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Frequently Asked Questions

Colorado Pesticide Applicator General Information

Colorado State Licensing Contact Information

Phone: (303) 869-9063
Fax: (303) 466-2860
Web: Colorado Department of Agriculture

What pesticide application activities require a pesticide license in Colorado?

Any person making pesticide applications “for hire” or any business selling services that include the application of pesticides must license as a commercial pesticide applicator business.

What classifications of pesticide applicator's licensing does Colorado have?

Qualified Supervisor: An individual employed by or acting on behalf of a commercial, limited commercial, or public applicator who without supervision evaluates pest problems, recommends pest controls using pesticides or devices, mixes, loads, or applies any pesticide, sells any application services, operates devices, or supervises others in any of these functions must be licensed as a qualified supervisor.  A Qualified Supervisor must meet specific on-the-job experience requirements in each category of licensure to obtain this license.

Certified Operator: An individual employed by or acting on behalf of a commercial, limited commercial, or public applicator, who uses restricted use pesticides without the on-site supervision of a qualified supervisor must be licensed as a certified operator. There are no experience requirements to obtain this license.

Private Applicator: A person who uses or supervises the use of a restricted use pesticide for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity on property owned or leased by the applicator or the applicator's employer or, if the pesticide is applied without compensation other than trading of personal services between producers of agricultural commodities, on the property of another person must be a licensed private applicator.

What are the categories for pesticide licensing in Colorado?


101 Agricultural Insect Control
102 Agricultural Plant Disease Control
103 Agricultural Weed Control
104 Seed Treatment
105 Livestock Pest Control
106 Forest Pest Control
107 Rangeland Pest Control
108 Aquatic Pest Control
109 Industrial and Right of Way Weed Control
110 Public Health Control
111 Research and Demonstration
113 Metam Sodium for Root Control in Sewers
401 Private Applicator


206 Turf Pest Control
207 Ornamental Pest Control


301 Wood Destroying Organism Pest Control
302 Outdoor Vertebrate Pest Control
303 Fumigation
304 Residential/Commercial Pest Control
305 Stored Commodities Treatment
306 Wood Preservation & Wood Products Treatment
307 Interior Plant Pest Control

Does the state of Colorado offer pesticide applicator reciprocity with other states?

An individual certified or licensed by another jurisdiction as a private or commercial pesticide applicator may become a licensed private or certified operator in Colorado without passing examinations, but only for the unexpired term of that certification or license.

A reciprocal application must include proof of current certification or licensure, a letter of good standing, a citizenship verification form and the appropriate fee.

The reciprocal application may be denied if incomplete or incorrect. A reciprocal license expires on the expiration date of the certification or license issued by the other jurisdiction.

Colorado Pesticide Applicator Certification

How do I become a certified Colorado pesticide applicator?

Qualified Supervisor:
  • Successfully complete the general exam plus exams in all categories applicable to the pesticide applications which they will be performing
  • Have the required experience and qualifications specified in rule
  • Submit a citizenship/immigration status form, and
  • Submit a properly completed application and the $100 license fee.
Certified Operator:
  • Successfully complete the general exam plus exams in all categories applicable to the pesticide applications which they will be performing
  • Submit a citizenship/immigration status form, and
  • Submit a properly completed application and the $100 fee, or apply for a reciprocal license.
Private Applicator:
  • Successfully complete the private applicator exam
  • Submit a properly completed application and the $75 license fee with the application and acceptable ID, such as a driver's license copy.

Who administers the Colorado pesticide exams?

Metro Institutes
(602) 452-2900

How do I schedule my Colorado pesticide exam?

Private Applicators:
  • You may take the open book exam from any personal computer with internet access.
  • The online exam is accessible here.
  • Following the instructions on the online site, register and pay the $20.00 exam fee.
  • You will have 30 days to complete the online exam. You will have total access to the exam for 30 days and can exit and re-enter the exam at any time during your 30 day period.
  • The manual can be downloaded and printed for future reference.
Qualified Supervisors & Certified Operators:
Complete the Exam Application
  • The first part of the Metro Institute website provides information to CDA through an Online Exam Application. CDA will use this information to verify your CDA Pesticide Applicator ID number if you have one or to create a Pesticide Applicator ID number for you if you are new to the pesticide applicator examination process.
  • CDA will send an e-mail to you confirming your CDA Applicator ID number - please write it down for future use. Continue on to step
Schedule your Online Test
  • The second part of the Metro Institute website is where you will start the test scheduling process.
  • Choose your Testing Center location and time.
  • You will be prompted to enter your name, applicator ID number, and password provided by Metro Institute.
  • You'll be asked for some optional employer related information and any missing information. The information collected at this website is used to create a Metro account that allows you to schedule and pay for exams.
  • Follow the prompts to choose your testing location and exams you wish to take.
  • Pay all examination fees.
  • Metro will e-mail you your receipt and confirmation of your date, time and location of your scheduled exam(s).
  • All examinations must be paid for and scheduled online at least two days prior to testing. A test may not be scheduled and taken on the same day and must be taken at the scheduled location.
  • The examination fee is $31.50 per test.
  • For security purposes, you must have a valid e-mail account. Without a valid e-mail account, you will not be able to test.
  • You must provide a photo ID at the time of examination.
  • No reference materials are allowed in the examination area.

Where can I find reference materials for the Colorado pesticide exam?

Click here to find reference materials for the Colorado pesticide exam.

Is the exam open book?

Private Applicators: Yes

Qualified Supervisors & Certified Operators: No

Colorado Pesticide Certification Renewal

What continuing education is required to renew my Colorado pesticide applicator's certification?

  • 2 credits in the subject area of applicable State, Federal, and Local Laws and Regulations
  • 1 credit in the subject area of Pesticides and Their Families
  • 1 credit in the subject area of Applicator Safety
  • 1 credit in the subject area of Public Safety
  • 1 credit in the subject area of Environmental Protection
  • 1 credit in the subject area of Use of Pesticides
  • 1 credit for each licensed category in the subject area of Pest Management except for Turf Pest Control, Ornamental Pest Control, & Residential/Commercial Pest Control which requires 2 credits in the subject area of pest management (Applies to QS and CO's only).

How do I renew my Colorado pesticide applicator's license?

It is the businesses responsibility to renew their license. As a courtesy, CDA generally mails a renewal application each November, but if this is not received, contact the Department at (303) 869-9066 or commercialbusiness@state.co.us to request a renewal application.

How long is my Colorado pesticide applicator's license valid?

A commercial applicator business license is good for the calendar year. Licenses issued in the middle of the calendar year are not pro-rated and expire on December 31st of each year.

Worker Protection Standard (WPS) FAQs

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, disposes of pesticides or materials with pesticides on them, acts as a flagger, performs tasks as a crop adviser, or 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 WPS?

Most establishments covered by the WPS are crop producing such as 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 requirements and how to comply can be found herehttps://goo.gl/bjfk8K 

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 Worker Protection Standards?

A pesticide product is covered by the WPS if the following statement is in the Directions for Use section on the product labeling:


Use this product only in accordance with its labeling and with the Worker Protection Standard, 40 CFR 170.

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

More information may be found at the EPA Agricultural Worker Protection Standard website, or you may reach the EPA at one of the regional offices listed below.

EPA Region 1 (New England) - 888-372-7341 in the New England States, or 617-918-1111
EPA Region 2 - 887-251-4575
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic) - 800-428-2474 in Region 3, or 215-814-5122
EPA Region 4 (Southeast) - 800-241-1754 in Region 4, or 404-562-9900
EPA Region 5 - 800-621-8431 in Region 5, or 312-353-2000
EPA Region 6 (South Central) - 800-887-6063
EPA Region 7 (Midwest) - 800-223-0425 in Region 7, or 913-551-7003
EPA Region 8 (Mountains and Plains) - 800-227-8917 in Region 8, or 303-312-6312
EPA Region 9 (Pacific Southwest) - 866-372-9378 in Region 9, or 415-947-8000
EPA Region 10 (Pacific Northwest) - 800-424-4372 in Region 10, or 206-553-1200

Not sure what region you're in? Click here.

Who is required to provide WPS training?

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

Does the Worker Protection Standard requirement apply to organic farming?

Yes! Worker Protection Standards apply to pesticides if the following statement is in the Directions for Use section on the product labeling:


Use this product only in accordance with its labeling and with the Worker Protection Standard, 40 CFR 170.

Core Exam Prep FAQs

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.

Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) FAQs

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.