Indiana licenses 37 of the 102 lower-income occupations studied here. Its licensing laws rank as the 26th most burdensome because Indiana’s barriers to entry average $163 in fees, 323 days lost to education and experience, and approximately one exam. Indiana ranks as the 44th most broadly and onerously licensed state for lower-income workers, making it better than most but still leaving ample room for improvement.
Indiana licenses several occupations that are not licensed by other states, such as veterinary technicians (licensed by 36 states), auctioneers (30 states), sign language interpreters (22 states), taxi drivers and chauffeurs (16 states), and bartenders (13 states). Among those, sign language interpreters in Indiana face particularly steep burdens of more than four years of education, two exams and $725 in fees.
Indiana 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, in Indiana, it is harder to become a manicurist than it is to become an EMT. EMTs need only about 37 days (160 hours) of education, while manicurists need around 105 days (450 hours) of education. Indiana should consider whether this and other heavy licensing burdens can be reduced, repealed or—if government regulation is necessary—replaced with less restrictive regulatory alternatives.