Professional Licensure

Introduction
Interstate Licensure Reciprocity
Licensure vs. Certification
Licensure Information, by Profession


Introduction

Regulated professions in the United States are licensed at the state level, and most licensed professions require some formal postsecondary education or training as a prerequisite for entry. The competent authority for recognizing professional qualifications is the appropriate state or territorial licensing authority in the jurisdiction where one intends to work.

The information presented below should not be considered exhaustive, and it is important to always consult state licensing boards and professional associations for the most timely and authoritative guidance.


Interstate Licensure Reciprocity

Since professional licensure is regulated at the state level, it is generally necessary to obtain a separate license for each state in which one wishes to practice. In some instances, reciprocity agreements are in place to make it easier for someone who already holds a license in one state to obtain a license in another state. However, the degree to which such reciprocity exists can vary widely depending on the profession and the states involved. State licensing boards can provide detailed information on the existence of any reciprocity agreements they have with other states.


Licensure vs. Certification

Although some states occasionally use the term “certification” to refer to licensure, the term “licensure” generally refers to an official process, administered by a state-level authority, that is required by law in order for an individual to practice his or her profession. In most instances, the term “certification” refers to a function administered by a nongovernmental organization, which is intended to further recognize professional competence based on having met the quality standards of the organization. The prevalence and relevance of certification varies by profession.


Licensure Information, by Profession

Disclaimer of Endorsement
The links below lead to websites created by other public and private organizations. These links are provided for the user’s convenience. ED does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this non-ED information. The inclusion of these links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse views expressed, or products or services offered, on these non-ED sites. Please note that privacy policies on non-ED sites may differ from ED’s privacy policy. We recommend that you read the privacy policy of non-ED websites that you visit.

 

Accounting (CPA)
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals
Professional Association

Architecture
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals
Professional Association

Athletic/Personal Training
Licensing Boards, by state

Audiology
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Associations: ASHA / AAA

Aviation Occupations (including Pilot)
Licensing Board [Federal licensure]

Barbering & Cosmetology
Licensing Boards, by state

Chiropractic
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Clinical Psychology
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Associations: APA / ABPP / NASP

Construction Trades
Licensing Boards, by state

Counseling (also see Clinical Psychology, Social Work)
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association
Professional Association (School Counseling)

Counseling: Marriage & Family Therapy (also see Clinical Psychology, Social Work)
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Dentistry
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals
Professional Association

Dental Hygiene
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals
Professional Association

Dietetics & Nutrition
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals
Professional Association

Engineering
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals I
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals II
Professional Association

Funerary Services
Licensing Boards, by state

Insurance Sales
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Interior Design
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Landscape Architecture
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Law
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals
Professional Association

Long-Term Care Administration
Licensing Boards, by state

Massage Therapy
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Medicine
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals
Professional Association (Allopathic Medicine)
Professional Association (Osteopathic Medicine)

Midwifery
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Associations: MANA / NACPM

Nursing
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals I
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals II
Professional Association

Occupational Therapy
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Optician
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Optometry
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics
Licensing Boards, by state

Pharmacy
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals
Professional Association

Physical Therapy
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals I
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals II
Professional Association

Podiatry
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Radiology Technician
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Social Work (also see Clinical Psychology, Counseling)
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Speech Pathology
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Association

Teaching (Elementary & Secondary Level)
Licensing Boards, by state
Professional Associations: AFT / NEA

Veterinary Medicine
Licensing Boards, by state
Information for Foreign-Educated Professionals
Professional Association

For any professions or trades not listed here, search online using the name of the profession, the word “license” and the name of the state.

Additional information and resources can be found at the CareerOneStop website, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.