The following summary is offered as a general guide to the pesticide applicator certification program in Oklahoma. This guide is a summary and should not be used as a replacement for, nor construed as a substitute of, the Oklahoma Pesticide Applicator Law, Rules, and Regulations.
CERTIFIED APPLICATOR - any person who has met the certification standards established by the Oklahoma State Board of Agriculture with respect to pesticides. Certification standards shall be in the form of written and/or practical examinations.
SERVICE TECHNICIAN - any person employed by a licensed commercial or non-commercial applicator who applies the pesticide or employs a device, but is not the certified applicator. A service technician or certified applicator shall be present at each application performed.
PRIVATE APPLICATOR - any person who uses or supervises the use of any restricted use pesticide for purposes of producing any agricultural commodity on property owned or rented by the person or his employer or on the property of another person (if applied without compensation other than trading of agricultural commodities or personal services between producers). Private applicators are farmers, ranchers, growers, etc.
|Certified Applicator Categories|
|1A||Agricultural Plant- the application of pesticides to agricultural crops, agricultural grassland, and non-crop agricultural land. This category does not include the production of trees for any purpose.|
|1B||Agricultural Animal- the application of pesticides to animals, including those in feedlots, sales barns, egg production facilities, and the animal holding facilities themselves. This excludes Doctors of Veterinary Medicine applying pesticides as drugs or medication during the course of their normal practice.|
|2||Forest- the application of pesticides in forest nurseries, forest seed production areas, trees grown for the production of forestry products, and other forest areas.|
|3A||Ornamental and Turf Outdoor- the application of pesticides within residential or business areas to lawns, ornamental trees and shrubs, including park areas, golf courses, other recreational areas, except as defined under licensed categories 2, 3b, 3c, 7, and 8.|
|3B||Interiorscape- the application of pesticides to interior plantings inside structures (i.e. hospitals, buildings, shopping malls etc.) excluding residential structures (i.e. foyers, atriums, indoor swimming pools, management offices, meeting rooms, etc.) with the exception of common use areas of multiple residential structures except as defined under licensed categories 3c, 7 and 8.|
|3C||Nursery/Greenhouse- the application of pesticides in nursery and greenhouse facilities and to fields except as defined under licensed category 2 (Forest Pest Control).|
|4||Seed Treatment- the application of pesticides to seed for any purpose.|
|5||Aquatic- the application of pesticides to standing or running water in man-made and/or natural impoundments, streams, etc. This excludes public health activities (e.g. mosquito control) and water in totally closed systems|
|6||Right-of-Way- the application of pesticides for public road maintenance, power line maintenance, railroad right-of-way, storage tank areas, and other similar areas.|
|7A||General Pest- the application of pesticides within and immediately adjacent to a structure (except for fumigation activities, control of termites and other wood destroying organisms in or on a structure, control of birds or predatory animals). "Immediately adjacent to a structure" means not further than three (3) feet from the structure. Applications to restaurants are permitted in this category.|
|7B||Structural Pest- the application of pesticides for the purpose of controlling termites and other wood destroying organisms, such as wood borers and/or fungus, in or on a structure.|
|7C||Fumigation- the use of liberated gas within a structure or storage area, to include railcars, ships, etc.|
|8||Public Health- the application of pesticides by local, state, federal or other governmental employees or commercial pesticide applicators in public health programs, to include municipal and area wide mosquito control programs.|
|9||Regulatory Pest Control Category- the application of pesticides by state, federal or other government employees for the control of designated regulated pests.|
|10||Demonstration and Research- includes persons engaged in the application of pesticides for scientific research or for the purpose of demonstrating pesticide products or methods of application.|
|11||Bird and Predatory Animal- the application of pesticides for the control of birds or predatory animals in any area and subject to the rules of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and the Predatory Animal Control Division of the Board.|
|12A||Pressure Facility Timber Treating- the treatment of wood in a pressure treating facility by the impregnation or application of chemical solutions for the purpose of retarding or preventing deterioration or destruction by insects, fungi, bacteria, or other wood destroying organisms.|
|12B||Ground Line Utility Pole Timber Treating- the ground line treatment of utility poles with chemical solutions for the purpose of retarding or preventing deterioration or destruction by insects, fungi, bacteria, or other wood destroying organisms.|
|12C||Construction Industry Timber Treating- the application of chemical solutions to wood members of structure which will be covered by paint, varnish, or similar covering for the purpose of retarding or preventing deterioration or destruction by insects, fungi, bacteria, or other wood destroying organisms.|
|12D||Home Owner Timber Treating- the application of chemical solutions to wood constructions, such as decks, around the home, or for the purpose of retarding or preventing deterioration or destruction by insects, fungi, bacteria, or other wood destroying organisms.|
|13||Special- includes any area of pesticide application not defined in Category 1 thru 12 when the pesticide to be used is classified as restricted.|
Applicator certification requires the successful completion of at least two examinations: The "Core" exam, consisting of knowledge required in all categories of certification; and the category exam itself. A few of the categories require completion of a practical examination in conjunction with the Core and category exams for certification in that particular category.
Core exam - Focuses on equipment, safety, laws, and other knowledge pertaining to all categories. All persons wishing to become certified applicators must pass this exam in addition to the category exam(s).
Category exam - Written exam to be taken (along with the Core exam) by those wishing to become certified in that particular category.
Practical exam- The following categories require a practical examination in addition to the Core and the written exam. These exams are performed at OSU in Stillwater:
(7A)- General Pest
(7B)- Structural Pest/Termite
The practical exam must be taken within twelve (12) months of passing the written examination. Failure to pass the practical within this period of time will require retaking the written exam.
Service Technician exam - To be taken by anyone wishing to qualify as a service technician. The Core exam is not required to become a service technician. Anyone who passes the service technician exam may later go on to become a certified applicator without passing the Core exam, which is otherwise required.
Test Sessions are regularly scheduled at various locations around Oklahoma. No appointment is necessary for any regularly scheduled test session. Applicants are required to provide some type of photo identification (e.g., a valid driver's license) showing their name and identification number. Pencils and paper are provided for applicants at the testing sites. Applicants may use a hand-held calculator as long as print-out tape is not used. Study materials may be obtained from the Oklahoma State University Central Mailing Service; order forms are available from Consumer Protection Services, or call (405) 744-5385.
An applicant must attain a satisfactory score (70% or above) to pass any written exam. If the applicant fails the Core exam or a category test, he/she may retake the failed exam(s) after a 30-day waiting period. The service technician test may be retaken at any test session.
After all the necessary examinations have been successfully completed, the certified applicator will be issued a certification card. This certification card is not a license to do pesticide applicator work; a pesticide applicator license must be obtained by any certified applicator wishing to do pesticide applicator work (commercial, non-commercial, or consultant), or must be obtained by his/her employer.
A service technician shall be issued an identification card upon satisfactory completion of the service technician examination. The application for the ID card must be submitted to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry by his/her licensed employer, along with the required fee of $20.00 per card.
If an individual is a certified applicator in another state, he/she may be able to attain certification in Oklahoma under a reciprocal agreement. Visit our reciprocal page to learn more about this topic.
A pesticide applicator license is required for anyone to act, operate, do business, or advertise commercially or non-commercially. The licensing period is annual, January 1 thru December 31 of each year. All currently licensed commercial and non-commercial applicators must apply for license renewal each year.
Commercial Applicator - Any person who engages in commercial application of pesticides or commercial employment of devices. "Commercial application" means advertising of services, recommendation for use, the preparation for application, and physical act of applying pesticide for hire or compensation. A commercial applicator must provide proof of financial responsibility---a liability insurance policy or certification thereof on a form prescribed by the Board. Amount required: Not less than $50,000 per occurrence, $100,000 aggregate bodily injury, and not less than $50,000 per occurrence and $100,000 aggregate for property damage.
Non-commercial Applicator - Any person, other than a commercial or private applicator, who uses or supervises the use of a restricted use pesticide under the supervision of a person who owns or manages the property, and who has been certified to be competent by the Board with respect to the use and handling of restricted use pesticides in the same manner as required for a commercial applicator. Includes government employees in the discharge of their official duties.
Consultant - Any person who makes a pesticide recommendation for hire or compensation, but does not purchase or apply the pesticide, shall be commercially licensed as a consultant in the category in which the recommendation is made.
License applications and certificate of insurance forms may be obtained from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry.
- Commercial Business License: $100 per category; not more than $500 per year
- Noncommercial Business License: $50 per category; not more than $250 per year
- Examinations: $50 (this includes initial certification (core test), categories, service technicians)
- Issuance or Renewal of Service Technician identification: $20
- Issuance of duplicate licenses or certificates or transfer of a service technician identification: $10
- Each recertification procedure (recertification by continuing education units or reciprocals): $50
- Reciprocal certification (new applicants): $100 per category
- Private Applicator License: $20
No fees to governmental agencies or their employees in the discharge of their official duties.
Questions or comments, please email or write Debbie MandrellDebbie Mandrell
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry
Consumer Protection Services
PO Box 528804
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-8804
Private applicators are issued a license after successful completion of the Private Applicator exam. The Private Applicator study packet is available from OSU Central Mailing Service, and from many County Extension offices. Cost is $15.00. An order form may be obtained from Consumer Protection Services.
Applicants send the completed answer sheet, application form, and $20.00 to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry. A pre-addressed envelope is provided in the study packet. A score of 70% or better is required to pass the test. If applicant fails, a new answer sheet will be sent to him/her to retest at no additional charge.
The Private Applicator license does not qualify the license holder to perform commercial or non-commercial pesticide application, nor does it allow the private applicator to purchase and/or use restricted use pesticides in, on, or around a residence. The showing of this card may be necessary to purchase any restricted use pesticides.
Re-Certification & Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Re-certification for certified applicators, service technicians, and private applicators is based on predetermined five-year cycles of certification periods. These certification periods determine the expiration dates of an individual's certification. An applicator's personal certification is in effect until the category re-certifies.
Re-certification for certified applicators is possible through two channels:
- Applicator takes the written category exam; each test is updated every five years.
- Applicator collects enough CEUs to re-certify in a category.
The fee to recertify, regardless of the method of recertification, is $50.00. At this time servce technicians and private applicators can recertify only through written examination.
For information concerning CEU meetings, and to be placed on a mailing list to receive promotional notices of meetings awarding CEUs, contact the Pesticide Coordinator at Oklahoma State University. View our CEU Page to retrieve a current list of meetings. To learn more about the CEU program, including how many CEUs are required in each category and how to submit programs for CEU assignment, visit our How CEUs Work page. For information concerning re-certification periods and CEU accrual, contact Consumer Protection Services.
Consumer Protection Services
2800 North Lincoln Blvd.
PO Box 528804
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-8804
Oklahoma State University
127 Noble Research Center
Stillwater, OK 74078-0285