License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
31 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
35th most burdensome licensing laws
47th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Missouri licenses 31 of the 102 occupations studied in this report, fewer than most, yet one-third of those occupations are also licensed by fewer than half of the other states. That suggests many states do just fine without licensing many of the occupations Missouri does license.
Missouri's licensing laws are also less burdensome than most, ranking 35th, but still pose substantial barriers to entry that could be reduced. The average requirements for the state's low- to moderate income occupations are $100 in fees, 220 days lost to education and experience -- more than seven months -- and one exam.
Though Missouri is among the least broadly and onerously licensed states, it could remove or lower the burdens to occupations it currently licenses and make jobs more accessible for its low-income workers. For example, Missouri is one of only two states that license psychiatric aides, requiring seven months of experience; 48 states and the District of Columbia impose no barriers on aspiring psychiatric aides at all. The state also imposes above-average experience requirements for pest control applicators, requiring two years, while the national average is 191 days; 32 states require no experience.
At the same time, Missouri imposes much higher burdens on some occupations than others with a more direct link to public safety. It takes only about 23 days of training to become an emergency medical technician, for example, but 117 to earn a license as a massage therapist, 175 for a skin care specialist license and 350 for cosmetologist and barber licenses.