Commercial Applicator


  • In-person testing has resumed: Pesticide applicator in-person exams have resumed at the Madison, Green Bay, Wausau, Eau Claire, Spooner, and Waukesha locations.​ ​Sign up for an exam at Passing the in-person certification exam will grant you certification for the full five-year period.​

  • Retesting with temporary certification number: If you have a temporary certification number ending with "T" you will not need to purchase additional training material from UW PAT to test in person; the training material purchased for your temporary certification will be honored for your in-person testing.

Commercial pesticide applicators are:​

  • For-hire applicators who are owners or employees who apply pesticides for pesticide application businesses 

  • Not-for-hire owners or employees who apply non-agricultural pesticides to their own land or buildings

Steps to licensing:

  • Buy training materials and complete training from University of Wisconsin-Extension
  • Get certified by passing a closed-book exam administered by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; schedule an exam here
  • Apply for a license either online or by paper application (downloadable forms at right)


Certification is valid for 5 years. Licenses are valid for one year. Employees may get a 30-day license during their training period while they complete the certification process.

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

Certification categories

Online licensing

You can apply online or you can download a paper application. Links for both options are available at top right. Note that if you are applying online, you need 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.

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


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