Occupational Licensing: Ranking the States and Exploring Alternatives

Source: Adam B. Summers, Reason Foundation, Policy Study 361, August 2007

From press release:
Do you want to be a fortune teller in Maryland? Your future better include a license from the state. How about being a hair braider in Mississippi? You’ll need 300 to 1,500 hours of training and government permission. Want to sell flowers in Louisiana? Only licensed florists can do that. And almost every state requires certification if you want to move furniture and hang art while calling yourself an interior designer.

In California, there are a total of 177 different jobs that require a special license or credential, the most in the country, according to a new Reason Foundation study examining occupational licensing trends.

Northeastern states aren’t much better. Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire all require job seekers to obtain a license before performing more than 130 jobs. In stark contrast, you can do most of those very same jobs – without a license – in Missouri, where just 41 careers require certification.

Press Release with Complete Rankings
Policy Summary
State-by-State Occupational Licensing List

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