What regulations affect your job? Find out here!

Your Job, and How It's Regulated

Our mission is to provide information to citizens, policy makers, and other researchers about the extent, scope, and effects of occupational regulation.

Use our Find Occupations page to select your State, Industry, and Occupation. It's that easy to learn what regulations and certifications affect your career field.

Established in 2016, The Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation (CSOR) is an academic research center within the Shields School of Business at Saint Francis University. Located on the 3rd floor of the newly renovated Schwab Hall, the center offers student fellows the opportunity to conduct, analyze, and present research that goes toward developing a national database of occupational regulation, focusing first on healthcare occupations.

Is it time for occupational licensing reform? In the 1950s, about 5% of all occupations required some sort of licensing or certification. Today, almost 1/4 of U.S. jobs require a license!

Common sense tells us that jobs ranging from electricians and surgeons to architects and engineers should require some form of validation. The potential harm to be caused by an unqualified practitioner could be severe.

Unfortunately, in today’s environment licensing and other onerous regulations may apply to dance instructors and hair braiders, manicurists and interior designers. Being required to get a license to become a travel guide, for example, boggles the imagination.

Even in cases where most would agree certification is a good idea, the requirements of licensing are often both burdensome and aimed at protecting the market share of licensees, rather than addressing public health and safety concerns.

The uncontrolled growth of occupational regulations only harms consumers by increasing costs and workers by limiting employment options.

Medical licensing laws, often enacted with the goal of improving healthcare for Americans, may contribute to increased costs and limited service options.

At CSOR, our goal is to research and catalog occupational regulations that affect the healthcare industry, but more importantly to understand the impact of these regulations on the costs and effectiveness of treatment. We believe that research can contribute to a regulatory environment with more healthcare choices, increased patient satisfaction, and better health outcomes.

From broadening the scope of practice for chiropractors to licensing pharmacists to prescribe certain medications, new views on occupational regulation hold the promise for a more vibrant and effective American healthcare system.

Estimates indicate that at least 1,100 occupations require a license in at least one state. That's over one thousand careers that cannot be entered into without government permission.

At CSOR, our goal is to research and catalog occupational regulations that effect business, but more importantly to understand the impact of these regulations on safety, consumer costs, and the availability of services. We believe that research can contribute to a regulatory environment with strong job growth, less burdensome compliance, and more consumer choice.

From florists and taxidermists to plumbers and electricians, finding the regulations associated with your chosen field is easy at CSOR.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as many as 100 million U.S. citizens have a criminal record.

Those who are friends, family, or neighbors of these individuals are well aware of the unique set of challenges that previously convicted persons face when seeking employment.

At CSOR, we recognize that returning to the work force is critical so that individuals with criminal records can rehabilitate themselves. Unfortunately, occupational licensing laws may forbid them from doing so. This is why we are a member of the Justice for Work Coalition.

In the 2017 Fall Semester, CSOR will focus its research on the criminal justice aspect of occupational regulations and licensure.

At CSOR, a big part of our commitment is to understand the effect that occupational regulation has on members and veterans of our armed forces.

Did you know that our military veterans, after serving their country, often move to civilian life with less of a chance of getting a job than the average American. One reason is unaddressed mental health issues a veteran may have after combat.

Additionally, studies show that veterans are less likely to highlight their individual skills, something employers may be looking for, and focus on their group participation and successes.

A priority at CSOR is to seek a better understanding of the challenges veterans face as they return to civilian life.

Top Stories

April 1, 2019

Texas barbers and cosmetologists do not need to spend time and money on state licensing

Recent media coverage in Texas suggests that the sky might fall if House Bill 1705 is enacted, removing licensing requirements for barbers and cosmetologists. The bill […]
February 27, 2019

A Mountain of Regulation?: Assessing Barriers to Work in West Virginia

Study of West Virginia’s Occupational Licensing Laws Shines Light on Burdensome Fees, Barriers to Opportunity & Competitive Disadvantages Charleston, WV – In partnership with the Knee […]
February 12, 2019

Deserting Workers? Barriers to Work in New Mexico

By Edward Timmons, PhD Conor Norris, MA — February, 2019 Click Here to Open the PDF in a New Tab WHY DOES OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING MATTER IN […]