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Descriptions of pesticide licenses

Do I need a license?

Licensing is needed when:
  1. buying or applying restricted-use pesticides
  2. applying pesticides (including herbicides) to someone else's property (for information on aerial pesticide applications, see "Aerial pesticide applicator responsibilities in Oregon"​)
  3. applying pesticides as a public employee while using a fuel or electric-powered sprayer or spreader.
  4. applying pesticides on school property.
  5. giving advice on how to use a restricted-use pesticide or which restricted-use pesticide will work best.
Licensing is NOT needed when:
  1. applying a pesticide on a person's owned or leased property (no restricted-use pesticide applications)
  2. applying a pesticide on property owned or leased by an employer while acting as an employee (no restricted-use pesticide applications)
  3. giving advice on general-use pesticides
  4. performing structural pest inspections for individuals buying or selling a home (see special situations page)
  5. applying a pesticide while doing lawn maintenance if all of the following are true:
  • Applications are to small residential lawns or gardens only - no applications to commercial properties.
  • Not using restricted-use pesticides.
  • Not using fuel or electric-powered sprayers or spreaders.
  • The use of pesticides is not stated in advertisements, contracts or invoices.

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Commercial applicator license

  • Allows you to use pesticides (general or restricted-use) on someone else's property if employed by a company with the commercial operator license.
  • Allows you to use restricted-use pesticides on your own (or your employer's) non-agricultural land.
  • Allows you to supervise a licensed pesticide trainee or apprentice.
  • Allows you to tell someone how to use a restricted-use pesticide or which restricted-use pesticide will work best (limited to categories on your license).
  • Tests required - Laws & safety and at least one category

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Commercial operator license

  • Allows a business to use pesticides on someone else's property.
  • For corporations, at least one employee must be licensed as a commercial pesticide applicator.
  • For sole proprietors or partnerships, the owner or at least one partner must be licensed as a commercial pesticide applicator.
  • Categories must match the type of pesticide work that will be done.
  • The business must show proof of insurance for pesticide applications.
  • This license cannot be issued to a public agency.
  • Test required - None.

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Consultant license

  • Allows you to tell someone how to use a restricted-use pesticide or which restricted-use pesticide will work best.
  • The demonstration and research option allows you to create demonstration plots or do research on pesticides.
  • If you have a pesticide consultant license, you may obtain the private pesticide applicator license without passing the private pesticide applicator test.
  • Test required - Consultant.

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Dealer license

  • Allows a business to sell restricted-use pesticides to licensed pesticide users.
  • Test required - None.

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Private applicator license

  • Allows you to use restricted-use pesticides on agricultural land, including farmland, ranches, forestland, nurseries, and orchards.
  • Allows you to supervise a co-worker or employee applying a restricted-use pesticide.
  • One license covers all agricultural use (no categories).
  • Test required - Private pesticide applicator.

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Public applicator license

  • You must work for a state or federal agency, county, city, municipality, irrigation district, railroad, public utility, telephone company, school, or other public employer.
  • Allows you to use restricted-use pesticides for your public employer.
  • Allows you to use fuel or electric-powered sprayers or spreaders.
  • Categories must match the type of pesticide work that will be done.
  • Allows you to tell someone how to use restricted-use pesticide or which restricted-use pesticide will work best (limited to categories on your license).
  • May supervise a licensed pesticide trainee or apprentice.
  • Tests required - Laws & safety and at least one category.

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Trainee licenses

Immediately supervised pesticide trainee license

  • Allows you to use pesticides while supervised by a licensed commercial or public pesticide applicator.
  • Supervisor must be on site at all times during spraying with the trainee.
  • Must apply pesticides only in the same category as those authorized by the supervisor's license.
  • Test required - None.
Pesticide apprentice license
  • Allows you to use pesticides while supervised by a licensed commercial or public pesticide applicator.
  • Supervisor must be able to help the trainee by phone or radio during the application.
  • Supervisor does not need to be on site.
  • Must apply pesticides only in the same category as those authorized by the supervisor's license.
  • Apprentice must attend eight (8) hours of continuing education classes each year, four (4) Core and four (4) Other to renew the Apprentice license - or retake the required test. 
  • Test required - Laws and Safety.

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