North Dakota

65 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed

49th most burdensome licensing laws

23rd most broadly and onerously licensed state

North Dakota has some of the least burdensome licensing laws for lower-income occupations in the nation, ranking 49th. Its laws require, on average, $156 in fees, 122 days of education and experience, and roughly one exam. But North Dakota licenses more lower-income occupations than average (65 of 102), making it the 23rd most broadly and onerously licensed state.

North Dakota licenses several occupations that are rarely licensed elsewhere. For example, the state’s most onerously licensed occupation—sign language interpreter—is licensed by just 21 other states. And North Dakota’s license is burdensome, requiring $675 in fees, about 1,469 days (four years and 40 hours) of education and two exams. These steep burdens are questionable given that most states do not deem licensure necessary at all. North Dakota is also one of just seven states that license title examiners and one of nine states that license animal trainers.

North Dakota also imposes burdens on some occupations that seem excessive compared to those for other occupations that may present greater risks to the public. For example, North Dakota has one of the most burdensome barbering licenses in the nation, requiring 727 days of education and experience (comprising 1,550 hours of education and one year of experience), $250 in fees, and two exams. By contrast, the state’s EMT license requires just 35 days (150 hours) of education, $80 in fees and two exams. North Dakota can improve employment opportunities in the state by reducing or repealing its heavy burdens for barbers and many other occupations, or—if government regulation is necessary—by replacing them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives such as inspections or voluntary certification.

Burden Rank Occupation States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Min. Grade Min. Age
1 Interpreter, Sign Language 22 $675 1469 4 years and 40 clock hours 2 0 18
2 Athletic Trainer 49 $400 1460 4 years 1 0 0
3 Preschool Teacher, Public School 50 $686 1276 2 years 18 months 3 0 0
4 Barber 51 $250 727 1550 clock hours 1 years 2 12 18
5 Veterinary Technician 36 $335 730 2 years 1 0 0
6 Cosmetologist 51 $185 420 1800 clock hours 3 12 0
6 Shampooer 37 $185 420 1800 clock hours 3 12 0
8 Earth Driller, Water Well 51 $300 365 1 years 1 0 0
9 Security Guard, Unarmed 34 $92 244 44 clock hours 1000 clock hours 0 12 18
10 Massage Therapist 44 $345 175 750 clock hours 1 12 18
11 Makeup Artist 41 $205 140 600 clock hours 3 12 0
11 Skin Care Specialist 50 $205 140 600 clock hours 3 12 0
13 Mobile Home Installer 39 $200 153 6 clock hours 5 jobs, mobile home installers 1 0 18
14 Pharmacy Technician 44 $174 91 3 months 1 12 0
15 Manicurist 50 $205 82 350 clock hours 3 0 0
16 School Bus Driver 51 $41 0 6 0 18
17 Emergency Medical Technician 51 $80 35 150 clock hours 2 0 18
18 Bus Driver, City/Transit 51 $33 0 5 0 18
19 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer 51 $25 0 5 0 18
20 Truck Driver, Other 51 $25 0 4 0 18
21 Bill Collection Agency 31 $700 0 0 0 0
22 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator 51 $65 0 3 0 18
23 Pest Control Applicator 51 $65 0 2 0 18
24 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) 47 $175 0 0 0 18
24 Landscape Contractor (Residential) 48 $175 0 0 0 18
26 Auctioneer 30 $35 14 60 clock hours 0 0 18
27 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Commercial) 25 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Carpenter/Cabinet Maker Contractor (Residential) 30 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Cement Finishing Contractor (Commercial) 24 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential) 30 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Door Repair Contractor (Commercial) 24 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Door Repair Contractor (Residential) 29 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Drywall Installation Contractor (Commercial) 25 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) 30 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Floor Sander Contractor (Commercial) 22 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Floor Sander Contractor (Residential) 27 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Glazier Contractor (Commercial) 26 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Glazier Contractor (Residential) 30 $125 0 0 0 18
27 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) 37 $125 0 0 0 18
27 HVAC Contractor (Residential) 35 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Insulation Contractor (Commercial) 25 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Insulation Contractor (Residential) 30 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Iron/Steel Contractor (Commercial) 26 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential) 30 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Mason Contractor (Commercial) 26 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Mason Contractor (Residential) 31 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Painting Contractor (Commercial) 22 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Painting Contractor (Residential) 28 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Paving Contractor (Commercial) 24 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Paving Contractor (Residential) 28 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Pipelayer Contractor 27 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) 37 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) 36 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Commercial) 26 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential) 31 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Terrazzo Contractor (Commercial) 23 $125 0 0 0 18
27 Terrazzo Contractor (Residential) 28 $125 0 0 0 18
58 Travel Guide 37 $100 0 0 0 18
59 Child Care Home, Family 44 $20 0 0 0 18
60 Title Examiner 7 $220 0 1 0 0
61 Milk Sampler 42 $10 1 1 days 1 0 0
62 Taxidermist 28 $25 0 0 0 0
63 Fisher, Commercial 43 $15 0 0 0 0
64 Animal Trainer 9 $10 0 0 0 0
65 Coach, Head (High School Sports) 48 $0 1 4.5 clock hours 0 0 0
N/A Midwife, Direct Entry 28 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

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