Commercial Applicator

​Commercial pesticide applicators ​​are:​

  • For-hire: applicators who are owners or employees who apply pesticides for pesticide application businesses.
    • For-hire applicators need three things before making a commercial application:
      1. ​Certification in a specific category (this gets renewed every five years).
      2. Individual Commercial Applicators License (ICAL) (this gets renewed annually, January 1-December 31).
      3. Work for or obtain a Pesticide Business License (PBL) (this gets renewed annually, January 1-December 31).
​​              YOU CANNOT MAKE ANY APPLICATIONS UNTIL YOU HAVE ALL THREE OF THESE                                        REQUIREMENTS.
  • Not-for-hire: applicators who apply Restricted Use pesticides only on property they or their employer owns or controls. More examples of Not-for-hire applicators include but are not limited to:​​

    • ​​​Someone who is a volunteer applying restricted use pesticides to property owned or controlled by the group they are volunteering for (e.g., a person using pesticides to control an invasive plant in a prairie.)​​​

  • Government: applicators who apply Restricted Use pesticides to property owned/controlled at a federal, state, county, or local level. (e.g., city/county workers, DNR employees, park rangers, etc.) ​​

  • Education: applicators who apply pesticides in schools (e.g., school maintenance workers or grounds keeper). For more information on applying pesticides in schools check out our School IPM Page.​​​

Steps to Certification and L​​icensing:


There are 20 categories for commercial certification. You may need more than one depending on the work you do.

​Y​ou CANNOT take the exam/or attend a training without receiving your PAT number. If you lost the slip, or did not receive one, you will need to contact the UW PAT Program.

  • Once you have received your training material and are ready to take the exam, you have three options:

    1. ​You can take the paper-based test (free) at one of our proctored locations found here:

    2. You can take a computer-based test with Pearson Vue for a convenience fee of $45. There are 54 technical colleges that you can choose from to take this exam or if you have all the requirements, this can be taken from your home/office. If you are interested with this option you can follow this link:

    3. You can attend a training the UW PAT puts on and take the exam after*​. You can sign up for the training To find a schedule of trainings go here: Commercial Applicator Training / Review Sessions – University of Wisconsin Pesticide Applicator Training Program. ​​​​

*​​​This option is only available for certain times of the year.

  • ​Any of the testing options grants you five years of certification.  ​​



Licenses are valid for one year from January 1 - December 31.

Apply for your Individual Commercial Applicators License (ICAL) by paper or online through MyDATCP. ​

​​Note: If you are applying online, you ne​ed to choose the correct link for your situation - whether you are working commercially for hire or not for hire, for a government agency, or for an educational institution.​​

You will also need to apply for your Pesticide Business License if you own your own application business, please see our Pesticide Business Page for more information. ​​

Applying pesticides in Indian country:

In addition to state certification and licensing, you need federal certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to apply restricted-use pesticides in Indian cou​ntry. After receiving certification in a Wisconsin category, you must apply to the EPA for certification, which will be based on the Wisconsin category.  

EPA information and application form for Indian country certification

Have additional questions? Check out our FAQ page.​​​​

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