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Pesticide, Certified Applicators & Registered Technicians

Private Pesticide Applicator

An applicator intends to purchase and/or apply restricted use pesticides for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity on land which is owned or rented by that person or their employer. To become a certified private applicator, testing is required; however, normally only a private examination is necessary.  Maintain: Private Applicator Pesticide Applicator Records, Tri-annual Fee $10

Additional testing is required if the applicator intends to use a restricted use fumigant.  In this case, the applicator must obtain a special permit by passing a written examination specifically related to the type of fumigation which will be made.   Private applicators are also required to obtain update training (six core and six category) credits at three-year intervals.  There is no charge for testing

Registered Pesticide Technician

Persons can be register with the Department of Agriculture as a Registered Pesticide Technician.  To become Registered Technician the business must submit the person name and birth date to the Department (Form API-414) which starts a minimum 30-day training period.  Training must be conducted by a Certified Applicator with at least 1-years experience and knowledge who works for the business entity.  Applications made by technicians are limited to the use of materials, methods, and equipment on which they have documented training.  Technicians must also be under the supervision of a certified applicator that can be on site within 5 hours if necessary.  Technicians are not transferable between businesses.

Commercial Registered Technician Fee, $30, annually
Public Registered Technician Fee - $20, annually

Certified Pesticide Applicator

To be eligible for certification, a person must pass two written examinations (core and a minimum of one category) and be employed by a pesticide application business.  Once exams have been successfully passed, that person has 12 months to apply for certification with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.  Currently there are 26 categories of commercial and public applicators.

Commercial Applicator Fee - $40, annually
Public Applicator Fee - $10, Tri-annually
Core Test Fee, $50
Category Test $10 each

To maintain certification, applicators must attend update training programs in core and appropriate category-specific topics.  Six core credits and up to ten category credits for each category in which the applicator is certified are required.  If the recertification credit requirements are not met by the specified date, the applicator's license will expire and that applicator will no longer be permitted to make pesticide applications until the license is reinstated.

Examinations are given through the PDA Regional Offices.  Dates and time are available at under Pesticide Programs-Certification Exam Locations.

Study Materials are sold by the Publications Distribution Center at Penn State University 1-877-345-0691.  More information on certification, business license requirements and study materials is available online at and direct links.

Certification Material Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator Certification Brochure

Certification Material Penn State PEP Study Packets

Accessing Recertification Update Meeting Information