State Licensing Contact Information

Name: Rob Hofstetter

What pesticide application activities require a license in Maryland?

An individual must obtain the appropriate type of pesticide applicator license in order to purchase, use, or supervise the use of a restricted use pesticide, or any general use or restricted use pesticide when providing pesticide applications with or without a fee. 

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

Private Applicator A private applicator is a person who uses a restricted use pesticide in the production of an agricultural commodity on their own or leased property, such as dairy farms, orchards, nurseries, turf farms and greenhouses.

Commercial Pest Control A pesticide business is any business that is offering pest control services or is applying general or restricted use pesticides for hire as part of a service or contract agreement. Pest control means engaging in, or offering to engage in, recommending, advertising, soliciting the use of, supervising the use of, or using, a pesticide or device for the identification, control, eradication, mitigation, detection, inspection, or prevention of a pest in, on, or around any house, building, water, air, land, plant, structure, or animal. This includes lawn care companies using weed and feed or organic pesticides, landscapers using Roundup or animal repellents, and firms providing structural pest control, including the use of devices using heat or freezing.

Public Agency An employee of a unit of federal, state, county, or local government that performs pest control using general or restricted use pesticides (e.g., highway maintenance, weed control, structural pest control, golf courses, etc.) is classified as a public agency applicator. Each agency performing pest control must obtain a public agency permit and have at least one individual certified in the categories in which it is making pesticide applications.

Not - For - Hire A Not-For-Hire license is required of facilities where pest control services are performed by the owner or employees on the facility's property where the property is open to, or routinely used or enjoyed by members of the public. This applies to private golf courses, or country clubs, whose employees apply either a general use and/or restricted use pesticide in the maintenance of the golf course. In order to obtain a Not-For-Hire license the facility must employ at least one person certified as a pest control applicator.

What classifications of applicators licensing does Maryland have?

Private Applicator
Commercial Pest Control
Public Agency

What are the categories for Maryland pesticide licensing?

1A – Agricultural Plant
1B – Agricultural Animal
1C – Agricultural Grain Treatment
2 Forest
3A – Ornamental – Exterior
3B – Ornamental – Interior
3C – Turf
4 – Seed Treatment
5 – Aquatic
6 – Right-Of-Way and Weed
7A – Industrial, Institutional, Structural & Health Related – General Pest Control
7B – Industrial, Institutional, Structural & Health Related – Wood Destroying Insects
7C – Industrial, Institutional, Structural & Health Related – Wildlife Control
7D – Industrial, Institutional, Structural & Health Related – Rodent Control
7E – Industrial, Institutional, Structural & Health Related – Fumigation
8 – Public Health
9 – Regulatory*
10 – Demonstration & Research
11A – Miscellaneous – Wood Treatment
11B – Miscellaneous – Tributylin Antifoulant Paint (TBT)
11C – Miscellaneous – Sewer Root Control
12 – Consultant
13 – Aerial
*Government agency employees only
For a full description of each category, please click here.

Does my company need a separate Maryland pesticide applicators certification?

Yes. In order to obtain a pesticide business license, a firm must complete an application obtained from MDA, designate at least one person certified as a pest control applicator in the categories in which they are providing pest control services, pay a $150 annual business license fee, and provide proof of general liability insurance as follows:

  • Bodily Injury - $100,000 each person and $300,000 each occurrence
  • Property Damage - $15,000 each occurrence and $30,000 annual aggregate provision

An original copy of the current Certificate of Insurance must be kept on file with MDA. The licensing period runs from July 1 through June 30.

Do all of my employees need their own Maryland pesticide applicator license?

No they can just get their Registered Permit.

Each pesticide licensee or permittee is responsible for ensuring that each employee involved in pest control sales, service, or inspections completes a training program approved by MDA on pesticide use and safety. The purpose of the training is to instruct an individual in the principles of pest control and the proper use of pesticides to ensure they are competent to identify pest problems and to handle and apply pesticides in order to prevent harm to themselves, others, animals or the environment. An employee must receive and complete the training within 30 days of a business, or agency, obtaining a business license or permit, initial employment or changing job duties that will involve pest control sales, service or inspections. The training, at a minimum, must consist of the following topics and concepts:

  • Pesticide laws and regulations;
  • Pesticide label comprehension;
  • Safety and emergency procedures;
  • Pest identification and control recommendations;
  • Pesticide application techniques;
  • Environmental and health concerns; and
  • Integrated pest management principles.

Permittees are required to maintain written documentation verifying that each registered employee has completed the required training, including the date in which the training was completed. An employee who has not successfully completed the training requirements may not apply pesticides unless a certified applicator, or a registered employee, is physically present at the time and place the pesticide is applied.

To register an employee, their name, social security number, driver's license number, date of employment and the date that they completed the training must be submitted to MDA on an I.D. Card Request Form along with a one inch by one inch color photograph with the employee's name printed on the back of the photograph and the $30 initial registration fee for each new employee. Upon receipt of the I.D. card, a Registered Employee is required to carry the Maryland Department of Agriculture I.D. and display it to any individual requesting to see their I.D. card.

A written notice from the licensee or permittee must be provided to MDA within thirty days of a Registered Employee's termination or change in employment.

An employee’s registration is required to be renewed annually by submitting the Registered Employee Renewal form and submitting the $30 annual registration fee for each employee.

An employee’s registration is valid from July 1 through June 30. The ID card itself will not be reissued each year. Please note, public agencies and certified applicators are exempt from the registration fees. In addition, if an ID card is lost, stolen or damaged there will not be a fee associated with issuing a replacement I.D. card.

Do I need a Maryland pesticide applicators certification to apply general use pesticides for hire?


Does Maryland offer pesticide applicator reciprocity with other states?

Reciprocity is a one time process for a nonresident of Maryland to obtain certification in Maryland based off of certification in their current state of residency. This certification is based on the applicant taking the certification examinations in their current state of residency.

To become certified based on reciprocity; a copy of a current certificate from the applicant's current state of residency must be submitted along with a copy of their driver's license. Upon approval, the applicant will be notified concerning payment of the necessary fees. Once the applicator becomes certified in Maryland, they must comply with Maryland's laws, regulations and re-certification training requirements.

Please note: Maryland residents are not eligible for certification through reciprocity. Maryland residents must take the certification examinations.

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How do I become a Maryland certified pesticide applicator?

Private Applicators:
-Must be 16 years of age

-Complete application form and submit with fee
-Take and pass exam (70% or higher)

Commercial Applicators:
-Must be 18 years of age

-Have at least 1 year of experience in categories you want to be certified in. If you do not have at least 1 year of experience, you must complete an APPROVED training course. 
-Submit application form and fee to state
-Take and pass exam (70% or higher)

Who administers the Maryland pesticide exams?

Private Applicators: University of Maryland Extension Offices
Certified Applicators: Maryland Department of Agriculture

How do I schedule my pesticide applicator exam in Maryland?

Individuals that have submitted an application and have been approved to take the examinations can attend the session of their choice. See exam dates here.

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

Cat 7C
Cat 7D
Cat 8
Cat 10
Cat 13

Other manuals can be found from the Maryland Extension Website.

Is the Maryland pesticide exam open book?

No, examinations are multiple-choice and closed book.

What fees are associated with Maryland pesticide applicator certification?

Private Applicators:
Exam Fees: $0
License Fees: $7
Renewal Fees: $7
Late Fees: N/A

Commercial Applicators:
Exam Fees: $0
License Fees: $75 (core) + $25 (per category)
Renewal Fees: $75 (core) + $25 (per category)
Late Fees: N/A

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What continuing education is required to renew a Maryland pesticide applicator license?

Private Applicators: 4 credits (1 credit is equal to ½ hour of training), that is the equivalent of two hours of pest or pesticide related topics as determined by MDA and UME

Commercial Applicators:

8 credits (4 hours)
Agricultural Plant

Ornamental & Turf
Structural Pest Control
Demonstration & Research
Microbial Pest Control

6 credits (3 hours)
Forest Pest Control

Aquatic Pest Control
Public Health

4 credits (2 hours)
Seed Treatment

Pesticide Dealer
Private Applicators

In-Person Training
Wood Preservatives

Anti-Fouling Paint

Who submits my continuing education to the state?

We do!

Are your continuing education courses Maryland state-approved?

Yes, our state approval numbers can be found in the title of each course.

How do I renew my Maryland pesticide applicators certification?

Private Applicators must attend an MDA-approved re-certification training session** during the last year of the current certification period.
A renewal form will be mailed to the student in November to candidates who have satisfied the required training requirements and whose private applicator certificates are about to expire.
You may also use the new web portal found here.
**Please note: attendance at initial certification training will not satisfy the requirements for re-certification training.

Commercial Applicators must attend re-certification training each year in order to renew their certificate. A renewal form will be mailed to the student in April each year.
You may also use the new web portal found here.

How long is my Maryland pesticide applicators license valid?

Private Applicators: Licenses expire December 31st every 3 years

Commercial Applicators: License expire every year on June 30th

My Maryland pesticide applicator certification expired, how do I get it reinstated?

You must submit a new application, get approval, and re-take all required examinations.

Is there a grace period for renewing my Maryland pesticide applicator certification?


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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: 11/2020
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