Illinois makes it hard for poor people to be makeup artists, barbers, or manicurists

Illinois makes it hard for poor people to be makeup artists, barbers, or manicurists

Unemployment and poverty can generate a sense of powerlessness, but the promise of producing goods or services without requiring a pricey degree or significant upfront costs might bring optimism.

Individuals embarking on an independent journey, free of the constraints of college loan debt, frequently seek careers such as barbering, hairstyling, or manicuring—occupations where skills can be learned independently or from friends and family. Licensing in these professions has arisen as a pathway to meaningful employment, guiding people out of poverty.

Personal care industry median incomes, such as over $31,000 for manicurists and pedicurists and over $33,000 for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists, offer a promising path that can lift a family of four above the federal poverty line.

While a license in barbering, hairstyling, or manicuring could be a passport to success, the state of Illinois places barriers in the way.

According to an Institute for Justice Research, barbers, cosmetologists, and makeup artists in Illinois confront a significant burden of occupational licensing. Illinois requires licenses for 41 of the 102 low-income professions studied, ranking barbering ninth, cosmetology tenth, and manicuring sixteenth in terms of licensing load.

Illinois makes it hard for poor people to be makeup artists, barbers, or manicurists

In Illinois, becoming a certified barber involves a 12th-grade education, a $156 cost, passing an exam, and an estimated loss of 350 calendar days owing to educational and experiential requirements—a process that is simplified in 34 other states.

Similarly, prospective cosmetologists in Illinois must pay a $230 fee, pass an exam, and lose an estimated 350 calendar days due to educational and experiential requirements.

Prospective manicurists face a $215 charge, exam clearance, and an estimated 82-day loss in education and experience—a route that is easier in 22 other states than in Illinois.

Despite the fact that quality control is a reason for licensing, developments such as internet review sites enable consumers to make educated judgments. Poor service results in unfavorable ratings, driving out mediocre providers.

These license requirements add another layer of difficulty for individuals looking for work and a way out of poverty. Advocates say that the state should actively endeavor to reduce or eliminate these barriers, allowing residents to rise above poverty.

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