63 out of 102 moderate-income occupations licensed
51st most burdensome licensing laws for moderate-income occupations
27th most extensively and onerously licensed state for moderate-income occupations
Nebraska’s licensing laws for lower-income occupations are the least burdensome in the nation. They require, on average, $76 in fees, 118 days of education and experience, and roughly one exam. However, because Nebraska licenses more lower-income occupations than average—63 of the 102 studied here—it is the 27th most broadly and onerously licensed state.
Nebraska licenses several occupations that are rarely licensed elsewhere, and it does so fairly onerously. For example, many states do not license title examiners (44) or bill collection agencies (20). Yet Nebraska title examiners face $825 in fees and one year of experience, compared to licensed-state averages of $355 and 104 days. And Nebraskans wishing to open a bill collection agency must demonstrate two years (730 days) of experience, compared to a licensed-state average of 159 days. Given that many states do not license these occupations at all, it is irrational that Nebraska licenses them so onerously.
Nebraska also imposes education requirements on some occupations that seem excessive compared to those for other occupations that may present greater risks to the public. For example, barbers and cosmetologists need 2,100 hours (approximately 490 days) of education, while EMTs need only 138 hours (approximately 32 days). In 2017, a bill was introduced that, among other things, would have pared back Nebraska’s requirements for barbers, cosmetologists and other occupations. The bill failed, but Nebraska should try again and consider whether such licenses can be repealed altogether or—if government regulation is demonstrably necessary—replaced with less restrictive alternatives such as inspections or voluntary certification.