, Secondary Education — Biology, Secondary Education — Chemistry, Secondary Education — Life Sciences, Secondary Education — Physics, Secondary Education — Social Sciences, Agriculture, American Sign Language, Art Teacher, Business Education, Computer Science, Dance, Drama/Theater, English as a Second Language (ESL), Foreign Language, Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Certification, Health Educator, Home Economics, Journalism, Music, Physical Education, Reading Specialist, Special Education, Speech Language Pathologist, Technology, Visually Impaired Teacher, Education Technology, Administrative Licensing, Reciprocity, Alternative Certification and Librarian Certification.

Companies Providing Professional Credential Management

Six companies providing management of professional licenses or certifications geared towards the individual license holders are the Federation Credentials Verification Service, TeachPoint, Medtigo Tracker 360, JobsDoc, CredMinder and Piaceta. All relevant information about the companies has been compiled in the project spreadsheet, as well as summarized below.

  • Federation Credentials Verification Service is a way for “physicians and PAs to store core credentials that can be used for multiple state medical boards.”
  • TeachPoint is a professional development tracker designed specifically for teachers.
  • Medtigo Tracker 360 is “an automated service to assist healthcare providers to stay informed with their license and certification requirements and expiration dates.”
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

VR in Higher Education: U.S.

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