N.C. retains onerous occupational licensing burden, study says

Carolina Journal – North Carolina has some of the country’s broadest and most onerous licensing laws, resulting in a ranking of 17th-worst, a new report says.

The second edition of the Institute for Justice’s License to Work study looks at the occupational licensing laws of 102 lower-income jobs across the United States.

North Carolina ranks 41st for the most burdensome licensing laws. But because it licenses 67 of the 102 lower-income jobs surveyed, North Carolina jumps to the nation’s 17th most onerously licensed state.

North Carolina — on average — requires $199 in fees, 234 days of education and experience, and about one exam to enter into a number of job fields. Barbers, sign language interpreters, cosmetologists, opticians, and athletic trainers are just a few of the jobs requiring licenses.

A number of jobs regulated by occupational licensing aren’t even strongly connected to public safety, as IJ notes. Becoming a barber in North Carolina requires $270 in fees, 722 days for education and experience, and three separate exams. On the other hand, EMTs require only 43 days — 166 hours of education and 24 hours of experience — and two exams to become licensed.

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