MASSACHUSETTS PESTICIDE APPLICATOR GENERAL INFORMATION

State Licensing Contact Information

Phone: (617) 626-1784

Email: Steve.Kenyon@state.ma.us

Web: Massachusetts Department of Agriculture

What kind of Massachusetts pesticide applicator certification do I need?

  • Applicator License (Core) - if you have never had a pesticide license in Massachusetts, or if you did and it lapsed 5 or more years ago, and you plan to use pesticides on the property of another for hire or as part of your current job duties on the property of your employer or leased by your employer.
  • Private Certification - if you are a grower or farmer or work in agriculture and plan to use restricted use pesticides (RUP’s) on land that is owned or rented by you or your employer for the purpose of raising agricultural commodities. Agricultural commodities can include, but are not limited to, products like cranberries, potatoes, tomatoes, greenhouse plants, sod, nursery stock, blueberries, apples, corn and other field crops, etc.
  • Commercial Certification - if you have held an Applicator License (core) in Massachusetts or certification for two (2) or more years during the past five (5) years, and you plan to use restricted use pesticides (RUP’s) on the property of another for hire.
  • Dealer License - if you plan to SELL restricted use pesticides (RUP’s).

What classifications of applicator's licensing does Massachusetts have?

  • Applicator (Core)
  • Private
  • Commercial
  • Dealer

MASSACHUSETTS PESTICIDE APPLICATOR CERTIFICATION

How do I become a Massachusetts certified pesticide applicator?

Take the required exams. After taking the exam and receiving a passing score, we will send you instructions on how to apply for your license or certification. You have one year to submit an application with the appropriate fee to receive your license or certification credential.

  • Commercial Applicator License (core) – $100
  • Commercial Applicator Certification - $150
  • Private Certification - $100
  • Dealer License - $300

Who administers the Massachusetts pesticide exams?

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources

How do I schedule my Massachusetts pesticide exam?

You must complete and submit an exam application form with the appropriate fee. The deadline to receive the application is one-week before the selected exam date.

Use the ePLACE Portal in order to apply for the exam and manage other licensing issues.

Is the Massachusetts pesticide exam open book?

No

What fees are associated with Massachusetts pesticide applicator licensing?

Commercial Applicator License (core)
Exam: $75
License: $100
Renewal: $100
Late Renewal: $75

Commercial Applicator
Exam: $125

License: $150
Renewal: $150
Late Renewal: $125

Private Applicator
Exam: $125

License: $100
Renewal: $100
Late Renewal: $125

Dealer License
Exam: $125

License: $300
Renewal: $300
Late Renewal: $125


MASSACHUSETTS PESTICIDE CERTIFICATION RENEWALS

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

Continuing education may be done by retaking the requisite exams or by completing state approved continuing education courses within a 3 year period.

  • Applicator License (Core): 6 contact hours
  • Private Certification: 12 contact hours
  • Commercial Certification: 12 contact hours per category
  • Dealer License: 3 contact hours

When do I need to renew my Massachusetts pesticide applicator's certification?

  • Commercial Applicator License (core) – due by December 31 each calendar year
  • Commercial Applicator Certification - due by December 31 each calendar year
  • Private Certification - due by December 31 each calendar year
  • Dealer License - due by February 28 each calendar year

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

3 years


WORKER PROTECTION STANDARD 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?

Educate
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. 

Caution
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. 

Mitigate
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?

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?

Mike Goodis
goodis.michael@epa.gov
703-308-8157

Who is required to complete WPS training?

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


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.

This is the most thorough online pesticide exam prep available!


CERTIFIED CROP ADVISER 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

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 approved courses 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, 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 re-certification 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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