PRIMER: Occupational Licensing Reform

News Release

July 5, 2018

Since taking office, Governor Ducey has worked to rollback occupational licensing burdens and clear obstacles for Arizonans wanting to work.

In 2017, Governor Ducey signed HB 2372, a bill requiring state licensing boards to waive any initial licensing fees for first-time applicants from families earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Application fees range from $60-$580 and can pose a significant hurdle to low-income applicants. By waiving fees for those in need, our state can provide a helping hand and alleviate a financial burden for those seeking work.

Since the law went into effect last year:

  • Arizona’s occupational licensing boards have granted 489 fee waivers for low-income applicants;
  • 84 percent of initial application fee waiver requests have been granted;
  • Arizonans benefiting from fee waivers are pursuing jobs as nurses, behavioral health professionals, massage therapists, physician assistants, and other roles requiring a state license;
  • 93 percent of those seeking fee waivers are aspiring nurses;
  • According the U.S. Department of Labor, the average wage for a registered nurse in Arizona is $75,110.*

Still, at least three occupational licensing boards do not have a process in place to review fee waiver applications for low-income Arizonans. Governor Ducey today sent a letter to these boards asking them to follow state law and submit plans for reviewing and granting fee waivers as soon as possible.

*SOURCE: May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Arizona, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.