License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing


License required in 50 states
65th most burdensome licensing requirements
14th most heavily regulated occupation

(Last updated April 24, 2012)


Manicurists and pedicurists, also known as nail technicians, clean and shape customers' fingernails and toenails and may polish or decorate nails.


Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia require a license to work as a manicurist; only Connecticut does not. On average, these laws cost aspiring manicurists 87 days in education and training and $91 in fees and require them to take two exams -- the 65th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied. However, because manicurists are licensed so widely, it ranks as the 14th most widely and onerously licensed occupation.

License requirements for manicurists vary widely across states. Alabama has the most burdensome requirements at 163 days lost to education and training, two exams and $135 in fees, while another 13 states require 100 days or more. At the other end of the spectrum, Iowa requires only nine days and one exam and Alaska only about three days and two exams.

(Last updated May 1, 2012)

State Licensing Requirements

Burden RankStateFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age

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