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Which Pesticide License Do I Need?

Most pesticide applicator licenses in Florida will require passing two exams at least, depending on the specific intended pesticide application and site of application.

A) Private Applicator

You need a private pesticide applicator agricultural pest control license if you will be applying RUP (Restricted-Use Pesticides) to produce agricultural commodities on farms, nurseries, orchards, etc. To obtain this license you will need to apply for and pass:

1- General standards/Core

2- Private applicator category

B) Public Applicator

If you work for a public entity (university, state government, or county government) and you need to apply pesticides as a part of your job to your employer’s property (with some exceptions to Limited Licenses), you will need a Public Pesticide Applicator License. To obtain this license you need to apply for and pass:

1- General Standards/Core

2- Primary category (such as Ag Row Crop, Ag Tree Crop, or similar)

A secondary category may be added (such as Demonstration & Research if you apply pesticides for research purposes, usually needed for universities, pesticide production companies)

C) Commercial Applicator

If you are hired for pesticide applications (For Hire), you would need a commercial pesticide applicator license. This is usually needed for contractors and pest control business. To obtain this license you will need to apply for and pass:

1- General standards/Core

2- Primary category (such as Ag Row Crop, Ag Tree Crop, or similar)

You may need to add extra categories to the three previous types of licenses depending on the type of application or site that will be treated. Each situation may be different on which license and categories are needed, so please make sure to consult with your local UF/IFAS Extension Office or FDACS on which license you may need.

Study material for General Standards/Core:

Applying pesticide Correctly Manual developed by the UF Pesticide Information Office

Online self-paced exam preparation class

Study material for Private category:

Private Applicator Agriculture Pest Control Category Manual developed by the UF Pesticide Information Office

Online Self-Paced Exam Preparation Class

Study material for Ag Row Crop category

Ag Row Crop Category Manual developed by the UF Pesticide Information Office

Online Self-Paced Exam Preparation Class

You can find more details on the exams needed for each license here

Free Questionnaire to guide you to which exam categories you would need

Other Pesticide Exam Categories Study Manuals – UF/IFAS Extension

Pesticide Applicator Licenses – FDACS

Steps to apply for or renew pesticide licenses:

1- Go to https://pesticideexam.ifas.ufl.edu/ and click “Apply for Examination”. This will direct you to the FDACS page where you choose the appropriate exams needed. Once you enter all the information need, you will be issued a voucher number.

2- Return to https://pesticideexam.ifas.ufl.edu/ and click “Schedule Examination”. You will be asked to use the voucher from FDACS to schedule an exam in any of the extension offices offering the exam. And you will receive a confirmation email with the scheduled exam

Most pesticide exams are free, and you can take these exams as many times as needed. There are some exceptions to this for Limited Licenses.

When you pass the exams needed for the licenses you applied for, you will receive an email from FDACS with payment information to issue the license and mail it to you. This process may take a few weeks.

If you have any questions about any of this, please reach out to your local UF/IFAS Extension office.

Hillsborough County UF/IFAS Extension