Pesticides are those substances, which control, kill, or mitigate pest organisms, and include, but not limited to, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and rodenticides. The following information briefly explains the need for certification and the process of becoming a certified pesticide applicator.
Applicator certification can be divided into two groups:
- Commercial and Public Applicators
- Private Applicators
Certification as a commercial or public applicator is required if:
-A pesticide application is being made to a property not owned or rented by the applicator or their employer.
-Restricted use pesticides or fumigants are being applied on a property rented or owned by the applicator, but are not applied for the production of an agricultural crop.
-Pesticides are being applied to apartments of four or more units, golf courses, parks, playgrounds/athletic fields, swimming pools other than single family residences, education/research institutions, and schools including a public and private day care centers with seven or more children.
Certification as a private applicator is required if:
-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.
Currently there are 26 categories of commercial and public applicators. To be eligible for certification a person must pass two written examinations (core and 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.
In anticipation of employment by a pesticide application business, an individual may take and pass the examinations, and receive certification upon employment, provided the employment begins within 12 months of initial certification eligibility.
Study materials to prepare for the testing may be obtained through Penn State’s Publications Distribution Center. Arrangements for testing may be made locally through the PA Department of Agriculture regional offices.
To maintain certification, applicators must attend update-training programs in core and appropriate category-specific topics. Six core credits and up to 10 category credits for each category in which the applicator is certified.
Recertification credits are accumulated based on attendance at approved meetings and other appropriate training. Annual statements of credits, which outline the credit requirements and recertification renewal date, are mailed to each certified applicator.
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.
To obtain pesticide certification, applicators must accumulate update training at three-year intervals for which recertification credits have been approved. Regardless of the category of certification, each applicator must accumulate six core credits. The number of category specific credits required for recertification varies from category to category. Specific requirements are listed below.
For more information regarding recertification through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture contact:
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Plant Industry
Division of Health and Safety-Pesticides
Each CEU is $15.00.
The following courses and appropriate continuing education points have been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
- Beetles That Attack Wood: Identifying Beetles that will reinfest – 1 Credit (13-Fumigation, 1 credit 19-Wood Preservation Technology)
- Beetles That Attack Wood: Identifying Beetles that will not reinfest – 1 Credit (13-Fumigation, 1 credit 18-Demonstration & Research, 1 credit 19-Wood Preservation Technology)
- The Eastern Subterranean Termite – 1 Credit (12-Wood Destroying Pest Control, 1 credit 18-Demonstration & Research)
- Environmental Protection – 1 Credit (00-Core)
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Its Role in Pesticide Application – 1 Credit (00-Core)
- Facets of IPM in Field Crops – 1 Credit (00 – Core)
- The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) – 1 Credit (00 – Core)
- Identifying Cockroaches In and Around the Home – 1 Credit (11-Household Pest Control, 1 credit 18-Demonstration & Research, 1 credit 23-Park Pest Control)
- Life History and Habits of Carpenter Ants – 1 Credit (11-Household Pest Control, 1 credit 12-Wood Destroying Pest, 1 credit 18-Demonstration & Research )
- Managing Pesticide Drift – 1 Credit (00-Core)
- Pesticide Families – 1 Credit – (00-Core)
- Principles of IPM in Field Crops – 1 Credit (00 – Core)
- Principles of Pest Control on Lawns and Turf – 1 Credit (07-Lawn & Turf, 1 credit 18-Demonstration & Research, 1 credit 23-Park Pest Control)
- Recognition and Control of Some Small Vertebrate Pests Small Mammals – 1 Credit (11-Household Pest Control, 1 credit 15-Public Health – Vertebrate Pest, 1 credit 18-Demonstration & Research)
- Sucking Pests of Ornamental Shrubs – 1 Credit (06-Ornamental & Shade Trees, 1 credit 18-Demonstration & Research, 1 credit 23-Park Pest Control)
- The Greenbug – 1 Credit (01-Agronomic Crops, 1 credit 06-Ornamental & Shade Trees, 1 credit 18-Demonstration & Research, 1 credit PC-Private Category) NEW!