A look into the state's occupational licenses

Posted at 11:33 PM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 00:35:25-04

"They make it hard for cosmetologists to make a living with all those hours compared to someone with minimum hours," says Sharne Vick, a licensed cosmetologist and owner of Tulsa Gifted Braiders.

Some licensed professionals believe the government makes it difficult to obtain a license in their line of work, saying it's expensive and time-consuming.

Vick had to complete 1,500 hours of training to become a licensed professional by the Oklahoma Board of Cosmetology. It's one of several boards and agencies that sets regulations, such as training hours, exams or fees.

Whereas cosmetology requires this many hours, to become an EMT basic, you only have to complete 154 hours of training. An intermediate EMT requires 190 hours and a paramedic 1050 hours.

Vick believes there's a discrepancy in the occupational licensing regulations when comparing professions.

"I feel like certain hair styles you don't have to go to school for," says Vick.

But at the same time, she believes her profession requires to be held to high standards because sterilization plays a big role.

"We're working one on one so close with the human body. There's a lot of stuff involved, it's not just the outside," resonates Lisa Nguyen, a licensed cosmetologist and owner of Luxe Nail Bar in Tulsa.

Both the licensed professional and the client agree that rules are in place for a reason, especially when dealing with sanitation and health risks.

The state's department of health alone provides more than 100,000 licenses annually through its "Occupational Licensing Division" to ensure health and safety.

Other professions that require a state license include emergency tattoo artists, business establishments such as restaurants, and hospitals.

A spokesperson with the attorney general's office says it has been working with state boards and agencies to ensure licensing provides protection for consumers, while not being too hard on businesses.

For a list of professions requiring a license in the state, visit the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission handbook.