About the program

Since the inception of the pesticide training program, some 6,000 commercial pesticide applicators have received at least initial training. In addition to initial training, these applicators must be recertified by training programs conducted by University of Missouri Extension as mandated by the Missouri Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Pesticide Control.

Licensed applicators must pass an exam and participate in continuing education courses on environmentally sound uses of pesticides. At the current time, commercial applicators are relicensed on a three-year cycle. New applicators need up-to-date training and training materials prior to becoming certified and licensed. See specific details about the initial training exam and recertification classes below.

Public concerns over potential effects of pesticides on human health and the environment continue to increase. Additionally, new laws and regulations that govern pesticides and their use make an intensive training program essential. For example, there were several changes in the recently implemented Worker Protection Standard. Additional new legislation which provides training opportunities for this program includes the Endangered Species Program and the Federal Recordkeeping Requirement.

The University of Missouri Extension Pesticide Program provides educational outreach for individuals aspiring to become licensed commercial pesticide applicators. These programs involve two areas of instruction: a core training session that all trainees attend and the specialty category section in which the attendees conduct their business activities.

The core training session provides basic pesticide knowledge which impacts all pesticide applicators. The instruction is provided by persons representing several agencies including the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Department of Natural Resources and MU Extension.

There are 10 specialty categories within the commercial PAT program (category 1 has two sections: 1A: Agricultural Plant and 1B: Agricultural Animal Pest Control, and category 7 has three sections: 7A: General Structural, 7B: Termite, and 7B: Fumigation Pest Control).

In addition to taking the core exam, commercial applicators need to certify in at least one of the categories depending on which area of expertise they are qualifying for. Category training programs are conducted by persons representing a variety of agencies.

Commercial pesticide applicator categories and publications

Initial certification

For initial certification/licensure, you must pass the exam but are not required to attend any classes. Some new applicators have attended recertification training classes as a way to prepare for the exam, but that is optional.

To get your license, sign up as a candidate on the PearsonVUE website and schedule your exams. You will need to buy the core manual and the manual for whatever category you want, study those and the Missouri Pesticide Use Act, and then take the exam.

To purchase manuals, see our list of pesticide applicator training manuals.

Person working on a pesticide machine with appropriate safety gear on

Commercial Pesticide Applicator Recertification Training

2024 Recertification brochure (PDF)

Need recertification help?

Contact us for assistance with the January-March Virtual Commercial Pesticide Recertification

Learn more and register

Email: muconf9@missouri.edu
Phone: 573-882-9554