How to Get Certified as a Pesticide Applicator
Who needs to be certified to apply pesticides?
Federal law requires any person who applies or supervises the use of restricted use pesticides (RUPs) to be certified in accordance with EPA regulations and state, territorial and tribal laws. Pesticide applicators must know how to apply RUPs properly and effectively.
Learn more about private and commercial applicators.
How do I get certified?
State, territorial, and tribal authorities certify applicators. You must be certified in each state, territory, and area of Indian country where you make RUP applications. Check to see if they have requirements that are stricter than the federal requirements. For example, many states require all commercial applicators, not only those using RUPs, to be certified.
If you are going to apply RUPs in
- A state or territory, contact the certifying agency Exit for the requirements:
- Most states have a Pesticide Safety Education Program. Contact the Pesticide Safety Education Program Exit in your state or territory for information on training and study materials.
- Indian country, get information about how to get certified at Federal Certification to Apply Restricted Use Pesticides in Indian Country.
What is EPA’s role?
EPA regulations (40 CFR Part 171) establish minimum standards of competency for pesticide applicators that apply or supervise the use of RUPs. Information about federal certification standards for pesticide applicators.
EPA has oversight of state, territory, tribal and federal agency certification programs to ensure they meet certain standards.
EPA also helps mitigate the risks of pesticides, including RUPs, through pesticide registration efforts and ongoing registration review programs. Read more about the registration review program.
Where can I get additional information and resources?
- Federal certification standards
- EPA Plan for the Federal Certification of Applicators of Restricted Use Pesticides within Indian Country
- State and territory pesticide regulatory agencies Exit
- State and territory pesticide safety education programs Exit
- American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators (AAPSE) Exit