License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
55 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
45th most burdensome licensing laws
18th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Only four states license more occupations than Mississippi, which has erected barriers to entry in 55 of the 102 low- and middle-income occupations studied. That places Mississippi in the second tier of most broadly and onerously licensed states, ranking 18th.
Compared to other states, Mississippi's licensing burdens are fairly light, ranking 45th. However, the state places larger burdens on aspirants to a number of occupations. Every state licenses pest control applicators and vegetation pesticide handlers, but Mississippi's laws are among the most onerous -- two years education compared to national averages of 191 days and 93 days in training, respectively. Some 37 states for pest control applicators and 42 states for vegetation pesticide handlers require 10 hours or less of training prior to licensure.
Of the 55 occupations, 20 are licensed in fewer than half of the other states. Mississippi is one of only 10 states to license landscape contractors, and its licensing requirements are onerous -- more than two years lost to education and experience. Seven states that license landscape workers have zero training requirements. Fire alarm installers also face above average education and experience requirements -- two years versus a national average of 486 days. Mississippi licenses nearly all of the construction trades studied. The lack of an education and experience requirements to obtain a license to work in construction accounts for some of Mississippi's good burden ranking. However, aspiring construction workers still must pass two exams and pay a fee.
Mississippi could ease the path to employment by reducing or eliminating such onerous barriers to entry.