How do I get my applicator's license in Nebraska?

Private Applicator - To obtain certification to be a Private Applicator, you must complete one of the following:

  • attend a private applicator training program - usually  sponsored through your local extension office, or
  • complete a self-study program through your local extension office, or
  • pass the Private Applicator Exam administered by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA)
  • The licensing fee for a Private Applicator is $25 for the three-year licensing cycle. Private Applicators must re-certify every three years. For more information on obtaining your initial certification contact your local extension agency.

Commercial and Non-Commercial Applicators - To obtain certification as either a Commercial (for-hire) or Non-Commercial (not-for-hire) applicator, you must

  • successfully pass the general standards exam and at least one category specific exam with a score of at lease 70%.
  • The licensing fee is $90 for Commercial Applicators, there is no fee for Non-Commercial Applicators. Both Commercial and Non-Commercial Applicators must re-certify every three years.


Do I need continuing education to maintain my Nebraska pesticide applicator's license?
No, Nebraska Department of Agriculture requires that all applicators be re-certified every three years.

Renewal Cycle: 3 years

Renewal Deadline: April 15th 3 years after the exam date

Frequently Asked Questions

Nebraska Department of Agriculture
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94947
Lincoln, NE 68509-4947
Phone: 402-471-2341
Fax: 402-471-6876

Nebraska has three levels of licensing for pesticide applicators: Private, Commercial and Non-commercial.

  • Private Applicator Certification - Anyone who applies restricted use pesticides in an agricultural setting to their own property needs this level of licensing. Private Applicators may apply restricted use pesticides to properties owned by others as long as no compensation outside of an exchange of services.
  • Commercial Applicator Certification - Anyone who applies restricted use pesticides to the property of another in a for hire capacity needs this level of licensing; or applies pesticides to the structure or lawn of property owned by another, regardless of if the pesticide is restricted or general use. There are currently 14 categories and subcategories that a Commercial Applicator may be certified in.
  • Non-Commercial Applicator Certification - Anyone who applies restricted use pesticides to a commodity or property under the direct supervision or direction of their employer; or anyone performing outdoor vector control for a neighborhood or community. This level of licensing is strictly not-for-hire.

Nebraska has established the following categories for Commercial and Non-Commercial Certified Applicators. Applicators may be licensed in one or more of these areas depending on their scope of work. For a more detailed explanation of the categories please click here.

Category 01 - Ag Plant Pest Control
Category 01A - Soil Fumigation
Category 02 - Ag Animal Pest Control
Category 03 - Forest Pest Control
Category 04 - Ornamental and Turf Pest Control - does not include applications to aquatic areas
Category 05 - Aquatic Pest Control
Category 05S - Sewer Root Control
Category 06 - Seed Treatment
Category 07 - Right of Way Pest Control
Category 08 - Structural and Health-Related Pest Control (residential or commercial)
Category 08W - Wood Destroying Organisms
Category 09 - Public Health Pest Control
Category 10 - Wood Preservation
Category 11 - Fumigation
Category 12 - Aerial Pest Control
Category 14 - Wildlife Damage Control
Demonstration and Research Subcategory
Regulatory Subcategory

Applicators that live outside the state of Nebraska may be eligible to obtain a Nebraska Pesticide Applicator License if those states have formed a reciprocal agreement with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). Eligibility for applicators with licenses from other states or agencies may be granted on a case by case basis. Click here for more information about reciprocal licenses.


  • $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

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.

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.

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.

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

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 here 


As of January 2nd, 2017 employers are required to train workers and handlers annually before pesticide application. 

  • 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.  

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.

Mike Goodis

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


  • 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

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!