UGA Extension Office

Commercial Landscapers

Commercial Pesticide Applicator's License Information

Who needs a pesticide applicator license?

An individual must obtain the appropriate type of pesticide applicator license in order to purchase, use, or supervise the use of a restricted use pesticide, or any general use or restricted use pesticide when providing pesticide applications for a fee. A Commercial Applicator License in the appropriate category is required to purchase, use, or supervise the use of restricted use pesticides on your property or the property of your employer. In order to provide pesticide applications of any type of pesticide, whether general use or restricted use, to the property of another person, and collect a fee for these services, both a Commercial Applicator License and a Pesticide Contractor License are required.

How do I obtain a Commercial Applicator license?

In order to obtain a commercial applicator license, you must pass the commercial applicator examination provided by the Georgia Technical Colleges. This computerized exam is administered at several locations around the state numerous times during the course of a given year. Please visit to learn more about our commercial examination. You can select a location and date that is convenient for you. Simply follow the instructions at the site to register for the exam. Please note that you will need to obtain study materials form the University of Georgia (material pricing varies). Ordering information is also located on the web site. A $45 exam fee will be charged by the Technical Colleges. Most colleges accept checks, credit cards or money orders. Once you pass the exam, you will need to mail in a check or money order in the amount of $90 made payable to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Individuals who wish to obtain a commercial applicator license must pass the general standards examination, as well as at least one major category examination with a score of 70%. The general standards exam is designed to test for general knowledge on the use of pesticides, while the category examinations are more specific to particular types of pesticide application. Please review the Rules of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Use and Application, Chapter 40-21-2, Categories for Certified Applicators, to determine the appropriate category for the type of pesticide applications you will be making. Rules of Georgia Pesticide Use and Application Act of 1976 After you take and pass the commercial examination, test scores must sent into the GA Department of Agriculture office. Your license will be mailed to you within 2 weeks as long as all required documents and fee’s are submitted.

Do I need a Pesticide Contractor's license, and if so, how do I obtain a Pesticide Contractor's license?

A Pesticide Contractor's license is required for any individual or company to engage in the business of contracting for the application of any type of general use or restricted use pesticide to the lands of another within this state. This license is required for each business (company branch office) location, and each business (company branch office) must maintain in full time employment during all periods of operation at least one certified commercial pesticide applicator. The fee for the Contractor's license is $55 per year, and this license must be renewed each year. The forms to obtain the Pesticide Contractor's license must be completed and sent to the Georgia Department of Agriculture Pesticide Division for review, along with a check or money order (no cash please) made payable to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Your Pesticide Contractor's license will be sent to you in the mail, and must be displayed in a prominent place in each business (company branch office) location.

Common Categories for Certified Pesticide Applicators

(24) Ornamental and Turf Pest Control This category includes commercial applicators using or supervising the use of restricted use pesticides, or State restricted pesticide uses, to control pests in the maintenance and production of ornamental trees, shrubs, flowers, and turf.

(41) Commercial Mosquito Control This category includes employees using or supervising the use of pesticides to control mosquitoes and/or mosquito larvae on public and private grounds in Georgia. Please visit for the full list.

Keeping Your License

A Commercial Pesticide Applicator License is valid for 5 years. During this time you must participate in continue education to obtain recertification hours. The number of hours needed in the 5 year duration is dependent on the category.  Houston County offers Green Team and Green Up trainings to obtain recertification hours. Please stay tuned for upcoming dates.

To search of trainings offered around the state please visit


Urban Ag Council

Representing the Turf and Commercial Landscape industry

Getting the Best of Pests

Offering Green Industy webinars and CEU Training Opportunites


UGA Extension Turfgrass

Professional Pest Control Recommendation

Ornamental Horticulture

UGA Extension Ornamental Horticluture

Commercial Edition Georgia Pest Management Handbook

The two-volume set is available for purchase. The set will include Volume 1, Volume 2, and an electronic copy (USB drive). The price also includes shipping and handling for orders within the 48 contiguous states.

Volume 1 includes recommendations for pest control on Field Corn; Cotton; Fruit & Pecans; Grain Millet; Grain Sorghum; Insecticidal Transgenic Crops (PIPs); Peanut; Soybean; Sugarcane; Sunflower; Tobacco; and Vegetables. Cultural, biological, physical, and other types of control are recommended where appropriate. Standard “front of book" material is also included.

Volume 2 includes recommendations for pest control on Animals; Alfalfa; Aquatic Environments; Canola; Clover; Humans (Mosquito Control); Non-Cropland; Ornamentals; Perennial Grass; Small Grains; Stored Products; Temporary Grazing; Trees; Turfgrass; Vertebrates (Wildlife Nuisance). Cultural, biological, physical, and other types of control are recommended where appropriate. Standard "front of book" material is also included.


The Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA) is a statewide trade association whose mission is to promote and advance the economic, lifestyle and environmental benefits of Georgia horticulture for our members, our families and our communities. Through education, legislative monitoring, certification exams, trade shows, and conferences to the horticulture-related industries in the State, the GGIA is deeply rooted in the industry and continues to grow for the betterment of the industry’s future. With members from the landscape trade, irrigation contractors, wholesale nursery growers, greenhouse operators, retail garden centers and allied sales companies, GGIA serves as an umbrella association for the entire horticulture industry.


Certification Opportunities

Certification programs are a means of verifying professional proficiency and developing professionalism in an industry. Landscape Contractors and Nurserymen are recognized for their knowledge and professionalism through the UGA administered Georgia Certified Landscape Professional (GCLP) and Georgia Certified Plant Professional (GCPP) Programs.

The GCLP and GCPP programs are self-study courses offered through the Center. The programs provide a means of advancing employee’s education and professional proficiency while minimizing time away from their business.

The certification programs were developed through a collaboration of green industry professional organizations, horticulture instructors, regulatory officials, and UGA faculty. Participants receive a 300-page reference manual, access to an on-line study course, and opportunities for hands-on reviews. There have been 1,700 graduates of the GCLP and GCPP program. They average 120 new applicants a year and currently there are 700 active applicants in process.