A commercial applicator applies pesticides for hire or on publicly accessible sites such as golf courses, apartment complexes, restaurants, schools, etc. Also includes applicators who work for a government agency. Commercial applicators must be licensed to use both restricted and general use products. Follow the link to explore The Ohio State Pesticide Education Program website for all the commercial applicator information.
A private applicator applies restricted-use pesticides on his/her own land, or rented land, and produces an agricultural commodity.
Steps to get a Private Applicator License
1. Obtain study materials from your OSU Extension county office. You can also download some of the materials on the Private Applicator Study Materials page. - NOTE: Please be sure to call your local OSU Extension office before stopping by. This allows the office to make sure they have the materials on hand for when you stop in.
2. Study the recommended materials for Core and each category needed on your license. All new applicators must take Core, and at least one category exam to obtain a license.
3. Send in a completed application form (click for downloadable pdf)and $30 license fee to ODA.
4. Register with the Ohio Department of Agriculture for an exam date and location, register online or by calling the ODA, Pesticide Division at 614-728-6987. (Because of limited space, you may not be able to take the exam if not pre-registered).
5. ODA will mail your test results (and a license application form if you have not already sent one).
6. If not already done, send in the completed application form and $30 license fee to ODA. If you need to retake an exam, there are no additional charges.
$30 License Fees should be paid to:
Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 E. Main St.
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-3399
Phone: 614-728-6987 or 800-282-1955.
1 - Grain and Cereal Crops
Application of restricted-use pesticides, except fumigants, to agronomic field crops including, but not limited to, corn, grain, sorghums, other small grains, soybeans, and sweet corn; and application of specialty uses.
2 - Forage Crops and Livestock
Application of restricted-use pesticides, except fumigants, to crops grown primarily for use as hay, forage, fodder, or ensilage, and includes, but not limited to, such crops as corn and legumes, and to domestic animals which are held as agricultural commodities and their quarters; and application of specialty uses.
3 - Fruit and Vegetable Crops
Application of restricted-use pesticides, except fumigants, to orchard fruit crops, and small fruits including, but not limited to, strawberries, brambles, and grapes, field-grown vegetables, sugar beets, sweet corn, and other horticultural crops grown primarily for human consumption; and application of specialty uses.
4 - Nursery and Forest Crops
Application of restricted-use pesticides, except fumigants, to commercial nursery crops including, but not limited to, trees, shrubs, grasses, and herbaceous plants produced for replanting for their ornamental value or for future fruit production; and tree crops produced for use as Christmas trees or for their utilitarian value; and application of specialty uses.
5 - Greenhouse Crops
Applications of restricted-use pesticides, except fumigants, to crops grown for food production or ornamental value under an impervious surface large enough to permit worker entry; and application of specialty uses. Note: This category includes high tunnels as well as greenhouses.
6 - Fumigation
Application of restricted-use fumigants to soil, grain storage, greenhouse areas or any other confined areas; and application of specialty uses.
7 - Specialty Uses
Application of restricted-use pesticides, except fumigants, for purposes not covered in the above categories, including, but not limited to, applications for wood preservation, aqua culture, seed treatment, sod production, and for controlling pests of tobacco, hops, ponds, and non-cropland areas. Applicator only needs this category if he or she does NOT hold one or more of the above categories (1-6).
Private Applicator Recertification
Licensed private pesticide applicators in Ohio have two options to keep their license current:
- Attend 3 hours of approved recertification training sessions anytime during the 3 year period.
- Or retest every 3 years
The 3 hours of recertification must include:
1 hour (minimum) of core + 1/2 hour (minimum) of credit in every category on license
+ additional training in any category of approved pesticide applicator training
= 3 total hours (minimum) of recertification training