Letters to the Editor

What's the cost of professional licensure?

I’ve been following the debate over licenses to work in Iowa that Gov. Kim Reynolds has been leading. A lot of people I know are frustrated and confused by the seemingly unnecessary education barriers to opportunity. For example, people who install air conditioners require six years of education before they can get a license. Why?

That’s the same amount of time it takes to complete a medical residency in plastic surgery and longer than a medical residency in general surgery, neurology and emergency medicine (according to Washington University in St. Louis). What’s so complicated about installing air conditioners?

Nothing about installing air conditioners could possibly be as complicated as performing emergency surgery. What makes it worse is that people who install air conditioners don’t make nearly as much money as doctors. So, my question is how do these regulations on relatively low-income earners serve the people of Iowa? What’s the point? And, is any benefit worth such a costly barrier to opportunity?

Carl Gaul

Cedar Rapids

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