Montana State Licensing Contact Information
Phone: (406) 444-3676
Fax: (406) 444-9493
What pesticide application activities require a license in Montana?
Anyone who applies restricted use pesticide either for hire or on his or her own property.
What kind of Montana Pesticide Applicator's Certification do I need?
Core Certification - Core certification is required for all pesticide applicators and dealers wishing to become licensed in the state of Montana. This is accomplished by learning how to handle pesticides correctly and how to protect yourself, others and the environment from pesticide misuse. Study materials titled "National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual" and "Montana State Laws and Regulations Pertaining to the Use of Pesticides" are available from the department or can be found online at the links below.
These classification categories determine additional certifications that may be required:
(21) Aerial - Applicators who apply pesticides by aircraft.
(30) Agricultural Plant Pest Control - Plant classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides in the production of agricultural crops, including but not limited to small grains, feed grains, soybeans and forage, vegetables, small fruits, tree fruits and nuts, as well as on grasslands and non-crop agricultural lands.
(31) Agricultural Animal Pest Control - Animal classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides on animals including but not limited to beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, horses, goats, poultry and livestock, and to places on or in which animals are confined. Doctors of veterinary medicine engaged in the business of applying restricted use pesticides for hire, publicly holding themselves out as pesticide applicators, or engaged in a large scale use of restricted pesticide are included in this classification and must be certified-licensed.
(32) Agricultural Vertebrate Pest Control - Vertebrate classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides in the management of vertebrate animals normally wild or feral, including certain predators, rodents, and birds, which may adversely affect human health, property, or are a nuisance to people.
(33) Forest Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides in forests, forest nurseries, and forest seed-producing areas. Forest Pest Control study manual is available at the link below.
(34) Ornamental and Turf Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides to control pests in the maintenance and production of ornamental trees, shrubs, flowers, and turf.
(35) Seed Treatment and Elevator Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides onto seeds, the use of fumigants in seed storage areas or on or in seeds and the use of pesticides in or aground the elevator seed storage facilities.
(36) Aquatic Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides purposefully applied to standing or running water, excluding applicators engaged in the Public Health Pest Control category.
(37) Right-of-Way, Rangeland, Pasture, and Noncrop Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides to manage weeds or other vegetation in the maintenance of public roads, electric power lines, pipelines, railway rights-of-way, or other similar areas, as well as grassland and pastures that are not harvested for forage, and on noncrop areas.
(38) Public Health Pest Control classification includes state, federal, or other governmental employees or contracted commercial applicators using or supervising the use of pesticides in public health programs for the management and control of pests having medical and public health importance. The jurisdictional health officer, state veterinarian, their duly authorized representatives, and governmental research personnel are exempt from licensing when applying general use pesticides to experimental areas.
(39) Demonstration and Research – This classification includes: a) Individuals who demonstrate to the public the proper use of pesticides and pesticide application techniques or supervise such demonstrations or make or approve recommendations on pesticide product use and/or selection (Persons licensed as Dealers are exempt from this classification); b) Individuals conducting field research with pesticides and in doing so, use or supervise the use of pesticides.
(40) Industrial, Institutional, Structural, and Health Related Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides in, on, or around food handling and manufacturing establishments, human dwellings, institutions, such as schools and hospitals, industrial establishments including warehouses, and any other structures and adjacent areas, public or private, and for the protection of stored, process, or manufactured products.
(41) Wood Product Pest Control classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides for pole framing, silling applications, some home and farm uses, brush on treatments, sapstain control, and uses in non-pressure treatment plants for the protection of wood products.
(43) Sodium Cyanide (M-44) classification includes any applicator using M-44 cyanide capsules to control certain wild canids: coyotes, red fox, gray fox and wild dogs that depredate livestock and poultry. Special training and a field exam is required after passing the written exam.
(44) Special Utility classification includes any applicator using or supervising the use of pesticides for pole wraps, utility right-of-way, or similar uses.
(45) School IPM Pest Control classification includes applicators using or supervising the use of pesticides in the school environment, including but not limited to school yards, buildings, playing fields, and other property under the jurisdiction of the school districts.
(46) Piscicide Pest – Applicators using or supervising the use of pesticides purposefully applied to waters to eliminate fish species as a fishery management tool.
(56) Other – Applicators using or supervising the use of pesticides in environments that are not included in any other classification e.g., Sewer Treatment, Biocides, Animal Contraceptives, etc.
What are the different pesticide certification classifications in Montana?
Commercial applicators are individuals, who by contract or for hire, apply pesticides by aerial, ground, or hand equipment to land, plants, seed, animals, water, structures, or vehicles. Commercial applicators receive specialized training and testing appropriate to categories for which they are licensed.
Public Utility applicators apply pesticides to land owned or leased by a public utility. Training and licensing are the same as for commercial applicators. For more information click on Commercial Applicators in the tabs below.
Government operators are individuals who apply pesticides for a city, county or state or other government agency to public land or right-of-way, or as a public service. Must meet the above standards for commercial operators. Government operators can operate only within their respective governmental jurisdiction.
Non-Commercial applicators are individuals who cannot be classified as a commercial, public utility, governmental or private pesticide applicators, but desire to apply restricted-use pesticides. These individuals need to be classified into one of the 11 categories established for commercial applicators and may use restricted-use pesticides on lands owned, rented, or leased by an employer or by the license holder.
Operators are employees of licensed or certified applicators who do not hold a commercial license must be licensed as operators and may not apply pesticides more than 100 miles from the licensed applicator's physical location. To obtain an operator's license, an individual may: 1) pass a department exam with a score of 80% or better; 2) attend a department training course; or 3) receive training from a certified applicator. Operator licenses must be renewed each calendar year before applying pesticides.
A Private Applicator is any person who applies restricted use pesticides to his/her own crop, land or leased lands. For more information click on Private Applicator in the tabs below.
Does my company need a separate Pesticide Applicator's Certification?
A pesticide license is issued to an individual, not a business. Every pesticide business must have at least one licensed individual. Each location selling pesticides must have one or more individuals having separate GHDOHU licenses for each location.
Do all of my employees need their own Montana Pesticide Applicator's Certification?
Do I need a Montana Pesticide Applicator's Certification to apply general use pesticides for hire?
Does the state of Montana offer Pesticide Applicator reciprocity with other states?
Yes, Montana has reciprocal agreements with North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.
Reciprocity is based on State of Residence, and proof of residence will be required (such as a driver's license). All state specific requirements must be complete before a license will be issued.
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How do I become a Certified Montana Pesticide Applicator?
Private Applicators –
- Step 1 – Pass the graded written exam at local Montana State University (MSU) Extension Service Offices or Attend a training course provided by MSU Extension Service and take an ungraded written exam.
Commercial Applicators –
- Step 1 –Pass core exam and category specific exams with 80% or better
- Step 2 – Meet liability requirements
- Step 3 – Complete an application form
- Step 4 – Pay $85 license fee
Public Utility Applicators –
- Step 1 – You must work for a public utility agency
- Step 2- Pass core exam and category specific exams with 80% or better
- Step 3 – Complete an application form
- Step 4 – Pay $85 license fee
Government Applicators –
- Step 1 – You must work for a local, county, or state government agency
- Step 2- Pass core exam and category specific exams with 80% or better
- Step 2 – Complete an application form
- Step 3 – Pay $70 application fee
Non-Commercial Applicators –
- Step 1 – Pass core exam and category specific exams with 80% or better
- Step 2 – Complete an application form
- Step 3 – Pay $85 license fee
- Step 1 – You must work under a Montana licensed applicator
- Step 2 – Receive training from the certified applicator.
Do I need continuing education credits to maintain my Montana pesticide applicators license?
- Private Applicators have a 5-year renewal cycle. Applicators must obtain 6 continuing education credits before their license expires.
- Commercial, Non-Commercial, Government, and Special Utility pesticide applicators and dealers must renew every 4 years. There are two ways to meet renewal requirements:
- Pass the complete licensing exam again.
- Obtain 12 hours of training in your license category before your license expires.
When are the Montana Pesticide Certification renewal deadlines?
Ornamental & Turf
Demonstration & Research
Industrial, Structural, & Institutional
Agricultural Animal Pest
Other (Sewer Treatment)
Agricultural Vertebrate Pest
M-44 Sodium Cyanide
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?
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!
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?
- Pass two exams (International and Local Board)
- Meet the experience requirements
- 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?
- Document education and crop advising experience (Including transcripts and supporting references)
- 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?
- Earn 40 hours of continuing education units every 2 years
- 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.