Maine licenses 45 of the 102 lower-income occupations studied here. Its laws are the 31st most burdensome, requiring an average of $188 in fees, 298 days of education and experience, and around one exam. It ranks as the 33rd most broadly and onerously licensed, placing it among the lower half of states but still leaving plenty of room for improvement.
Maine licenses several occupations that are not licensed by other states. For example, three of Maine’s licensed occupations are licensed by only one other state each: electrical helpers, dietetic technicians and log scalers. The latter two occupations also face fairly burdensome requirements. Dietetic technicians must pay $171 in fees, demonstrate about 835 days of education and experience (comprising two years of education and 450 hours of experience), and pass one exam. Meanwhile, log scalers must pay a $25 fee, demonstrate 730 days (two years) of experience and pass one exam.
Maine also imposes more onerous burdens on some occupations than on others that may present greater risks to the public. For example, barbers and cosmetologists must complete 1,500 hours (around 350 days) of education to become licensed. That is over 13 times the hours required to obtain Maine’s EMT license and begin working as an emergency first responder (111 hours, or about 26 days). Maine could improve employment prospects in the state by reducing or repealing heavy licensing burdens for barbers, cosmetologists and many other occupations, or—if government regulation is necessary—by replacing them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives such as inspections or voluntary certification.