Certification and Training

Certification help questionnaire draft

Not sure where to start? Answer a few questions and we'll point you in the right direction.

Your license should have either 'Private,' 'Commercial,' or 'Noncommercial,' printed on it.
When does your Private license expire?
Your license should have an expiration date printed on it.
When does your Commercial/Noncommercial license expire?
You license should have an expiration date printed on it.

Good news!

You do not need to renew your Private license this year. The Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture will notify you with a letter when your license is nearing its expiration date.

Good news!

You do not need to renew your Commercial/Noncommercial license this year. The Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture will notify you with a letter when your license is nearing its expiration date.

Your Private license expires soon.

If you wish to renew your license, you may do so in one of three ways:

  • Attend a private applicator training session,
  • Complete the online private applicator training program, or
  • Pass a private applicator exam.

Click on the Private applicator dropdown menu below for more information.

Your Commercial/Noncommercial license expires soon.

If you wish to renew your license, you may do so in one of three ways:

  • Attend a commercial/noncommercial recertification training session,
  • Complete the online commercial/noncommercial recertification program, or
  • Attend a conference that offers recertification credit for the categories you wish to recertify in.

Please note: You may only recertify in categories for which you are already licensed.

Click on the Commercial/Noncommercial applicator dropdown menu below for more information.

Your Private license has expired.

If you wish to renew your license, you may do so in one of three ways:

  • Attend a private applicator training session,
  • Complete the online private applicator training program, or
  • Pass a private applicator exam.

Click on the Private applicator dropdown menu below for more information.

Your Commercial/Noncommercial license has expired.

If you wish to get re-licensed, you must pass exams for:

  • General Standards (required for all commercial/noncommercial applicators), and
  • Each additional category in which you wish to be licensed.

Click on the Commercial/Noncommercial applicator dropdown menu below for more information.

It looks like you hold a reciprocal pesticide applicator license.

To learn how to renew your reciprocal applicator license, please visit the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture's reciprocal license page.

Let's figure out what kind of license you need.
I will only be applying pesticides on property owned, rented, or controlled by me or my employer.
Select 'False' if you will be applying pesticides to the property of customers or clients.
I will only be applying pesticides for the purpose of producing agricultural commodities.
This includes pesticide applications to protect agricultural crops, vegetables, fruits, and nuts intended for sale; pastures, grasslands, and non-crop agricultural land; livestock intended for sale and their dwellings. Home garden produce is not an agricultural commodity because it is not sold.
I am a farmer, rancher, or hired hand.
I will be applying restricted-use pesticides (RUPs).
Pesticides are designated 'restricted-use' if they are too hazardous for the average person to handle. Only licensed applicators may buy or use restricted-use pesticides.
I will be applying pesticides for hire or compensation.
'For hire or compesnation' does not refer to earning wages for applying pesticides. Select 'True' only if you or your employer offer pesticide application services for which clients can hire you. Common examples: custom applicators, lawn care companies, structural pest control companies, etc.
I will be applying pesticides for lawn care or structural pest control.
I will be applying pesticides for community-wide vector control (i.e., mosquito control).
I will be applying pesticides on behalf of a government agency or subdivision of the state (county, city, etc.).
Common examples: a Department of Roads employee who uses herbicides to control weeds on roadsides; a Health Department employee who fogs for mosquitos.

It looks like you need a Private applicator license.

Private applicators are typically farmers or ranchers who apply restricted-use pesticides themselves as part of their operation.

If you wish to get certified for a private applicator license, you may do so in one of three ways:

  • Attend a private applicator training session,
  • Complete the online private applicator training program, or
  • Pass a private applicator exam.

Click on the Private applicator dropdown menu below for more information.

If you aren't sure whether you fit the description of a private applicator, please call the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture at 402-471-2351 for help determining which type of license you need.

It looks like you need a Commercial applicator license.

Commercial applicators typically work for a company that provides pesticide application services for hire. Examples include (but aren't limited to) farmers' co-ops, lawn care companies, and residential pest control companies.

All commercial applicators must be licensed in General Standards and at least one applicator category. The category(ies) you need depends on the type of pest control you will be doing. If you aren't sure which category you need, have a look at these category descriptions, or call the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture at 402-471-2351.

If you wish to get licensed as a commercial applicator, you must pass exams for:

  • General Standards, and
  • Each additional category in which you wish to be licensed.

Click on the Commercial/Noncommercial applicator dropdown menu below for more information.

If you aren't sure whether you fit the description of a commercial applicator, please call the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture at 402-471-2351 for help determining which type of license you need.

It looks like you need a Noncommercial applicator license.

Noncommercial applicators apply pesticides on property owned or controlled by their employer, or on behalf of a government agency. Examples include (but aren't limited to) Department of Roads employees, Health Department employees, school groundskeepers, and golf course employees.

All noncommercial applicators must be licensed in General Standards and at least one applicator category. The category(ies) you need depends on the type of pest control you will be doing. If you aren't sure which category you need, have a look at these category descriptions, or call the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture at 402-471-2351.

If you wish to get licensed as a noncommercial applicator, you must pass exams for:

  • General Standards, and
  • Each additional category in which you wish to be licensed.

Click on the Commercial/Noncommercial applicator dropdown menu below for more information.

If you aren't sure whether you fit the description of a noncommercial applicator, please call the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture at 402-471-2351 for help determining which type of license you need.

It looks like you do not need a pesticide applicator license.

The state of Nebraska requires a person to be a licensed pesticide applicator if:

  • They intend to apply restricted-use pesticides for any reason,
  • They intend to apply general-use pesticides for hire in lawn care or structural pest control, or
  • They intend to apply general-use pesticides for outdoor vector control (e.g., mosquito control) on behalf of a political subdivision of the state (e.g., village, city, county, etc.).

If you still aren't sure whether or not you need a license, please call the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture at 402-471-2351 for guidance.

It looks like you do not need a pesticide applicator license.

The state of Nebraska requires a person to be a licensed pesticide applicator if:

  • They intend to apply restricted-use pesticides for any reason,
  • They intend to apply general-use pesticides for hire in lawn care or structural pest control, or
  • They intend to apply general-use pesticides for outdoor vector control (e.g., mosquito control) on behalf of a political subdivision of the state (e.g., village, city, county, etc.).

If you still aren't sure whether or not you need a license, please call the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture at 402-471-2351 for guidance.

Tell us a little more.
I will be fumigating soil.
I will be fumigating structures (e.g., grain bins) or rodent burrows.
I will be applying pesticides from an aircraft.

You need additional certification for soil fumigants.

A private applicator license does not cover all agricultural pesticide applications. In order to use soil fumigants, you must get certified in the Soil Fumigation category (01A). To do this, you must pass a Soil Fumigation exam administered by the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture.

Click on the Commercial/Noncommercial applicator dropdown menu below for information on study materials and exam sessions.

You need additional certification for non-soil fumigants.

A private applicator license does not cover all agricultural pesticide applications. In order to use structural or rodent burrow fumigants, you must get certified in the Non-Soil/Structural Fumigation category (11). To do this, you must pass a Non-Soil/Structural Fumigation exam administered by the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture.

Click on the Commercial/Noncommercial applicator dropdown menu below for information on study materials and exam sessions.

You need additional certification for aerial pest control.

A private applicator license does not cover all agricultural pesticide applications. In order to apply pesticides aerially, you must become licensed as a Commercial/Noncommercial applicator with an Aerial Pest Control category (12) endorsement. To do this, you must pass exams for:

  • General Standards (required for all commercial/noncommercial applicators), and
  • The Aerial Pest Control category (12).

Click on the Commercial/Noncommercial applicator dropdown menu below for information on study materials and exam sessions.

Thank you!

Tell us a little more.
I will be fumigating soil.
I will be fumigating structures (e.g., grain bins) or rodent burrows.
I will be applying pesticides from an aircraft.

You need additional certification for soil fumigants.

Due to revisions of the Nebraska Pesticide Act, a private applicator license no longer covers all agriculturalpesticide applications. In order to use soil fumigants, you must now get certified in the Soil Fumigation category (01A). To do this, you must pass a Soil Fumigation exam administered by the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture.

Click on the Commercial/Noncommercial applicator dropdown menu below for information on study materials and exam sessions.

You need additional certification for non-soil fumigants.

Due to revisions of the Nebraska Pesticide Act, a private applicator license no longer covers all agricultural pesticide applications. In order to use structural or rodent burrow fumigants, you must now get certified in the Non-Soil/Structural Fumigation category (11). To do this, you must pass a Non-Soil/Structural Fumigation exam administered by the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture.

Click on the Commercial/Noncommercial applicator dropdown menu below for information on study materials and exam sessions.

You need additional certification for aerial pest control.

Due to revisions of the Nebraska Pesticide Act, a private applicator license no longer covers all agricultural pesticide applications. In order to apply pesticides aerially, you must now become licensed as a Commercial/Noncommercial applicator with an Aerial Pest Control category (12) endorsement. To do this, you must pass exams for:

  • General Standards (required for all commercial/noncommercial applicators), and
  • The Aerial Pest Control category (12).

Click on the Commercial/Noncommercial applicator dropdown menu below for information on study materials and exam sessions.

Thank you!



Private applicator

Private Applicator — A licensed applicator who uses any restricted use pesticide (RUP) for purposes of producing any agricultural commodity on property owned or rented by him/her or his/her employer, or to apply on the property of another person without compensation (other than trading of personal services between producers of agricultural commodities).


Private applicator certification options are:

  1. Private Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) sessions — Please call your local Extension office for training dates in your area, and to preregister.
  2. Online private self-study program — Register here to take our online Private Pesticide Applicator Training program. Obtain certification or recertification for a private applicator license.
  3. Nebraska Extension Crop Production Clinics
  4. Nebraska Crop Management Conference
  5. Private applicator exam

Getting started with the online private applicator training


Private Applicator Recordkeeping Resources — A collection of forms and information to help private applicators track their farm operations, keep their employees safe, and comply with federal regulations.

My current pesticide license status — Check to see if you are listed in the applicator database operated by NDA, or contact NDA at 402-471-2351.

Search for registered pesticides in Nebraska — NDA database of pesticides registered for use in Nebraska.

Commercial/Noncommercial applicator

Commercial Applicator — A licensed applicator who uses any restricted use pesticide (RUP) on a contractual or “for hire” basis. Commercial applicator shall also include any person using restricted or general use pesticides “for hire” or compensation for lawn care, structural pest control, or community-wide outdoor vector control.

Noncommercial Applicator — A licensed applicator who applies RUPs only on lands owned or controlled by his/her employer or for a governmental agency or subdivision of the state. Also, a licensed applicator who applies either general or restricted use pesticides to control mosquitoes on behalf of a political subdivision of the state.


**Every commercial/noncommercial applicator must certify and recertify in the General Standards (00) category.**


Initial Certification

If you are seeking a commercial/noncommercial license for the first time, or if your license has expired, you must pass the NDA-administered General Standards exam, plus the exam for each applicator category you need.

If you wish to add an applicator category to your existing license, you must pass that category's exam.

(Jump to Recertification)

List of Commercial/Noncommercial Categories (PDF 57 KB)

Preparing for exams

Before attempting your certification exam(s), we strongly recommend that you prepare with our study manuals. These manuals are available for every applicator category (including General Standards) in two formats:

  • Print Manuals: These hardcopy manuals can be ordered online with a credit card and are mailed to you.
  • Digital FlipBooks: Our FlipBooks are enhanced digital versions of our traditional print manuals. Most have video training embedded within the manual for multiple learning styles. This is the same video training presented at our in-person training sessions (see below). Purchase of a FlipBook gives you a 1-year subscription to the manual. Internet access is required to use FlipBooks.

    FlipBooks offer significant cost–savings over traditional pesticide training. For example: A new applicator who needs to get certified in the Aquatic Pest Control (05) category could either:
    • Purchase the General Standards FlipBook ($60) and the Aquatic Pest Control FlipBook ($50). Total FlipBook training cost: $110; or
    • Purchase the General Standards print manual ($30), the Aquatic Pest Control print manual ($20), and attend an in-person training session ($80). Total traditional training cost: $130
    Try these FlipBooks for free!

In-person training sessions: These training sessions consist of video reviews of the study manual material, followed by exam opportunities.

Taking exams

If you plan to attend an initial training session, you will have the opportunity to take your exams at the session. Otherwise, you can attend a testing-only session or take your exams through Pearson VUE computerized testing service.


Recertification

If your license expires on April 15, you must attend recertification training to renew your license for another three years.

The following options are offered for recertification training:

  1. Recertification training sessions: These in-person sessions are offered in February and March, and are available for most applicator categories*.
  2. Extension- or industry-sponsored meetings with recertification opportunities:

*If you need to recertify in a category for which no recertification sessions are available, you will need to retake the General Standards exam and category exam in order to recertify.


Check current pesticide license status — Are you listed in the applicator database operated by the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture (NDA)? Check online or contact NDA at 402-471-2351.

Search for registered pesticides in Nebraska — NDA database of pesticides registered for use in Nebraska.

Other pesticide-related trainings

Chemigation

The chemigation certification program is administered by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), and can be found on this UNL Water page.



RUP dicamba label-required training

Dicamba-specific training is required prior to purchasing or applying the products Engenia®, XtendiMax® With VaporGrip Technology, and Tavium® Plus VaporGrip Technology. This training is provided by the products' registrants. For more information about RUP dicamba training, label requirements, best management practices, and recordkeeping forms, please visit the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture's dicamba information page.



Paraquat label-required training

Applicators need to be aware that a Certified Applicator Training requirement will begin appearing on paraquat product labels in the near future. Once this requirement appears on the label, licensed applicators will be required to pass a paraquat-specific training program in order to purchase or use (mix, load, apply, etc.) the product. An EPA-approved paraquat training program is now available.

Access the paraquat training

EPA is also requiring:

  • New closed-system packaging designed to prevent transfer or removal of the paraquat product except directly into proper application equipment.
  • Changes to the pesticide label and distribution of supplemental warning materials to highlight the toxicity and risks associated with paraquat products.
  • Restricting the use of paraquat to certified pesticide applicators only. Individuals working under the supervision of a certified applicator are prohibited from using paraquat.
17 paraquat deaths since 2000 due to illegal transfer to beverage containers

Additional Certification Resources

Reciprocal Certification with Nebraska
Persons who live outside of Nebraska may obtain a license from NDA if they hold valid credentials from a state, agency, or tribe that NDA has a reciprocal agreement with.

Applicator Certification Plan in Indian Country
EPA certifies Private and Commercial applicators to legally apply restricted use pesticides in Indian Country.

Math for Pesticide Applicators New
It's never a bad time to brush up on your applicator math, especially if you're preparing for an applicator exam. These resources are meant to help.