New Mexico

66 of 102 lower-income occupations licensed
9th most burdensome licensing laws
11th most broadly and onerously licensed state

New Mexico’s licensing laws for lower-income occupations are some of the most arduous in the nation, ranking as the ninth most burdensome. The laws require, on average, $266 in fees, 520 days of education and experience, and about two exams. New Mexico also licenses more lower-income occupations than average—66 of the 102 studied here—making it the 11th most broadly and onerously licensed state.

New Mexico frequently licenses occupations that are unlicensed by other states, such as sign language interpreters (licensed by 21 other states), crane operators (17 others), bartenders (12 others), packers (five others), non-instructional teacher assistants (four others) and dietetic technicians (just one other). Dietetic technicians also face particularly steep burdens in New Mexico, where they must pay $180 in fees, sacrifice 835 days—more than two years—to education and experience, and pass an exam. Dietetic technicians operate nearly everywhere else without needing state licensure, calling into question whether New Mexico should license them at all—let alone so onerously.

New Mexico 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, the requirements to run a bill collection agency in New Mexico are $800 in fees, two years (730 days) of experience and one exam. Meanwhile, the requirements to become an EMT are $218 in fees, 180 hours (roughly 42 days) of education and two exams. It should not require 17 times more education and experience to run a bill collection agency than it does to become an emergency first responder. New Mexico could broaden employment opportunities in the state by reducing or repealing its illogical licensing requirements for bill collection agencies and other occupations, or—if government regulation is necessary—by replacing licenses with less restrictive regulatory alternatives.

Burden Rank Occupation Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Preschool Teacher, Public School $809 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
2 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Commercial) $531 1460 - 4 years 4 0 18
2 Sheet Metal Contractor, HVAC (Residential) $531 1460 - 4 years 4 0 18
4 Interpreter, Sign Language $740* 1469* 4 years and 40 clock hours* - 2 0 18
5 HVAC Contractor (Commercial) $318 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
5 HVAC Contractor (Residential) $318 1460 - 4 years 2 0 18
7 Athletic Trainer $525 1460 4 years - 2 0 0
8 Midwife, Direct Entry $1120 1095 3 years - 2 12 0
9 Travel Guide $550 1095 - 3 years 1 0 21
10 Bill Collection Agency $800 730 - 2 years 1 12 18
11 Security Alarm Installer $462 730 - 2 years 3 0 18
12 Fire Alarm Installer $462 730 - 2 years 3 0 18
13 Pipelayer Contractor $318 730 - 2 years 3 0 18
14 Dietetic Technician $180 835 2 years 450 clock hours 1 0 0
15 Cement Finishing Contractor (Commercial) $318 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
15 Cement Finishing Contractor (Residential) $318 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
15 Drywall Installation Contractor (Commercial) $318 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
15 Drywall Installation Contractor (Residential) $318 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
15 Iron/Steel Contractor (Commercial) $318 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
15 Iron/Steel Contractor (Residential) $318 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
15 Mason Contractor (Commercial) $318 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
15 Mason Contractor (Residential) $318 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
15 Paving Contractor (Commercial) $318 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
15 Paving Contractor (Residential) $318 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
25 Earth Driller, Water Well $200 730 - 2 years 2 0 20
26 Crane Operator $194 730 - 2 years 2 0 18
27 Door Repair Contractor (Commercial) $249 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
27 Door Repair Contractor (Residential) $249 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
27 Glazier Contractor (Commercial) $249 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
27 Glazier Contractor (Residential) $249 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
27 Insulation Contractor (Commercial) $249 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
27 Insulation Contractor (Residential) $249 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
27 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Commercial) $249 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
27 Sheet Metal Contractor, Other (Residential) $249 730 - 2 years 1 0 18
35 Veterinary Technician $435 730 2 years - 2 0 0
36 Cosmetologist $253 373 1600 clock hours - 3 10 17
37 Barber $160 280 1200 clock hours - 3 10 17
37 Shampooer $160 280 1200 clock hours - 3 10 17
39 Massage Therapist $275 152 650 clock hours - 2 12 18
40 Makeup Artist $253 140 600 clock hours - 3 10 17
40 Skin Care Specialist $253 140 600 clock hours - 3 10 17
42 Manicurist $253 93 400 clock hours - 3 10 17
43 Pharmacy Technician $379 140 - 600 clock hours 1 0 0
44 School Bus Driver $18 8 36 clock hours - 6 0 18
45 Teacher Assistant, Non-Instructional $79 0 - - 0 12 18
46 Emergency Medical Technician $218 42 180 clock hours - 2 0 18
47 Bus Driver, City/Transit $18 0 - - 5 0 18
47 Truck Driver, Tractor-Trailer $18 0 - - 5 0 18
49 Truck Driver, Other $18 0 - - 4 0 18
50 Coach, Head (High School Sports) $54 1 4 clock hours - 0 12 0
51 Vegetation Pesticide Applicator $240 28 4 credit hours - 3 0 0
52 Security Guard, Unarmed $94 1 8 clock hours - 1 0 18
53 Bartender $0 1 4.5 clock hours - 1 0 21
54 Pest Control Applicator $185 28 4 credit hours - 2 0 0
55 Gaming Cage Worker $75 0 - - 0 0 21
55 Gaming Dealer $75 0 - - 0 0 21
55 Gaming Supervisor $75 0 - - 0 0 21
55 Slot Supervisor $75 0 - - 0 0 21
59 Child Care Home, Family $59 0 - - 0 0 18
60 Mobile Home Installer $269 0 - - 1 0 0
61 Milk Sampler $0 1 1 days - 1 0 0
62 Weigher $150 0 - - 0 0 0
63 Landscape Contractor (Commercial) $75 0 - - 0 0 0
63 Landscape Contractor (Residential) $75 0 - - 0 0 0
65 Fisher, Commercial $25 0 - - 0 0 0
65 Packer $25 0 - - 0 0 0