The Terror of Unlicensed Interior Designers

The Patriot News has a short article about Pennsylvania lawmakers consider legislation to require interior designers to get a license with the state. To get a license, an interior designer would have to have a bachelor’s degree, two years of experience, and pass an exam. A quick read of the article summarizes the rent-seeking behind occupational licensing:

Some interior designers said they welcome the state regulations to distinguish themselves from decorators or other designers who have less formal training. …

Opponents of the idea say the qualifications to become licensed are too stringent and that there has been no public outcry to merit regulating designers. They also said studies done by several other states have not found unregulated interior design to be harmful to public safety or welfare.

That’s exactly it, occupation licensing isn’t driven by concern for public safety. After all, when was the last time you saw a rally to crack down on unlicensed interior designers, featuring protesters with ugly living rooms?

Rather, occupational licensing is done on the behest of those already in the industry to limit their competition and keep their wages or prices high.

Read more on professional licensing.