License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
71 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
43rd most burdensome licensing laws
8th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Louisiana licenses more lower-income occupations than any other state -- 71. For that reason, it is in the top tier of most broadly and onerously licensed states, ranking eighth. It imposes less onerous burdens than most states -- on average, $214 in fees, 163 days of education and experience and one exam -- ranking 43rd.
Of the 71 occupations licensed in Louisiana, 29 are licensed in fewer than half of the other states. These occupations could be targets for reform. For example, Louisiana is the only state that licenses florists. Until 2010, aspiring florists had to pass a subjective test judged by other already licensed florists with a vested interest in limiting potential competition. That test was removed, but another test remains. Louisiana is also one of only four jurisdictions that require interior designers to spend six years in school and apprenticing and to pass an exam.
Aspiring workers in 59 of Louisiana's licensed occupations must pass as least one exam. Others face particularly onerous education/ experience requirements. For instance, Louisiana's licensing of pest control workers is the second most burdensome of all the states, requiring workers to obtain four years of education and experience compared to a national average of just over six months. Louisiana is one of only three states that license home entertainment installers. Applicants must obtain two years of education and experience and pass two exams; the other states have no training requirements. Louisiana is also one of only 12 states to license pharmacy technicians. Eight of those states have no training requirements. Aspiring Louisiana pharmacy techs, however, lose 140 days to education and experience requirements.
Like Louisiana's interior design law, many other licensing burdens appear disconnected from health and safety concerns. Barbers and cosmetologists, for example, are required to train for 350 days prior to licensure -- more than eight times the mandated training for emergency medical technicians.
Louisiana could improve its ranking -- and employment opportunities for its residents -- by reducing such overly burdensome requirements and eliminating needless licensing schemes.