License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
44 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
49th most burdensome licensing laws
35th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Montana ranks as the 35th most broadly and onerously licensed state. Of the 102 lower-income occupations studied, Montana licenses 44, and only two states have less burdensome licensing laws. These laws do impose real burdens on would-be workers, however: on average, $131 in fees, 133 days -- about four months -- lost to education and experience and one exam.
Montana's average burdens appear low largely because 22 of the occupations have no training or exam requirements, only fees and some minimum age or grade requirements. Still, several of Montana's licenses have excessive requirements compared to the other licensed states. Montana is one of only two states to require that school bus drivers possess a driver's license for five years prior to working. Most states have no such requirement; 22 states require a short course or training session instead, while eight states and the District of Columbia require only tests, fees and a minimum age. Aspiring crane operators lose 233 days to experience in Montana, while 12 of the 18 states that license crane operators do not require experience. Athletic trainers are charged $1,050 in fees, more than twice the national average of $443, and the most of all the states.
Montana could assist its workers by reducing or removing fees and other barriers in its licensed low- to moderate-income occupations.