Skip to Content

Commercial Applicators

The commercial pesticide applicators license is required for individuals to purchase and use or supervise the use of a general use or restricted use pesticide and you do not qualify as a private applicator. 

Commercial applicators must pass a general standards exam as well as at least one category standards exam with a score of 70% or higher on each exam, and pesticide purchases must be confined to only those categories for which you are certified by your license.

To charge a fee for their service, commercial applicators must also hold a pesticide contractor license or work for a pesticide contractor. Certified commercial applicators who want to charge a fee for the application of any pesticide to the land of another person or business must also have a pesticide contractor’s license for each business location. Please see Pesticide Contractor’s License for more information.

For more information on obtaining a commercial license, continuing education, and additional training see the following details:

Preparing for a Commercial Applicators Exam

The UGA Pesticide Safety Education Program offers printed copies and online study guides for the general standards and specialty categories.

Printed Study Guides

To order printed copies of the general standards and category study guides, please visit the UGA Extension Publication store, below.

Notice: Purchasing a printed study guide does not give you access to the online study guide courses.

If you have a tax-exempt certificate, please e-mail the UGA Extension Publication Store (extstore@uga.edu) with what study guide(s) and quantity you need to place your order.

Online Study Guide Courses

Digital access to online versions of the general standards study guide course and select categories can be found on the Georgia Professional Certifications Storefront. Step-by-step course ordering instructions can be downloaded here:

How to purchase access to online Commercial Applicator Study Guide Courses (PDF)

The program currently offers interactive online study courses for the general standards portion of the exam as well as categories 21 (Agricultural Plant Pest Control), 22 (Agricultural Animal Pest Control), 24 (Ornamental and Turf Pest Control), 26 (Aquatic Pest Control) and 41 (Mosquito Biology, Surveillance, and Control). Links to purchase online study guides are below.

Notice: Course enrollment is granted during normal business hours each weekday by the program coordinator. Do not be alarmed if you do not receive your welcome e-mail immediately after purchase. Dr. Johnson will enroll students into the course during normal business hours each weekday, typically around 10:00am EST or 4:00pm EST.

Registering for a Commercial Applicators Exam

Georgia’s Technical Colleges administer the computerized general standards and category exams at several locations around Georgia throughout the year. For a map of current testing centers, visit the Testing Centers map.

Visit the Georgia Commercial Pesticide Applicator’s Testing Information website for exam information and registration:

Pesticide Contractor’s License

Certified commercial applicators who want to charge a fee for the application of any pesticide to the land of another person or business must also have a pesticide contractor’s license for each business location.

If you are a licensed pesticide contractor and you 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 contractors must pay an annual fee of $55 and demonstrate proof of financial responsibility. The application for a pesticide contractor’s license can be found at the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Division website: Pesticide Contractor License.

For more information on pesticide contractor’s licenses, please contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Division at (404) 656-4950 or at AgPest@agr.georgia.gov.

Commercial Applicator License Renewal and Recertification

A commercial pesticide applicator’s license is valid for 5 years after issue date.

6-10 hours of recertification credits must be earned no later than 90 days before your license expires to avoid re-taking the Commercial Pesticide Applicators Exam.

Recertification credits can be earned by attending certain growers’ meetings, Cooperative Extension presentations and short courses, or by viewing video recordings of those meetings or classes that have been pre-approved by the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Division for credit hours. Please see Continuing Education for information on in-person and online recertification opportunities.

Required Training to Use Paraquat

As required by EPA’s Paraquat Dichloride Human Health Mitigation Decision and amended paraquat dichloride labels, certified applicators must complete an EPA-approved training program before mixing, loading, and/or applying paraquat that is valid for 3 years after completion.

This includes (but is not limited to) any person transporting or storing opened pesticide containers, cleaning equipment, disposing of excess pesticides, spray mix, equipment wash waters, pesticide containers, and other materials containing paraquat.

The EPA-approved online training is available from the National Pesticide Safety Education Center: Paraquat Training. More information on EPA’s 2016 Paraquat Human Health Mitigation Decision can be found here: Paraquat Dichloride

Required Recordkeeping

In Georgia, state regulations require that certified commercial pesticide applicators maintain records of restricted use pesticide applications, and that pesticide contractors keep records of ALL pesticide applications, restricted and general use. These details are required by Georgia regulations:

  1. Date and time of application
  2. Name of person for whom applied
  3. Location of application site
  4. Crop or target to which applied
  5. Acreage, size of area treated, or total amount of pesticide applied
  6. Target pest for which applied
  7. Pesticide used and application rate
  8. Type of equipment used
  9. Name of applicator
  10. Notation of any unexpected occurrence at or during application, such as spillage, exposure of humans or non-target animals, drift, and any corrective or emergency action taken
  11. Names, concentrations, and quantities of all pesticides disposed and the manner of disposition

The UGA Pesticide Safety Education Program in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Agriculture has developed the Georgia Recordkeeping Manual: For All Categories of Commercial Pesticide Applicators for a nominal cost at the UGA Extension Publication store.

Aerial Applicators

The aerial applicator business must have a pesticide contractor’s license. All pilots must meet all FAA and Georgia aeronautical requirements and have a commercial pesticide applicator license with certifications in one or more categories 21–32 and 38, in addition to category 34. Mississippi and Georgia have a reciprocal agreement concerning aerial application, which includes plant agriculture, aquatic, forestry, and right-of-way categories.