One universal concept that people generally acknowledge is the desire to receive good quality work for their money. You want to get the quality that you pay for. When you pay a barber for a haircut, you are placing trust in their expertise and knowledge to help you walk out of the shop looking better than when you walked in. It is one thing to have a particular skill set, but another thing to be qualified and protected for your service. Occupational licensing ensures that the quality of service will be preserved in a general sense. The overall purpose of licensing is to maintain service quality and protect both the producer and the consumer. Therefore, there are many specialized jobs that require a license.
What is a Professional License or Certificate?
Many professions have licensing requirements that protect both the individual providing the service and the consumer receiving that service. Licensing creates a standard intended to certify that the licensee is qualified to do the job they intend to practice. By demonstrating that they can perform with a specific skill set, an individual may apply to obtain a certification for their desired field. The process for achieving most professional licenses involves career-specific training and courses and ends with a pass-or-fail exam. In addition, jobs that require licensing in a specific area often also require maintaining the license by either routine refresher courses or regular re-certification.
What is the Difference Between a License and a Certificate?
There is one main difference between a license and a certification. While a certification shows that someone has obtained a particular skill, it is generally not required to enter a related field. Meanwhile, an occupational license is legally required to use the skills in an area. For example, a nurse might have a certification in first aid treatment, but they must have a nursing license as well in order to practice as a nurse. A license conveys legal authorization to operate in a capacity, while a certification represents experience without the same authority.
7 Jobs That Require a License
About 24.6% of all service occupations require a license. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018) From across all the varied categories of services, here are seven examples in a list of jobs that require a license.
1. Cosmetology professional
2. Real estate agent
4. Healthcare practitioner
5. Legal Practitioner
7. Commercial driver
An occupational license is a requirement in many specific jobs. Careers in cosmetology certify that a make-up artist or a hairdresser must have a cosmetics license before working with their first client. This requirement helps ensure that they obtain adequate education in the proper ways to mix chemicals, know timing and concentrations, and can address risk factors in their field and safely perform their practice.
Likewise, a real estate agent must be licensed before they can take a commission from the sales they conduct. Having a license protects the agent from being affected by fraudulent dealings and allows them to expand their network of brokers and investors with whom they can work. Similarly, auctioneers are required to have a license if they are to sell merchandise in a public arena.
Healthcare workers may have basic certifications, such as CPR/AED training, first aid or basic life support (BLS) certification, and other certifications as required by their specific field in medicine. However, in order to work in certain positions in healthcare, licensing is required. Registered nurses (RNs) must obtain and maintain their RN license to practice medicine in that capacity without fraud. Licensing ensures that individuals regularly practice and stay up-to-date on advancing medical procedures.
Lawyers and attorneys must have a legal license to offer legal services to the public. This standard ensures that they have applied themselves to gain a functional knowledge of the laws in place and assures their clients that they have a working knowledge of legal proceedings and court procedures. Similarly, teachers must be licensed to teach and certified in their area of education.
Individuals who work as drivers for companies must have their legal state-issued driver’s license, but certain types of vehicles require further training and licensing. One must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive commercial vehicles. Eighteen-wheeler trucks, school buses, and other commercial vehicles demand a higher skill set and more specific training than driving a private vehicle.
Jobs that require a license produce confidence in both those giving and receiving a service. In other words, it brings stability and competence to the economy. A simple example of this is knowing that the surgeon performing your operation has a valid medical license. In the event of a medical accident, such as a miscalculated dosage that leads to injury or death of a patient, a medical professional without a valid license will most likely lose their job because they were practicing without a proper required license. Operating without a valid license in any job that requires a license opens one up to lawsuits for offering fraudulent services. Occupational licensing protects both the service giver and the receiver. Licensing ensures that professionals are well-equipped for their work and legally covered by their license and that patients and consumers will receive quality care and service.