You will find information/links to pesticide sources for both commercial and private applicators.

Commercial and Private Applicator Information

Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicator

Farmers and agricultural industry personnel can obtain either a “Private” or “Commercial” pesticide applicator license through the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). OSU Extension helps in the licensing process by providing study material, practice exams, and local test preparation classes. OSU Extension also provides annual re-certification sessions for applicators to attend to obtain the continuing education requirements needed.

Private Pesticide Applicator’s Licenses are for farmers who apply restricted-use pesticides on his/her own land (or rented land) and produce an agricultural commodity. Each private applicator is required to take & pass the CORE test (general safety for the applicator and the environment) and any category(ies) that correspond to the crops he/she grows. There are 7 categories which certification can be received: Grain and Cereal Crops (category 1), Forage Crops and Livestock (category 2), Fruit and Vegetable Crops (category 3), Nursery and Forest Crops (category 4), Greenhouse Crops (category 5), Fumigation (category 6), and Specialty Uses (category 7). Complete details on the licensing process for private pesticide applicators and study materials can be found at:

Commercial Pesticide Applicator Licenses are for farmers or industry personnel who apply pesticides for a business or on land owned by someone else, and usually receive payment for their services. In agriculture this includes agricultural businesses who custom spray crops, as well as farmers who are hired to custom spray for fellow farmers. The commercial license area also includes applicators who work for a government or public agency such as a K-12 schools, colleges, universities, villages, townships, and park districts, in addition to applicators who apply to sites accessible to the public. Each commercial applicator will need to take and pass the CORE test (general safety for the applicator and the environment) and the category(ies) that correspond to their commercial spray operation. These categories include: Aerial Pest Control (category 1), Agricultural Pest Control (category 2 with 6 sub-categories); Aquatic Pest Control (category 3 with 3 sub-categories), Forest Pest Control (category 4 with 2 sub-categories), Industrial Vegetation (category 5), Ornamental Plant & Shade Tree Pest Control (category 6 with 4 subcategories), Vertebrate (category 7), Turf (category 8), Animal Pest Control (category 9), Domestic, Institutional, Structural & Health Related Pest Control (category 10 with 4 subcategories), Livestock Predator Control (Category 11 for USDA employees only), and Wood Destroying Insect Diagnostic Inspection (category 12). Complete details on the commercial categories, licensing process, and their sub-categories can be found at:

All Northeast Ohio dates can be found here.

Pesticide Resources:

Pesticide License Information Website from Ohio Department of Agriculture user can check status of recertification credits and do other searches on this page.

Pesticide License Renewal Form for Private Applicators

Listing of current restricted use products in Ohio along with category license needed to buy these products.


Ohio Pesticide Safety Education Program Study Materials

Click here to view the study materials for taking the ODA Commercial or Private Applicator's License Exam. Click on the Commercial Applicator or Private Applicator tabs near the top of the page and choose study materials in the drop-down list.