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Pesticide Operators

ALERT- Please note all operator applications must be sent in electronically to PESTOPERATOR@DEP.NJ.GOV  To ensure no delays please make sure you are using the newest version of the application.

*NOTE: If you need to change the Pesticide Applicator Business address on file with us, please do not request this change when making payment on the Operator’s invoice. You must use the following form  (click) to complete these changes and make them official with the Department. Once you complete this form, please email it to for processing.

In accordance, with Pesticide Control Regulation NJAC 7:30-5.3g, when the Pesticide Operator information has changed, or they are no longer employed by your company, you must notify the Department in writing within 30 days. Please email PESTOPERATOR@DEP.NJ.GOV

  with this information so the record can be updated or deleted. Non-compliance with this regulation may result in an Enforcement Action.


Part 1. Information about Pesticide Operators
Part 2. Application for Pesticide Operator License
Part 3. Required Operator Training


Anyone using pesticides under the direct supervision of a Commercial Certified Pesticide Applicator is required to be trained and licensed as a Pesticide Operator. The only exemption to this requirement for Pesticide Operator licensing is if the person being supervised always has the Certified Pesticide Applicator who is supervising them present at the time and place of application when pesticides are being used.

Pesticide Operator licensing does not require passing a test. Instead, the Pesticide Operator must complete a Department approved Basic Pesticide Training Course and complete forty hours of on-the-job training in each category of work. The details on what the training is to cover are listed in the New Jersey Pesticide Control Regulations at N.J.A.C. 7:30-5.2, and are summarized below under the heading Required Operator Training. After the Basic Pesticide Training Course is completed, form VPA-028 is completed and sent in to the Pesticide Control Program (PCP). Proof of attendance at the Basic Pesticide Training Course must be included when submitting form VPA-028. The $30.00 Pesticide Operator license fee is not to be sent in with form VPA-028.

Form VPA-028, the Initial Application for Pesticide Operator Licensing, is used for obtaining the Pesticide Operator's first license. VPA-028 forms will be accepted during any part of the license year, which expires on October 31st each year.

Upon receipt of the form VPA-028, the PCP generates an invoice to pay for the license, which is mailed to the Pesticide Operator's employer. During the time it takes to generate that invoice, the Pesticide Operator should be undergoing the required forty hours of on-the-job-training. During the forty hours of on-the-job-training, the Pesticide Operator must witness or perform a minimum number of pesticide applications in which the operator is to be involved. The invoice for the Pesticide Operator's license should be completed and sent in with the $30.00 license fee only when the forty hours of on-the-job training has been completed. 

After payment is made, the Pesticide Operator may begin working as if he was licensed, even though the actual printed license has not been received. This temporary working period is good for 30 days after the invoice is paid.

A Pesticide Operator license becomes invalid if the Pesticide Operator changes employers. The new employer must provide the proper training and submit the VPA-028 form to obtain a new license for the Pesticide Operator. If the Pesticide Operator's employer stays the same but the Responsible Certified Pesticide Applicator changes, complete the Operator Responsible Certified Applicator Change Form VPC-003 and mail to the address indicated at the top of the form. When the Responsible Certified Pesticide Applicator listed on the Pesticide Operator's license changes, the Pesticide Operator can still legally apply pesticides as a Pesticide Operator as long as he/she is still employed by the same employer and is still working under the direct supervision of another Certified Pesticide Applicator. Any changes to the Pesticide Operator license must be reported to the PCP within 30 days..

NOTE: To make changes to personal information associated with a current license, including updates to the home address, please submit License Change Form VPC-004 to


Form VPA-028 can be saved as a Microsoft Word document & completed using your PC, or can be printed as a hardcopy.

1. Follow the instructions on top of the form.
2. If completing by writing, please print & do so neatly.
3. Incomplete forms will not be accepted.
4..All applications must be sent in electronically, send the completed VPA-028 form (as a Microsoft Word document) as an e-mail attachment to PESTOPERATOR@DEP.NJ.GOV  You will also have to scan your Basic Pesticide Training Course proof of attendance and make that an e-mail attachment, too. When scanning, save as a jpg file, if possible

If you have any questions on Pesticide Operator licensing, please call (609) 984-6652.


In order to meet the requirements for training, a commercial pesticide operator shall: 1. Complete a Department approved Basic Pesticide Training Course. The Department approved training course shall provide the commercial pesticide operator with a working knowledge of, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) The proper use of the application equipment;
(2) The hazards that may be involved in applying the pesticides;
(3) Instructions for mixing pesticides to be used in particular circumstances;
(4) Protective clothing and safety equipment required during the handling and application of pesticides;
(5) General precautions to be followed in the disposal of containers as well as the cleaning and decontamination of the equipment which the commercial pesticide operator proposes to use;
(6) Applicable State and Federal pesticide laws and regulations;
(7) An understanding of how to correctly interpret pesticide label and labeling information;
(8) An understanding of the principles of integrated pest management (IPM).

2. Complete a minimum of 40 hours of 'on-the-job' practical training sufficient to allow the commercial pesticide operator to competently perform the functions associated with any applications in which the commercial pesticide operator is expected to be involved. The commercial pesticide operator in training shall witness or perform at least the minimum number of pesticide applications during the 40 hours of 'on-the-job' training in each of the following categories of work for which they are trained. Note: Category 7C-Fumigation is not listed below because a Pesticide Operator cannot perform that type of application without a Commercial Certified Pesticide Applicator being physically on-site to provide close supervision. Category 11-Aerial is not listed because aerial applications cannot be done by Pesticide Operators. There are also limits on the types of applications Pesticide Operators can perform in Category 7B-Termite & Wood Destroying Pest Control. The use of pesticides for termite control requires that a Commercial Certified Pesticide Applicator be physically on-site to provide close supervision.

Category of Work
Minimum Number of Applications
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 6A - General vegetation management
Category 6B - Right of Way
Category 7A - General and household pest control
Category 7D - Food manufacturing and processing
Category 7E - Wood preserving pest control
Category 7F - Antifoulants
Category 8A - General Public Health
Category 8B - Mosquito control
Category 8C - Campground pest control
Category 8D - Cooling water pest control
Category 8E - Sewer Root Control
Category 8F - Pet grooming
Category 9 - Regulatory pest control
Category 12A - Water Sanitization
Category 12B - Sterilization
Category 13 - IPM in Schools

Proof of such applications shall consist of the records of application signed by both a licensed pesticide applicator and the commercial pesticide operator in training, or any other Department approved record. Such records shall be kept for a minimum of three years and shall be immediately available upon request by the Department.

A responsible pesticide applicator must be present during any part of the “on-the-job” training which requires the commercial pesticide operator in training to apply pesticides.

As an alternative to the minimum of 40 hours of “on-the-job” training required in (b)2 above, the commercial pesticide operator in training may witness or perform demonstrations of the types of pesticide applications which the commercial pesticide operator shall perform in the future. Such demonstrations shall be equivalent to the “on-the-job” training except that no actual pesticide is used in the demonstration.


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Last Updated: August 9, 2022