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Frequently Asked Questions

Maine Pesticide General Information

State Licensing Contact Information

Phone: (207) 287-2731 Fax: (207) 287-7548 Email: pesticides@maine.gov Web: Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

What kind of Main pesticide applicator's certification do I need?

An agricultural basic pesticide applicator license is required for fruit, vegetable and grain growers who use only general use (over-the-counter) pesticides and annually sell more than $1,000 of plants or plant products intended for human consumption.

A private applicator license is necessary for anyone who wishes to purchase, apply or supervise application of a restricted or limited use pesticide with the intent of producing a commodity. These pesticides may be used only on property owned, leased or rented by the licensee or licensee's employer. Typical private license holders include farmers, greenhouse operators, florists, orchardists, Christmas tree growers and foresters.

A commercial applicator license is required for any one of the following situations:

  • Application of any restricted/limited use pesticide for purposes other than producing and agricultural commodity
  • Use of any pesticide as a service for which compensation is received. Examples include lawn and landscape care; water damage restoration; mold remediation tree and shrub care; and home pest control.
  • Use of any pesticide on sites open to public use. Property is considered open to use by the public when the owner permits routine access by the public, even if a fee is charged for such use. Examples include office and apartment buildings and grounds; golf courses, campgrounds and other outdoor recreation facilities; hospitals and nursing homes; retail and commercial spaces.
  • Use of any pesticide in a licensed food or eating establishment.
  • Use of any pesticide by a government employee as part of their job duties. Government employees include but are not limited to school, town, county, housing authority, water district, State, Federal and Defense officials.

What types of pesticide applicator's licensing does Maine have?

Agricultural Basic Applicators
Private Applicators
Commercial Applicators - Master or Operator

What are the categories for Maine pesticide licensing?

1A Agricultural – Animal
1B Agricultural – Plant
Option I – Limited Commercial Blueberry
Option II – Chemigation
Option III – Agricultural Fumigation
Option IV – Post-Harvest Treatment

2 Forest Pest Management
3A Outdoor Ornamentals
3B Turf
3C Indoor Ornamentals
4 Seed Treatment
5A Aquatic Pest Control
5B Sewer Root Control
6A Right of Way Vegetation Management
6B Industrial/Commercial/Municipal Vegetation Management
7A Structural General Pest Control (Includes Food Processing)
7B Structural Fumigation
7C1 Disinfectant and Biocide Treatments
7C2 Swimming Pool & Spa
7C3 Mold Remediation & Water Damage Restoration
7D Wood Preserving
7E Biting Fly & Other Arthropod Vectors (Ticks)
7F Termite Pests
8A Public Health – Biting Fly *(a)
8B Public Health – Other *(a)
9 Regulatory Pest Control *(a)
10 Demonstration & Research Pest Control **(b)
11 Aerial Pest Control **(b)

*(a) for government officials only
**(b)requires another certification category

Does my company need a separate pesticide applicator's certification in Maine?

Yes, in Maine this is called a Firm License. There is a $200 fee and businesses must provide proof of insurance and Commercial Master applicator license

Who administers the Maine pesticide exam?

Exams may be taken at any county Cooperative Extension Office by arrangement.

BPC (207) 287-2731

How do I schedule my Maine pesticide applicator exam?

Step 1 - Fill out pages 1 & 2 of testing application
Step 2 – Mail application and fees
Step 3 – Wait for exam registration approval

Where can I find reference materials for the Maine pesticide applicator exam?

What fees are associated with Maine pesticide applicator certification?

Commercial Applicators

Exam Fees: $10 for Core & for each category +$50 for Master’s oral exam (if required)
License Fees: $70
Renewal Fees: $70

Agricultural Basic Applicators

Exam Fees: $0
License Fees: $15
Renewal Fees: $15

Private Applicators

Exam Fees: $0
License Fees: $15
Renewal Fees: $15

What continuing education is required to renew a Maine pesticide applicator's certification?

Commercial - Master Applicators need 18 credits every 6 years
Commercial - Operator Applicators need 12 credits every 6 years
Agricultural Basic Applicators need 3 hours every 3 years
Private Applicators need 3 hours every 3 years

How long is my Maine pesticide applicator's certification valid?

Commercial Applicators: 6 years, but the license must be renewed every 2 years on December 31st
Private Applicators: 6 years, but the license must be renewed every 3 years on October 31st
Agricultural Basic Applicators: 3 years and must be renewed on October 31st

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.