How To Use The Guides

The Professional Licensing Guides are written for professionals trained outside the U.S. and now residing in a U.S. state where they wish to earn a license for the same field. The purpose of the guides is to make the information about licensing easier to understand.

What is a regulated profession?

Regulated professions are strictly controlled by state law to protect the public interest. Each state can have different criteria for licensing. Licenses or credentials are normally earned through a combination of education, exams, and experience, and include documentation and sometimes a significant amount of time and money to receive. Some examples: nurses, lawyers, and public accountants are regulated in the U.S.; business managers and university professors are not.

What information is in the Guides?

The Guides include the following sections:

  • How the Profession Is Organized: an overview of the field in the U.S. and your state
  • Eligibility for Licensing: your licensing process broken into simple steps
  • Tests: information about required professional exams
  • Time and Costs: scenarios that show a range of time and cost that licensing can require
  • Other Careers and Credentials: a quick view of alternative or interim positions or credentials
  • Beyond Licensing: maintaining your license; joining professional associations
  • Important Links: links to official sources of licensing information: state and federal agencies, credential evaluators, testing agencies, and others
  • Licensing Map: a simple visual map of major licensing steps
  • Tips: suggestions for a smoother licensing and job search process in your field
  • Common Words: simple definitions of terms used in the article
  • Reference: a list of abbreviations used in the information

The Guides do not discuss:

  • Immigration status or visa sponsorship
  • English language level, exam costs or strategies
  • Opportunities to take exams internationally
  • Getting a second U.S. license based on an existing license from another state
  • Licensing processes for graduates of Canadian or other non-U.S. universities that may have U.S. accreditation
  • U.S. degree programs for people who want to go back to school or change careers

These are important subjects but are not included in the goals of the Professional Licensing Guides.

What States are included in the Guides?

Currently the guides have information for 10 careers in Illinois, California, New York, and Michigan.