Licensing + Certification 

Relicensing Is a Barrier for Working Military Spouses

Most military families will move every three years. The result for working military spouses? Time gaps and employment lapses on their resumes. Of the many military spouses in the workforce, more than 30% are in careers that require a state-based professional license or certification to practice.

And these credentials are rarely transferable when a military spouse moves to a new state. Despite many legislative and grassroots efforts, time-consuming and expensive upkeep of licenses and certifications remains a barrier for working military spouses everywhere.

Why Relicensing Is a Problem

It's Time Consuming
It's Expensive
What happens when a spouse can't relicense easily

Interstate Compacts Provide Relief

Occupational interstate compacts are agreements between professional associations, occupational licensing boards, and other state boards designed to ease the burden on transient professionals, like military spouses, who want to stay employed even after a required military move across state lines.

Interstate compacts allow a military spouse with an occupational license or certification in one compact state to practice in another participating state through “privilege to practice” policies. States can voluntarily sign onto each compact to allow spouses to take advantage of the state-to-state reciprocity.

Toolkits – Help Change the License and Certification Game

2021 Toolkit - Spouses

For Military Spouses

Making the Most of Your Professional Licenses and Certifications

Are you a military spouse ready to take action and make the process work for you? This toolkit has you covered with some key steps and resources to help you become your best advocate and take charge of your professional career.

2021 Toolkit - Policy Makers

For Policy Makers

Help Military Spouse Professionals Succeed in Your Community

Military life is hard enough. Having a meaningful career shouldn’t have to be. This toolkit just for policymakers, licensing boards, and other changemakers introduces the issues and how to effectively help change the game for military spouses in communities around the country.

Licensing + Certification Resources

More than 30% of military spouses are in an occupation requiring a license or certification. Here are some resources to help along your career path.

Take Action Guide

Military spouses are no strangers to being their own best advocates. Licensing and certification is no different. Our Take Action Guide provides a step-by-step process for how to get involved.

Military Spouse by the Numbers

Income lost per year by spouses trying to relicense or find work in a new state


Have jobs requiring a license or certification


Are female


Have a four-year degree


Are unemployed, compared to 3.6% nationwide pre-pandemic