Pesticide Applicator Classes and Schools

Find out how to locate a class or workshop on safe chemical handling for pesticide applicators. Dig into state licensure and recertification requirements for agricultural and groundskeeping workers who handle restricted pesticides. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Education for pesticide application is usually offered in the form of workshops or training programs by a state's cooperative extension service. These services are offered through land-grant institutions - universities who have received federal funding to make agricultural research benefits available to the public. Look for training opportunities at state universities with agricultural programs.

Classes Handling and disposal of extremely hazardous pesticides, field crops, pest and weed infestations, federal regulation of pesticides
Training Workshops/training programs offered by the state via funding to universities
Certification Core examinations on proper practices and regulations, in addition to specified exams on particular practice

Where Can I Find Pesticide Applicator Programs?

You can find pesticide applicator courses through the extension services of various universities throughout the U.S. A cooperative extension service's 2-day workshops or 1-day training sessions can prepare you to earn the appropriate credentials needed to legally purchase and apply these hazardous chemicals. Some schools that offer these courses or programs include:

  • PennState Extension
  • UMass Amherst Extension
  • University of Maryland Extension
  • Utah State University Extension
  • Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service

What Will These Classes Teach Me?

In the workshops or training programs, you can learn how to handle and dispose of extremely hazardous pesticides, otherwise known as restricted-use pesticides. Training may include discussion of field crops, the insect pests that infest them and the pesticides used to eradicate them. You may also discuss how to manage weed infestations in turfgrass and ornamental plants. You can also learn how the government regulates pesticides and how they determine if a pesticide is unsafe for humans, animals and the environment.

Specific topics addressed in these programs could include:

  • Pest management
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Federal pesticide laws
  • Pesticide research
  • Pesticide labels

What Will These Classes Prepare Me For?

Groundskeepers, building managers, golf course employees or other individuals who want to use restricted-use pesticides must prove to their state departments of agriculture that they can successfully handle pesticides without harming themselves or others. Some states grant successful applicants a license; others grant certification. These programs are typically designed to prepare you for state certification or licensing exams.

How Do I Become Certified or Licensed?

In many states you must first pass a core examination in which you are tested on state regulations and proper practices. You will then need to take an exam for the category or subcategory in which you wish to practice. These categories include private pesticide applicators who use pesticides or herbicides on private property and commercial pesticide applicators who apply pesticides for compensation.

Other subcategories include agricultural insect control, forest pest control, crop disease control, turfgrass pest control, greenhouse pest control and ornamental pest control. If you are interested in applying pesticides by plane or helicopter, you will need to earn credentials in that category.

What About Re-certification?

Each state has its own re-certification requirements. In most states you must be recertified every 3-5 years. Requirements often include the completion of continuing education credits, which may also be offered through cooperative extension service training programs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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