According to a new study, Alabama has the third-highest occupational licensing burden in the country.

According to the Archbridge Institute's 2023 State Occupational Licensing Index, Alabama is behind only Arkansas and Texas in the nation for its occupational licensing burden.

The study defines a state's occupational licensing burden by its total barriers to employment and the number of licenses required to work in the state. Alabama has 206 barriers to employment and 169 occupational licenses, which are both "above the regional and national averages," according to the study.

According to the study, Alabama's "most uniquely licensed occupations are Drama/Movement Therapist and Lead Abatement Contractor, which are licensed in two states."

The authors define a barrier to employment as something that "exists when the tasks associated with an occupational title are restricted by an occupational license to perform those tasks." The occupation itself may not have a specific license, but it is a crime to perform the associated tasks without meeting entry requirements, according to the study.

An occupational license is "anything beyond a registration fee that is not voluntary for an occupational title" and includes "required education or degrees, exams, apprenticeships, experience or on-the-job training, and continuing education."

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