License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
27 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
15th most burdensome licensing laws
45th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Kentucky licenses just 27 of the 102 occupations studied, fewer than any state but Wyoming. That accounts for its ranking as the 45th most broadly and onerously licensed state. However, Kentucky's licensing laws impose burdens that are well above average -- the 15th most burdensome in the nation. Kentucky requires, on average, $230 in fees, 336 days of education and training and two exams to obtain a license in these 27 occupations.
Kentucky's licensing requirements for several occupations are above-average. Of the 33 states that license auctioneers, Kentucky's laws are the third most stringent, requiring a full two years of experience compared to a national average of just about three months. Of the 50 states that license skin care specialists, Kentucky's licensing laws are the third most restrictive -- 233 days, or nearly eight months, of training compared to a national average of about four-and-a half months. Barbers in Kentucky also face above average restrictions -- 620 days compared to a national average of 416 days of required education and experience.
Requirements like these that far outstrip those of other states are candidates for reform, as are occupations whose entry restrictions are overly burdensome compared to others. For example, in Kentucky it takes four times as much training -- 140 days -- to become a manicurist or massage therapist as it does to become an emergency medical technician.