License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
28 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
22nd most burdensome licensing laws
48th most extensively and onerously licensed state
(Last updated April 24, 2012)
South Dakota is the 48th most broadly and onerously licensed state, just above Indiana, Colorado and Wyoming. However, it has the 22nd most burdensome licensing laws, requiring, on average, $166 in fees, 271 days -- about nine months -- of education and experience and two exams. The state only licenses 28 of the 102 low- to moderate-income occupations studied, which accounts for its low overall ranking.
The state has several occupations with above-average barriers to entry. For example, a cosmetologist must pay $80 in fees, spend 490 days in training and pass three exams -- the most burdensome requirements for cosmetologists in the nation. Title examiners are licensed in only six states at an average fee of $269, but South Dakota charges $800 in fees. Aspiring mobile home installers lose two years to experience in South Dakota, while the average in other states is 245 days. Barbers lose nearly two years to education and experience while the national average is just 416 days.
Though South Dakota is among the better states in terms of licensing, it could help its low- to moderate-income workers with job prospects by reducing or removing such barriers.