The terminology used in regulating occupations can be confusing - some occupations
are licensed and others are certified or registered, some licenses are available through
reciprocity, others by endorsement. What is the difference? These terms and others are defined below.
Licensing, Certification or Registration
Licensing is the statutory process through which a person meets the legal requirements
sufficient to be permitted by law to practice an occupation in the state. Applicants
must meet certain requirements involving training, experience, minimum age, years of
education and/or evidence of good moral character.
Certification, similar to licensing, "certifies" individuals to engage in a regulated
occupation. Completion of an approved instructional program is a common requirement.
Other requirements may include successful performance on a qualifying exam or completion
of work experience.
Registration is a general term sometimes meaning regulating an activity, similar to
licensing, or simply registering individuals engaged in an occupation. In the latter case,
only listing one's name and address and payment of a fee is involved.
Reciprocity or Endorsement
Reciprocity denotes a relationship between two states where state "A" gives the
subjects of state "B" certain privileges, on the condition that subjects from state "A" shall
enjoy similar privileges at the hands of state "B". In other words, "you give
people from our state licenses and we will give people from your state licenses". A
licensure system based on reciprocity requires the authorities of each state to
negotiate and enter agreements to recognize licenses issued by the other state without
further review of individual credentials.
Licensure by endorsement is used by state boards to grant licenses to professionals
licensed in other states that have equivalent or more stringent standards. States may
require additional qualifications or documentation before endorsing a license issued by
another state. Professionals seeking licensure by endorsement may need to submit an
application, original transcripts, letters of recommendation and fees to the state board
for review and approval. Each state retains separate disciplinary authority over its
licensees. Endorsement allows states to retain their traditional power to set and
enforce standards that best meet the needs of the local population.
Occupations that may require this license
A list of occupations that could include work activities requiring licensure or certification.
Contact the licensing agency for complete information on the types of jobs affected.
Click on the occupation to see more about this job at the Occupational Information Center.