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.