Missouri’s occupational licensing laws for lower-income occupations are the 22nd most burdensome in the nation. Its laws require, on average, $179 in fees, 348 days of education and experience, and around one exam. Missouri licenses fewer lower-income occupations than average (37 of the 102 studied here), making it only the 43rd most broadly and onerously licensed state.

Missouri is the only state to license psychiatric aides, who work under the direct supervision of licensed nurses and other medical professionals to assist mentally impaired and emotionally disturbed patients. Missouri is also one of only five states to license psychiatric technicians, who are allowed to perform more skilled work than psychiatric aides. Making matters worse, Missouri licenses these rarely licensed occupations onerously, requiring two years (730 days) of experience for both.

Missouri also imposes education and fee burdens on some occupations that seem excessive compared to those for other occupations that may present greater risks to the public. For example, veterinary technicians, who are licensed by only 36 states, must complete two years (730 days) of education and pay $360 in fees to become licensed in Missouri. Meanwhile, EMTs—who provide emergency first aid to humans—need complete just 100 hours (roughly 23 days) of education and pay just $80 in fees. Missouri should reduce or repeal its illogically burdensome requirements for vet techs and other occupations, or—if government regulation is necessary—replace them with less restrictive regulatory alternatives.