State Contact information for licensing questions

Phone: (916) 445-4038

Fax: (916) 445-4033



For Course Approval Verification:

What kind of California pesticide applicator license do I need?

QAC- (Qualified Applicator Certificate) Apply or supervise the application of federally restricted use pesticides or state restricted materials for any purpose or on any property other than that provided by the definition of a private applicator

QAL- (Qualified Applicators License) Apply or supervise the application of federally restricted use pesticides or state restricted materials for any purpose or on any property other than that provided by the definition of a private applicator. Supervise the pesticide applications made by a licensed pest control business and are responsible for its safe and legal operation. The QAL shall include the categories of pest control activities they supervise

How do I get a California pesticide applicator license?

Qualified Applicator Certification –

  • Step 1 – Complete the application package
  • Step 2 – Pass the Laws, Regulations, and Basic Principles examination with at least 70%. The exam will cost $50. Click here for information on our Exam Prep Course
  • Step 3 – Pay the $40 license fee

Qualified Applicator License-

  • Step 1 - Complete the application package
  • Step 2 - Pass the Laws, Regulations and Basic Principles examination with at least 70%. The exam will cost $50. Click here for information on our Exam Prep Course
  • Step 3 - Pay the $80 license fee

What fees are associated with California pesticide applicator licensing?

Fees: (QAC) Qualified Applicator Certificate

Exam Fees: $50
License Fees: $40
Renewal Fees: $120
Late Fees: $60

Fees: (QAL) Qualified Applicator License

Exam Fees: $50
License Fees: $80
Renewal Fees: $120
Late Fees: $60

What are the different pesticide applicator license categories in California?

A Residential, Industrial, and Institutional
B Landscape Maintenance
C Right-of-Way
D Plant Agriculture
E Forest
F Aquatic
G Regulatory
H Seed Treatment
I Animal Agriculture
J Demonstration and Research
K Health Related
L Wood Preservative
M Antifouling Tributyltin
N Sewer Line Root Control
O Field Fumigation
P Microbial Pest Control
Q Maintenance Gardener * 

* Applicants for subcategory Q only need to take the pest control category Q examination. Laws and Regulations are included in the examination.

For further information on categories and to find a description of each, please click here.

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How long is my California pesticide applicator license valid?

1-2 years

When do I renew my California pesticide applicator license?

If your last name begins with A through L your license expires on December 31 of even-numbered years (e.g. 2018, 2020, 2022, etc.)

If your last name begins with M through Z your license expires on December 31 of odd numbered years (e.g. 2017, 2019, 2021, etc.)

Do I need to complete continuing education to renew my California pesticide applicator license?

You are required to accumulate at least 20 hours of approved continuing education (CE) every two years before certificate renewal. Four of the 20 hours must cover the topic of pesticide laws and regulations (3 CCR section 6511).

QAC & QAL holders who have Category M, N, P, or Q are required to complete eight hours of approved CE after their first renewal.

QAC & QAL holders who have Category H only are required to complete four hours of approved CE after their first renewal.

Two of the hours must cover pesticide laws and regulations (3 CCR section 6511).

For more information please visit: CADPR CE Requirements.

Who submits my completed CEs to the state of California?

Applicators must submit their own continuing education to California. Printable certificates will be available immediately after completing courses.

Are your California pesticide applicator courses state approved?

Yes, all of our courses are state approved.

This is my first time renewing my California pesticide applicator license, how many hours of continuing education do I need?

If you have been licensed less than 12 months - no CE is required
If you have been licensed 12 to 20 months - you must complete half of your CE
If you have been licensed 21 to 24 months - you must complete all of your CE

Can I use excess Laws & Regulations continuing education to meet other CE requirements?


How do I renew California pesticide applicator license?

You must MAIL your application, Fee and CE Course Certificates

Is there a grace period for renewing my California pesticide applicator license?

CE Must be completed by 12/31 but have 1 yr to submit renewal application.

My California pesticide applicator license expired, how do I get it reinstated?

You may renew your license for up to 12 months after expiration by paying a late fee. CE hours must be completed by December 31 of your expiration year. If you do not renew your license within 12 months you must retake the Laws and Regulations exam along with all appropriate category exams.

Does my company need a separate California applicator license?


Do all my employees need their own California pesticide applicator license?


Do I need California pesticide applicator’s license to apply general use pesticides for hire?

General use pesticides are applied according to label instructions on the individual’s own property or with permission of the property owner. Restricted use pesticides are available only to certified applicators. Restricted use includes any materials that are hazardous to public health, farm workers, domestic animals, the environment, wildlife, or crops other than those being treated.

Where can I find the renewal application?

The individual renewal packet can be found here.

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How does it work?

  • $159 will train your whole staff for a year (up to 25 employees)
  • Training can be completed as often as needed for up to 25 employees
  • Employees can watch the video course individually or all at once
  • Certificates will be available for each worker at the end of the course

Who is an agricultural worker?

An agricultural worker is anyone who works in a field that has been sprayed with pesticides within the last 30 days or does high-contact agricultural tasks such as weeding, moving irrigation equipment, pruning and harvesting. Workers DO NOT handle pesticides.

Who is a handler?

A handler is anyone who:

  • Assists with applications
  • Mixes, loads or transfers pesticides into application equipment
  • Cleans, repairs or maintains application equipment
  • Works on equipment that has been used to mix, load or apply pesticides
  • Disposes of pesticides or materials with pesticides on them
  • Acts as a flagger
  • Performs tasks as a crop adviser
  • Applies pesticides

Which establishments are required to provide Worker Protection Standard Training?

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) applies to all establishments involved in growing, producing, or maintaining for sale agricultural plants (including ornamental plants).

This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Nurseries, garden centers, or other similar operations where plants are maintained for sale (retail or wholesale)
  • All crop producing farms
  • Dairy farms that produce hay for cattle
  • Forestry operations
  • Golf courses that produce their own sod
  • Public park operations that produce their own plants
  • Prisons that have "Prison Farms" where agricultural plants are produced and the prisoners are employed as workers or handlers
  • The WPS also applies to any establishment operating as a commercial pesticide handling establishment that applies WPS-labeled pesticide products on agricultural establishments or provides crop advising services for an agricultural establishment

Which pesticide applicators are covered by the Worker Protection Standard?

Most establishments covered by the WPS are crop producing farms, forest operations or nurseries. WPS also covers family owned agricultural operations even if only family members handle and work around pesticides. Essentially, WPS applies to any entity that grows, maintains or produces agricultural plants.

The following facilities or operations that are not generally recognized as traditional agricultural production establishments are covered by the rule if they use WPS-labeled pesticide products:

  • Nurseries, garden centers or other similar operations
  • Dairy farms if they produce hay for cattle feed
  • Golf courses that produce sod or ornamentals for their course
  • Public parks or privately-held ornamental garden operations that produce ornamental plants
  • Theme parks, hotels or other entertainment operations that produce ornamentals for their locations
  • Prisons that have "prison farms" where plants are produced by employed prisoners
  • University extension agricultural research facilities that conduct research on agricultural plants
  • Educational classes or vocational agriculture programs where plant production is completed by students and students receive compensation or reduced tuition
  • Pine straw harvesting/production operations
  • Government-owned or managed agricultural operations

The WPS also applies to any entity operating as a commercial pesticide handling establishment applying or advising the application of WPS-labeled pesticide products on agricultural commodities.

What does Worker Protection Standard require?


All employers must provide EPA approved pesticide training for workers and handlers. Employers must also provide access to specific information including: applications on the establishment, safety data sheets for pesticides applied on establishment, and display a poster with pesticide safety and emergency information.


Employers must keep workers and others out of areas where pesticides are being applied and away from equipment during applications. Handlers must stop application if workers or others are near equipment during applications. Workers must stay out of areas that are under a restricted-entry interval (REI). All early-entry workers on the job in in pesticide-treated areas during REI must be trained in the correct usage of personal protective equipment. Any handlers using highly toxic pesticides must be monitored. Personal protective equipment must be provided and monitored by employers.


The Worker Protection Standard course will train handlers and workers on supply decontamination and emergency assistance including transportation in the case of a pesticide-related accident.

More information on the Worker Protection Standard requirements and how to comply can be found here.

When is Worker Protection Standard required?

As of January 2nd, 2017 employers are required to train workers and handlers annually before pesticide application.

What has changed with Worker Protection Standards?

  • Full training for workers and handlers is now required annually (every year).
  • No grace period for training. Workers must be trained before they work in an area where pesticide has been used or an REI has been in effect in the past 30 days.
  • Handlers are no longer able to be the qualified person available during the training.
  • Expanded training content requirements.
  • Establishments must keep records of training for 2 years and provide records to workers and handlers if requested.
  • Handlers and early entry workers must be at least 18 years old.

Which Pesticides are included under the Worker Protection Standards?

The Worker Protection Standard covers both general and restricted use pesticide that are used in the production of agricultural plants, these products will generally have an "Agricultural Use Requirements" section on the product label. The WPS applies whenever a pesticide is used in the production of agricultural plants on an agricultural establishment that has an “Agricultural Use Requirements” section on the product label.

How can I contact the EPA with Worker Protection Standard questions?

Please visit the EPA's Pesticide Work Safety Website to find answers to further questions and contact information.

Who is required to complete WPS training?

Employers at agricultural establishments and commercial pesticide handling establishments such as farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses.

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What do I have to know to pass the Core Applicator Exam?

  • Up-to-date pest management information and your responsibilities as an applicator
  • Six general pest management methods and their application
  • "Integrated Pest Management (IPM)" solutions defined
  • Simplified federal pesticide laws and regulations that you will understand
  • "Restricted use" vs. "general use" pesticides
  • Learn to build an organized record keeping system
  • Pesticide label explanations for proper identification and use
  • Understand pesticide formulation and its effects
  • Common abbreviations for pesticide formulations (e.g. WP or RUP)
  • Typical symptoms of pesticide exposure in humans and harmful effects
  • Hazard level classification including corresponding signal words
  • Complete guide to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Clear understanding of environmental effects of pesticides
  • Proper transportation, storage and security of pesticides
  • Emergency response and how to react
  • Choosing the proper pesticide and correct application procedures
  • Practice exam to test your knowledge

Who should take this online video course?

Anyone who is preparing to become a commercial or private pesticide applicator and plans on taking the National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Exam. This course will give you everything you need to know to pass the exam on your first try. It is also an awesome tool for pesticide applicators who would like to refresh their knowledge or need to complete CEUs*.

*Please check with your state for current continuing education requirements.

This is the most thorough online pesticide exam prep available!

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What is a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA)?

The CCA certification was established by the American Society of Agronomy in 1992 to provide a benchmark for practicing agronomy professionals in the United States and Canada.

Who should become a Certified Crop Adviser?

Any adviser/consultant that spends the majority of their time advising growers or farm managers/operators on agronomic practices and can meet the standards of the program. Being certified adds credibility and shows that you are serious about what you do.

How do I become a Certified Crop Adviser?

  1. Pass two exams (International and Local Board)
  2. Meet the experience requirements
  3. Apply for the CCA Credential

What are the minimum experience requirements for becoming a Certified Crop Adviser?

  • Have at least two years of experience with at least a Bachelor of Science Degree in an agronomy related field
    (Please keep in mind that University degrees and transcripts must be in English and based on the United States educational standard. If you need assistance in the translation process, you may use Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. or World Education Services)
    *The number of CCAs with at least a Bachelor of Science Degree is greater than 70%

  • Have at least three years of experience with an Associates Degree in an agronomy related field
  • Have at least four years of experience with no degree

How do I apply to become a Certified Crop Adviser?

  1. Document education and crop advising experience (Including transcripts and supporting references)
  2. Sign and agree to uphold the CCA Code of Ethics (Included in application)

Once I become a Certified Crop Adviser, how do I maintain my certification?

  1. Earn 40 hours of continuing education units every 2 years
  2. Pay an annual renewal fee

How long is my Certified Crop Adviser certification valid?

2 years: your certification will expire December 31st two years after your initial certification date.

For example: if you became a CCA on any day between January 1st, 2018-December 31st, 2018--your expiration date would be December 31st, 2020.

Are your continuing education courses approved for CCA CEU Credit by the American Society of Agronomy?

Yes, many of our courses are approved by the American Society of Agronomy Board. On the state pages, the course description will say “Approved for Certified Crop Adviser Credit”.

As a Certified Crop Adviser, am I required to take continuing education units in certain areas or topics?

Yes, the continuing education units you complete must fall within certain topic guidelines. The topic breakdown is as follows:

In each two year cycle, a CCA must complete a minimum of 5 CEUs in each of the 4 categories.

The categories are Nutrient Management, Soil and Water Management, Integrated Pest Management, and Crop Management.

At least 20 of the 40 total CEUs must be board approved.

Can I use your courses for credit for CCA continuing education requirements as well as my state licensing recertification requirements?

Yes, absolutely! Any course that is approved for Certified Crop Adviser Credit can also be used for state pesticide applicator continuing education credits.

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  • Information Last Updated: 03/2021
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