In New Jersey, you must log more than 700 days of education and experience, pass an exam and pay more than $200 in fees before earning your license to become...

A locksmith.

Hairdresser Cutting Hair
Lumina Stock, ThinkStock

According to a report from the Institute for Justice, which fights to limit the scope of government power, New Jersey ranks as having the 16th-most burdensome occupational licensing laws in the country.

New Jersey reportedly requires the government's permission to work in 54 of the 102 lower-income occupational licenses examined in the report. The average worker pays $224 in fees and loses more than 400 days to education and experience requirements, the report states.

Only 13 other states require a government license to become a locksmith, according to the report. New Jersey is one of just seven states requiring a license to become an animal control officer and one of 16 states in which a government license is needed to land a job as a taxi driver or chauffeur.

"These are things we have to roll back in order to let people just go to work," said Erica Jedynak, New Jersey State Director of Americans for Prosperity. "We're not against regulation and making sure consumers are protected, but there's a scale of this."

Jedynak said in today's age of review sites such as Yelp and Angie's List, consumers can easily find the best vendor or business professional for their needs.

In June, AFP-NJ hosted a rally to call on legislators to eliminate license requirements for hair braiders. In order to be licensed, one must spend 1,200 hours at a cosmetology school that doesn't typically include hair braiding in the curriculum. The group has helped to craft current bills in the Legislature that roll back license requirements for interior designers, milk samplers, and certain hair salon professions.

"For us it's about reducing and removing the barriers to opportunity, so more people can live their version of the American dream and provide for their families," Jedynak said.

The report also determined New Jersey imposes burdens on some occupations that seem excessive when compared to the requirements for other occupations that may present a greater public risk. Education and experience requirements for barbers (roughly 210 days) and cosmetologists (roughly 280 days), for example, are much higher than the requirements for EMTs (roughly 27 days).

More from New Jersey 101.5:

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM