License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
55 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
3rd most burdensome licensing laws
4th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
Nevada is among the top tier of most broadly and onerously licensed states, ranking fourth. The state requires a license for 55 of the 102 occupations studied, more than all but five other states. Nevada is the most expensive state in which to work in a licensed lower- and moderate-income occupation, with average fees of $505. It also requires an average of 601 days of education and experience and two exams, resulting in the third most burdensome licensing laws.
Nevada's ranking is heavily affected by its requirements on 15 construction contractor occupations. Aspiring contractors lose four years to an apprenticeship, $1,030 to licensing fees and must pass two exams. Nevada charges the most of any state for a contractor's license. Numerous states require no experience for these licenses, and still others do not license them at all.
In many occupations, Nevada has by far the most expensive licensing fees. For example, to become an alarm installer requires $1,036 in fees, whereas the national average is $230 for fire and $213 for security alarm installers. A license costs animal trainers $770 in fees, compared to the national average of only $93. Aspiring mobile home installers must pay $566 in fees; the average is only $336.
In a number of other cases, not only are the fees many times higher than other states, but the experience and education requirements are as well. Nevada is one of only four jurisdictions that license interior designers, requiring one exam, $250 in fees and six years of education or experience; meanwhile 47 states do not license interior designers. On average, the 21 states that license travel guides require $191 in fees and 58 days of education; Nevada requires $1,500 in fees and two years of education.
Nevada also imposes burdens that appear out-of-line with concerns about protecting public safety. Emergency medical technicians can earn a license with just about 26 days of training. This is far less training than required of barbers, mobile home installers, cosmetologists, makeup artists, skin care specialists, manicurists and massage therapists.
If Nevada wants to improve job prospects for workers, it could start by drastically lowering the barriers to entry and removing excess fees and needless education and experience requirements -- or remove unnecessary barriers all together.