State Licensing Contact Information

Phone: (651) 201-6633

Email: Pesticide.Licensing@state.mn.us

Web: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

What pesticide application activities require a license in Minnesota?

Anyone who applies pesticides either in an agricultural setting or for hire/employ are required to be licensed.

What kind of Minnesota pesticide applicator license do I need?

Commercial Pesticide Applicator License
Commercial pesticide applicator licenses are for pesticide applicators who apply any pesticide (including herbicides) “for hire". For hire means charging or invoicing for the service. Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)

Golf Course Pesticide Applicator License (Noncommercial Pesticide Applicator)

Noncommercial Pesticide Applicator License
Noncommercial licenses are for all pesticide applicators that apply Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP) as part of their job on property owned or contracted by their employer. Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)

Pesticide Dealer License
For each fixed location, pesticide dealers must maintain a Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) issued Pesticide Dealer License to offer for sale or sell agricultural pesticides, restricted use pesticides (RUP) and/or bulk pesticides (BP) to Minnesota end users. Dealers operating from outside of Minnesota must also maintain a registered agent in the state.

Pesticide Registration
Pesticide use or distribution in Minnesota, including sales, requires registration of each pesticide product with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

Private Pesticide Applicator Certificate
Private pesticide applicators are certified through a program administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and University of Minnesota Extension.

Structural Pest Control Applicator (SPCA) / Company License
Structural Pest Control licenses are for companies and their employees that control structural pests on or in structures. Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)

What classifications of pesticide applicator licensing does Minnesota have?

-Commercial: applicator makes pesticide applications for-hire (customers are billed or invoiced)
-Noncommercial: applicator makes applications of Restricted Use Pesticides as part of his/her job on property owned or controlled by the employer
-Structural: applicator makes pesticide applications in, on, or around structures 
-Private Applicators: typically farmers

What are the categories for pesticide licensing in Minnesota?

For Commercial, Noncommercial and Structural Pest Control Applicator Licenses:
A: Core

B: General Aerial
C: Field Crop Pest Management
E: Turf & Ornamentals
F: Aquatic
H: Seed Treatment
I: Anti-Microbial
J: Forestry, Rights-of-Way, and Natural Areas
K: Agricultural Pest Control – Animal
L: Mosquito and Black Fly Control
M: Food Processing Pest Management (Noncommercial)
N: Stored Grain and Fumigation
O: Soil Fumigation
P: Vertebrate Pest Control
Q: Wood Preservatives
R: Sewer Root Control
S: Noncommercial Structural

Structural Pest Control Applicator is a license type separate from Commercial and Noncommercial. It can be held with a Commercial license:
SPCA – Structural Master: Pesticide on, in, under or around structures with 2 years licensed experience
SPCA – Structural Journeyman: Pesticide on, in, under or around structures
SPCA – Fumigant Endorsement: Fumigant in a structure (building or grain facility)

For Private Applicators:
Private – Optional Fumigation Endorsement: soil or grain

Does my company need a separate Minnesota Pesticide Certification?

Yes, and to receive company certification, proof of financial responsibility is required.
Financial responsibility may be any one of the following:

Certificate of Net Assets Statement

  • A certificate of Net Assets Statement issued by a financial institution, authorized to do business in the State of Minnesota by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, showing the applicator to have net assets available to satisfy judgments equal to or greater than $50,000.
  • The Net Assets Statement, to be considered official, shall be signed by an officer of that institution and printed on letterhead stationery of that financial institution.
  • The Certificate of Net Assets Statement is not required to be submitted with the license application, but the applicator must be able to provide it to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture if and when requested.

Liability Insurance
An effective Certificate of Insurance, issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of Minnesota by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, shows the following minimum liability coverage amounts. The Certificate of Insurance is not required to be submitted with the license application, but the applicator must be able to provide it to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture if and when requested.

  • Commercial Applicators: 
    $50,000 bodily injury or death, for each person; and for each occurrence; $25,000 property damage for each occurrence.
  • Structural Pest Control Applicators: 
    $100,000 bodily injury; and $200,000 bodily injury or death, for two or more at each occurrence; and $10,000 property damage for each occurrence.
  • Commercial Animal Waste Technicians - Site Manager and Applicator:
    Net assets greater than $50,000

Performance or Surety Bond
A Performance or Surety Bond from a bonding institution with the same monetary amounts and provisions as listed under the liability insurance option above.

Do I need a Minnesota pesticide applicator certification to apply general use pesticides for hire?


Does the state of Minnesota offer reciprocity for pesticide applicator certification with other states?

Minnesota offers reciprocity with North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming. Individuals seeking reciprocal licensing must:

  1. Provide a legible copy of their resident pesticide certification or license including their categories and expiration date
  2. Provide a copy of your driver’s license
  3. Complete a new Minnesota department of Agriculture form
  4. Sign a reciprocal acknowledgement form. Call 651-201-6615 to obtain the form.
  5. Provide Financial Responsibility Documents if applying for a commercial or structural license type.


How do I become a Minnesota certified pesticide applicator?

Commercial Pesticide Applicator:

Noncommercial Pesticide Applicator:

Structural Pest Control Applicator:

Private Pesticide Applicator:

Who administers the Minnesota pesticide applicator exams?

Private Applicators apply and test through the University of Minnesota.

Others are tested by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

How do I schedule my Minnesota pesticide exam?

Private Applicators: follow this step-by-step registration guide

All others:
-St. Paul: Call (651) 201-6633 or email Pesticide.Testing@state.mn.us
-Greater Minnesota: Schedule an appointment at a greater Minnesota testing location

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

University of Minnesota Bookstores

Is the Minnesota pesticide exam open book?


What fees are associated with Minnesota pesticide applicator licensing?

Commercial Pesticide Applicator
Exam Fees: $75 per category
Categories M & N: 150 per category
License Fees: $64
Renewal Fees: $64
Late Fees: $25

Noncommercial Pesticide Applicator
Exam Fees: $250 (category S) | Categories M & N: $150
License Fees: $64
Renewal Fees: $64
Late Fees: $25

Structural Pest Control Applicator
Exam Fees: $250 (master or journeyman) | Fumigation: $150
License Fees: $50
Renewal Fees: $50
Late Fees: $25

Structural Pest Control Company
License Fees: $225
Renewal Fees: $22550
Late Fees: $100

Private Applicator
Exam Fees: $75
Renewal Fees: $75 (for workshop)


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?

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

Who is required to complete WPS training?

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


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!