Licensing

Studying for exams

All exams are based on the recommended study materials listed below. Training classes are not required in order to sit for exams, however, many colleges and universities provide pre-license training classes designed to help test takers study for pesticide exams. If you are interested in a pre-license training class, you should contact your local college or university for classes that may be offered.

Agricult​ure

Study materials and outlines are presented below for the five agriculture category exams. These are category exams for the Commercial Pesticide Applicator License or the Public Pesticide Applicator License. Exams covered in this section will not count towards Private Pesticide Applicator certification, which is required for restricted-use pesticide use in agricultural production on land owned or rented by the applicator.

Agriculture: Herbicide

This category exam covers the use of herbicides on agricultural lands (includes Christmas tree plantations and commercial nurseries).

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Agriculture: Insecticide/Fungicide

This category exam covers the use of insecticides, fungicides or nematicides on agricultural lands (includes Christmas tree plantations and commercial nurseries).

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Agriculture: Livestock Pest

This category exam covers the use of pesticides for the control of pests, such as insects, mites and ticks on livestock.

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Agriculture: Soil Fumigation II

This is a category exam for the Commercial Pesticide Applicator License or​ the Public Pesticide Applicator License. It covers the use of soil applied fumigants on agricultural lands (includes Christmas tree plantations and commercial nurseries).

Agriculture: Vertebrate Pests

This is a category exam for the Commercial Pesticide Applicator License or the Public Pesticide Applicator License. It covers the use of pesticides in agricultural areas for the control of vertebrate pests other than livestock predators.

​​​Aquatic

This is a category exam for the Commercial Pesticide Applicator License or the Public Pesticide Applicator License. It covers the use of pesticides in treating standing or running water.​

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​​Consultant

This is a stand-alone exam. Upon successful completion, certification for the Pesticide Consultant License is granted. This license is required of individuals who provide technical advice to those who use restricted-use pesticides. Typically individuals such as county extension agents, chemical company technical and sales representatives, food processor field representatives and representatives of agricultural supply outlets may need to hold this license.  Consultants may add the Demonstration and Research category to their license upon successful completion of the Demonstration and Research exam.
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​Demonstration and research

This is a category exam for the Consultant License, Commercial Pesticide Applicator License or the Public Pesticide Applicator License. It covers the use of pesticides for demonstrations and pesticide research plots.

​​​Forest

This is a category exam for the Commercial Pesticide Applicator License or the Public Pesticide Applicator License. It covers the use of pesticides on forest lands or in the production of forest crops. (Does not include Christmas tree plantations or commercial nurseries.) 

Industrial, institutional, health, and structural​​​

Study materials and outlines are presented below for the five IIHS category exams. These are category exams for the Commercial Pesticide Applicator License or the Public Pesticide Applicator License. ​

IIHS: General

The use of pesticides, other than fumigants, in or around structures, institutions and industrial facilities, or structures with processed or manufactured products for the control of pests other than wood destroying pests.
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IIHS: Moss Control

The use of pesticides for the control of moss and algae on structures.
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IIHS: Space Fumigation

The use of fumigants in confined areas or structures for the control of pests, (except soil fumigants and fumigants used in field treatment of utility poles, pilings, bridge supports, etc.). 

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IIHS: Structural

The use of pesticides, other than fumigants, in or around structures for the control of wood-destroying pests (i.e., termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, etc.).
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​IIHS: Wood Treatment

The use of pesticides to treat wood products (i.e., lumber, poles, ties, etc.) before their use in construction, or to field treat utility poles, pilings, bridge supports and similar elements of construction with fumigants or other pesticides.​

Laws and safety

This exam is required for most Commercial Pesticide Applicator and Public Pesticide Applicator certifications, as well as for the Apprentice License.  In addition to passing the Laws and Safety exam, at least one category exam is required. Note: this exam is not required for marine fouling organism and regulatory predator category certifications. Note: this exam is not required for consultants, private pesticide applicators or pesticide trainees.​

Marine fouling organism

The use of marine anti-fouling paints or coatings on boat or ship hulls or other parts of boats or ships. (Commercial or Public Applicator Certification can be obtained without the Laws and Safety exam.)
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Ornamental and turf​

Study materials and outlines are presented below for the two ornamental and turf category exams. These are category exams for the Commercial Pesticide Applicator License or the Public Pesticide Applicator License.

Ornamental and turf: Herbicide

The use of pesticides in the establishment and maintenance of ornamental plants and turf. (Does not include Christmas tree plantations, commercial nurseries, sod farms, or forests.)
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Ornamental and turf: Insecticide/Fungicide

The use of insecticides and fungicides in the establishment and maintenance of ornamental plants and turf. (Does not include Christmas tree plantations, commercial nurseries, sod farms or forests).​
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Private

This is a stand-alone exam. Upon successful completion, certification for the Private Pesticide Applicator License is granted. This license is required of individuals who use or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides on land in agricultural production that is owned, leased, or rented by them or their employer. This includes farm and ranch land, rangeland, forest land, nurseries, Christmas trees, orchards and other properties on which agricultural crops or commodities are produced.
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Public health

This is a category exam for the Commercial Pesticide Applicator License or the Public Pesticide Applicator License. It covers the use of pesticides for the control of any pest which may be harmful to the public health, including mosquito and other vectors.

Regulatory predator

Available to USDA APHIS Employees only. The use of pesticides for the control of livestock predators using the M-44 device. 

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Regulatory weed

Available to Public applicators only. The use of pesticides for the control of plants designated as noxious weeds.

Right-of-way

The use of pesticides in right-of-way areas, including road shoulders, utility lines and irrigation ditch banks.
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Seed treatment

The use of pesticides on seed.
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​Contact​​

Pesticides Program
Phone: 503-986-4635
Fax: 503-986-4735