License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
48 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
29th most burdensome licensing laws
21st most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
North Carolina is the 21st most broadly and onerously licensed state, placing it in the second tier of states. The state requires a license for 48 of the 102 occupations, with an average barrier of $180 in fees, 250 days lost to education or experience and one exam -- the 29th most burdensome licensing laws. North Carolina's ranking is influenced by the number of occupations licensed as well as some of the more burdensome requirements.
A number of the licenses have higher-than-average barriers. For example, North Carolina requires almost two years to become a barber compared to the national average of just over a year -- 416 days. It takes three years to become a landscape contractor or a fire or security alarm installer, compared to national averages of one-and-a-half years or less. Aspiring pest control applicators lose two years to experience requirements, despite 32 states not requiring experience at all.
It takes just 39 days of training to earn a license as an emergency medical technician in North Carolina, but substantially more to become a licensed manicurist (70 days), massage therapist (117), skin care specialist (140), cosmetologist (350) or barber (722). Occupations like these, where training required does not line up with public safety concerns, make possible targets for reform, as well as occupations that are more difficult to enter in North Carolina than elsewhere.
North Carolina could open more prospects for its low- to moderate-income workers by lowering or eliminating such high and unnecessary barriers to entry in licensed occupations.