“What kind of pesticide license are you looking for?”, is often what I have to ask when I pick up a call regarding pesticide licensing questions. You need to seek the right category of pesticide license for the right job. If you are going to pursue a pesticide license, the number one thing to be considered is your job and responsibilities in that job. There are a number of categories in pesticide licensing, but each category completely depends on your job, or what you intend to do with the license. Simply put, there are three types of pesticide licenses offered by FDACS under the Chapter 487 Florida Statute: public, private, and commercial applicator license.
Public applicator license
This license is for anybody working for government entities including federal, state, county, city or other local government agencies. Remember, pesticide licenses are for pest control with restricted use pesticides on the job. Under the public license, there are a number of categories, such as Aquatic Pest Control, Ornamental and Turf Pest Management, Right-of-Way Pest Control, etc. Each of them is job specific, and it has explicit descriptions about what a license holder can or cannot do.
Private applicator license
The private license is for those who apply restricted use pesticides on their own business properties or on their owner’s properties as employees in the agricultural industry. For instance, employers and employees of farms, ranches, groves, nurseries, gardens, and other established business that produces agricultural commodities.
Commercial applicator license
The commercial applicator license is for contract applicators, who apply restricted use pesticides on agricultural related entities of someone else’s property or business rather than their employers or on their own property. A commercial applicator license may substitute for a private applicator license only for uses covered by the commercial license in its particular categories. For instance, a commercial license holder certified in the Row Crop category is not allowed to apply restricted use pesticides to tree crops, and vise the versa.
For detail information and explanations, please refer to EDIS publication:
Fishel, F.M. 2017. Agricultural and related pest control applicator license classifications under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). UF/IFAS EDIS SI-59, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi095
Information about pesticide applicator training
Pesticide training class schedules: pesticide classes.
To sign up for pesticide exam (Tuesday and Thursday 8:00-10:00 AM), click pesticide exam.