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Commercial Applicators

What is a Commercial Pesticide Applicator license and when is it required?

  • The Commercial Pesticide Applicator license is required if you want to buy, apply, or supervise the application of a general use or restricted-use pesticide (RUP) without a fee and you do not qualify as a private applicator. (Private applicators buy, apply, or supervise the application of RUPs to their own land or to land they rent or lease or to the land, owned or leased, of their employer to produce an agricultural, horticultural, or forestry commodity.) Commercial applicators who wish to charge a fee for the application of any pesticide to the land of another person or business also must obtain a Pesticide Contractor license for each business location.
  • The Commercial Pesticide Applicator license does not permit you to charge a fee unless you also have a Pesticide Contractor license.
  • If you are a licensed Pesticide Contractor and apply any pesticide to the lands of another person or business, you must have at least one full-time Commercial Pesticide Applicator licensed at your business location. The Commercial Pesticide Applicator will supervise all applications made under the license.
  • Pesticide purchases must be confined to only those categories for which you are authorized by your license.

What are the specific requirements for obtaining a Commercial Pesticide Applicator license?

  • You must pass an examination on the “National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual Second Edition 2014” and an exam on the appropriate category manual(s) with a minimum score of 70%.
  • Georgia Technical Colleges administer the computerized core and category exams at several locations around Georgia numerous times during the course of a given year. You can select a location and date convenient to you.
  • Visit the Georgia Commercial Pesticide Applicator's Testing Information website for exam information and registration.
  • Order paper copies of the core and category manuals from the UGA Extension Publication Store under the Commercial Pesticide Applicator’s Safety Guides page. If you prefer to place your order by mail, download the Pesticide Applicator Study Material order form (PDF).
  • There are three online study guide courses that cover the core manual exam and are available if you prefer an online course to reading and studying from a paper manual. Each course covers approximately one-third of the “National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual Second Edition 2014” and includes quizzes for each chapter that allow you to assess whether or not you are prepared to pass the Core Manual Exam at your nearby Georgia Technical College. You may order one or more of the online study guide courses or category manual courses through the Georgia Professional Certifications storefront on the UGA Marketplace website by following these instructions for how to order them (PDF).
  • Currently, there are two study guide category courses available for commercial applicators. They include the Ornamental and Turf (Category 24) and the Mosquito Biology, Surveillance and Control (Category 41) study guides. Use the instructions in the how to order PDF by clicking on the “View items in these sub-categories:” tab.  Additional category study guides will be prepared once newly revised manuals are published.  New study guides will become available as they are completed.

How long does Commercial Pesticide Applicator license last and how do I renew it?

  • The Commercial Pesticide Applicator license is valid for five years. The cost of the license is $90 for each five-year renewal.
  • Commercial Pesticide Applicators must earn a required number of recertification credits every five years no later than 90 days before their license expires or be reexamined.
  • The number of recertification credits required depends on the category in which the Applicator is certified. See the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Pesticide office website for a table of the requirements for each category.
  • Recertification credits may be earned by attending education meetings and training courses that have been approved by the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Pesticide office.

A Pesticide Applicator Re-Certification Courses searchable database is available through the Georgia Department of Agriculture where you can search by type of license (Commercial or Private), license category, or course date.

Additional information from the Georgia Department of Agriculture for Licensed Pesticide Applicators about applying for a new license, renewing and/or updating an existing license, and much more can be found at the Kelly Solutions website.

For a printable information sheet, download and save Commercial Pesticide License Information (PDF).

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