Commercial Applicator


Current pesticide applicator certifications were extended until December 31, 2021. If your certifications expire between January 31, 2020-November 30, 2021, they were extended. 

You do not need temporary certification for categories that have been extended. Temporary certification is for new applicators or individuals seeking a category in addition to those they are currently certified in. To receive temporary certification, you must pass an online certification category exam hosted on the University of Wisconsin Pesticide Applicator Training (UW PAT) Pro​gram website; this temporary certification is valid until December 31, 2021.

When state and local restrictions allow for in-person certification exams, you will be able to obtain certification for the full five-year period by passing the category exam. 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 when in-person testing resumes.

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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