Date of Conferral





Health Services


William Barkley


Professional licensing directly affects about 29% of U.S. workers and is considered a primary means to establish and maintain health care practitioner competence. Clinical laboratory practitioner licensing was largely ignored in the literature with only 2 studies 30 years apart that provided conflicting conclusions regarding wage effects. This research provided the first study of clinical laboratory practitioner licensing effects on wages after controlling for human capital and individual characteristics wage determinants. This nonexperimental correlational study extended the literature on licensing effects on wages, including women's wages and professions not uniformly licensed across 50 states. The theoretical foundation relied on the human capital wage model that wages vary according to human capital investment, namely education and experience. Census 2000 5% Public Use Microdata Sample provided wages and control variable data, including educational attainment, experience, gender, marital status, and children. Using hierarchical regression analysis, this study found clinical laboratory practitioner wages were significantly higher (5.8%) in licensing states compared to nonlicensing states after controlling for these human capital and individual characteristics, R 2change (p < .001). Female clinical laboratory practitioners working in licensing states earned significantly higher wages (5.0%) compared to those in nonlicensing states, R 2change (p < .01). This study has potential for positive social change in clinical laboratory practitioner licensing policy development, implementation, and analysis by providing urgently needed empirical wage data for legislators to make informed decisions on costs to adopting such legislation.