Commercial Pesticide Applicator
Part 1. General Information
Pesticide Applicator Certification is designed
to demonstrate a certain level of competency by pesticide users
on the safe use of pesticides. Users of pesticides are classified
as either private applicators or commercial applicators.
PRIVATE APPLICATOR - any person who uses,
or supervises the use, of pesticides for the purpose of raising
an agricultural commodity. The application can be done
on land owned or rented by the applicator or the applicator's
employer. Examples of private applicators are dairy farmers,
vegetable or fruit growers, greenhouse growers, ranchers, nurserymen,
and home gardeners. Request a private exam application if your
occupation requires private certification.
COMMERCIAL APPLICATOR - any person who
applies pesticides for non-agricultural purposes. Any
person who uses, or supervises the use, of pesticides on a "for
hire" basis.* Also, any person who applies pesticides as
part of his job with any governmental agency. Examples of commercial
applicators are those who work for exterminators; landscapers;
tree services; aerial applicators; weed control firms; pet groomers;
apartments, motels, nursing homes, restaurants, etc. who do
their own pest control work; and governmental agencies such
as mosquito extermination commissions, public schools, Departments
of Public Works, Departments of Health, the DOT, etc.
*If you apply pesticides "for hire"
in New Jersey, State law requires that your business obtain
Applicator Business License. The definition of a Pesticide
Applicator Business is a business (or person) who, either
wholly or in part, holds himself out for hire to apply pesticides.
Examples are: pet groomers, exterminators, landscapers, tree
services, aerial applicators, etc. This Pesticide Applicator
Business License is in addition to your Certified Pesticide
Part 2. Commercial Applicator Certification
Certification is accomplished by passing pesticide
applicator certification exams. Everyone must pass the basic
"Core" certification exam. This exam is based on the Pesticide
Applicator Training Manual - Core. To be eligible to take
the Core exam, the applicant shall submit proof of completion
of a Department approved Basic
Pesticide Training Course (see Notice).
The course shall provide a working knowledge of the following:
proper use of application equipment, potential hazards involved
in applying pesticides, instructions for the mixing of pesticides,
protective clothing and equipment, applicable State and Federal
pesticide laws and regulations, interpretation of pesticide
labels and understanding integrated pest management. Proof of
course completion must be submitted with the Core Certification
Exam application form.
In addition to the Core exam, one or more "Category"
certification exams must be passed. The Category exams needed
depend on the type of pest control that will be done. To
be eligible to take a Category exam, the applicant must complete
a minimum of 40 hours of "on-the-job training" (OJT) for each
category applied for. By definition, 40 hours of on-the-job
training shall consist of a minimum number of separate applications,
as specified in the following table. Certification in Category
10 and 13 is exempt from the category training requirements.
Certification in Category 11 requires training in aerial only.
Proof of the required training in Category 11 shall be submitted
with the exam application form.
To submit the 40 hours of OJT information, indicate
on the "Category Training Verification Form" the following
Forty hours of OJT is required if it is
available to you. Presently, you may take training courses
3A, 3B, 7A and 7B (see Notice)
in lieu of the 40 hours of OJT, if it is not available to you.
For other categories, an exemption is available. Some of the
situations that would qualify for this exemption include a person
who is starting their own business, or someone working for an
apartment complex, school or government agency and where there
is no Certified Pesticide Applicator currently employed to give
the training. To apply for the exemption, indicate on the Category
Training Verification Form why the 40 hours of OJT is
not available to you and submit along with the exam application
form. You may also sign an affidavit stating that you have at least one year of work experience in
the categories you are applying for. Submit the signed affidavit
along with the exam application.
1. Check the yes block and fill in the category
2. Enter the applicant's name, signature and date;
3. Complete the trainer's name, signature and date;
4. Submit the "Category Training Verification Form"
with the exam application form.
Categories Available and Minimum Number of
Applications to beWitnessed or Performed:
|Category of Work
Minimum Number of
|Category 1A - Plant
|Category 1B - Animals
|Category 2 - Forest pest control
|Category 3A - Ornamental
|Category 3B - Turf
|Category 3C - Interior plantscaping
|Category 4 - Seed treatment
|Category 5 - Aquatic pest control
|Category 6B - Right of Way
|Category 7A - General and household
|Category 7B - Termites &
other wood destroying insects
|Category 7C - Fumigation pest
|Category 7D - Food manufacturing
|Category 7E - Wood preserving
|Category 7F - Antifoulants
|Category 8A - General Public
|Category 8B - Mosquito control
|Category 8C - Campground pest
|Category 8D - Cooling water
|Category 8E - Sewer Root Control
|Category 8F - Pet grooming
|Category 9 - Regulatory pest
|Category 10 - Demo & Research
|Category 11 - Aerial pest control
|Category 12A - Water Sanitization
|Category 12B - Sterilization
|Category 13 - School IPM
The Category exams are
based on information contained in specific Category training
manuals. The training
manuals for all of the exams can be obtained from your County Cooperative
The Core and Categories 1A, 2, 3A, 3B, 3C, 6B, 7A, 7B, 8B and
13 exams are closed book exams. All other category exams are
open book exams. There is a limit of one hour and forty-five
minutes for taking each exam. You can take a maximum of three exams
at each session (any combination of Core and Category).
When you have passed the Core exam and at least
one Category exam, you are fully certified, unless you have
taken either the Category 10 or 11 exam. For Category 10 and
11, you must pass at least one other category exam in order
to be fully certified. Because Categories 10 and 11 are general
categories, an additional category exam, which is more specific
to the type of pesticide work being done, must be taken. You
must become fully certified within one year of passing any certification
exam or the exams previously passed will become invalid.
You will automatically receive licensing information
in the mail when you are fully certified. You cannot "use" your
certification until you have received a license. Once you are
fully certified, you must maintain your certification. This
is accomplished by meeting the requirements of recertification.
Part 3. Commercial Applicator Recertification
Once you are fully certified, your certification
is good for a minimum of 5 years. Each certification exam
you have passed will have its own 5 year recertification date.
The recertification date will be an October 31st date and is
calculated by adding 5 years to the next October 31st date following
the date you passed the exam (example: pass exam May 15, 2000;
next October 31st date is October 31, 2000; recertification
date is October 31, 2005).
Recertification can be accomplished in two
You will receive an update of your recertification
status at least once a year with your license renewal. The "Recertification
Update Form" will tell you when your 5-year period is up for
each area you are certified in, how many units you have accumulated
and how many more you need.
1) Retake the exams during the 5th year.
2) Accumulate units of recertification credit over the 5
year period by attending PCP
approved courses, seminars and meetings. A Commercial
applicator must accumulate 8 units (one unit equals 30 minutes
of instruction time) of Core subject matter credit and 16
units of Category subject matter credit (for each Category
of certification) over the 5 years. Course information can
also be obtained by contacting your County
Cooperative Extension Office, industry associations,
and private companies which handle such courses. The PCP does
not offer any recertification courses.
For detailed information on certification and
training requirements, refer to the NJ Pesticide Control Regulations
N.J.A.C. 7:30 - 6. If there are any questions on Commercial
Applicator certification, please call the PCP at 609-984-6507.