State Licensing Contact Information

Phone: (917) 707-3000

Fax: (919) 733-9796


North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
1001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1001

Web: North Carolina Department of Agriculture

What pesticide application activities require a license in North Carolina?

Licensing is required for commercial applicators applying any type of pesticide for compensation, public operators working for a state or local government who apply pesticides in their course of work, dealers selling restricted use pesticides, or pest control consultants making recommendations for pesticide treatment of pest problems.

What kind of pesticide certification or license do I need in North Carolina?

-Commercial Ground Applicators: The North Carolina Pesticide Law of 1971 requires licensing for individuals applying any pesticide for compensation.

-Public Ground Operators: Employees of federal, state, county, or municipal governments who apply pesticides in the course of their jobs are certified and licensed in the same manner as commercial applicators.

-Private Pesticide Applicators: Farmers, or their employees, who use restricted use pesticides in the production of an agricultural commodity, on land that they own or lease

-Certified Applicators: All applicators of Restricted Use Pesticides for structural pest control purposes must be certified by the Division in the appropriate phase of structural pest control or work under the direct supervision of a certified applicator

-Registered Technician: All employees of certified applicators or licensees who perform structural pest control must be registered with the Division within 75 days of their employment.

What are the categories for North Carolina pesticide certification?

Commercial, Public & Private Categories:

A-Aquatic Pest Control
B-Public Health Control
G-Forest Pest Control
H-Right-of-Way Pest Control
I-Regulatory Pest Control
K-Agricultural Pest Control-Animal
L-Ornamental & Turf Pest Control
M-Seed Treatment
N-Demonstration & Research
O-Agricultural Pest Control-Plant
P-Aerial Methods
S-Soil Fumigation (Commercial)
T-Wood Preservation and Wood Products Treatment
V/X-Private Pesticide Applicator (Safety Training)
Z (SF)-Private Soil Fumigation

Structural Categories:

P-Household Pest Control
W-Wood-Destroying Organisms Control

Do I need a North Carolina pesticide license to apply general use pesticides for hire?


Does North Carolina offer pesticide applicator reciprocity with other states?

Yes, North Carolina pesticide section currently has reciprocal agreements with Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Mississippi. Click here to see further details.

The North Carolina structural division has reciprocal agreements with Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Click here to see further details.

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How do I become a certified pesticide applicator in North Carolina?

Commercial Ground Applicators:

  1. Take and pass certification exam
  2. Pay fee

Public Ground Operators:

  1. Be an employee of a federal, state, county or municipal government
  2. Take and pass certification exam

Private Pesticide Applicators:

  1. Take and pass certification exam
  2. Submit application
  3. Submit fee

Certified Applicators:

  1. Take and pass Core & phase exams
  2. Submit application
  3. Submit fee

Registered Technician:

  1. Complete Registered Technician Training Program
  2. Submit fee

Who administers the North Carolina pesticide exams?

North Carolina Department of Agriculture

How do I schedule my North Carolina pesticide exam?

Call (919) 733-3556 to schedule an appointment and confirm what licensing category is needed.

Where can I find reference materials for the North Carolina pesticide exams?

North Carolina Pesticide Safety Education

What fees are associated with North Carolina pesticide applicator certification?

Commercial, Public & Private Fees

Examination Fees (Applies to all testers, regardless of license type):

Core, Dealer, Worker Protection Designated Trainer, Aerial and Consultant: $50 each

Private, Private Soil Fumigation: $10 each

All other categories: $20 each

License Fees:

Ground, Aerial, Consultant, Public Utility & Dealer: $75 each

Private Applicator: $10

Public: No Fee

Aircraft Inspections: $25

Structural Fees

Exam Fees:

Certification exam: $25 per phase

License exam: $50 per phase

Cardholder Fees:

Registered Technician: $40 for new/renewal

Certified Applicator: $50 for new/renewal

License: $200 for first phase & $75 for each additional phase

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What continuing education is required to renew my North Carolina pesticide certification?

Commercial, Public & Private:

Recertification requirements are category dependent. Click here to view category specific requirements.


  • Any one phase: 10 CCU’s total
  • Any two phases: 15 CCU’s total
  • All three phases: 20 CCU’s total


  • Licensees and noncommercial certified applicators must earn at least one of the required CCU’s in at least four years of the five-year recertification period
  • Commercial certified applicators must earn at least one of the required CCU’s in at least three years of the five-year recertification period
  • CCU’s MAY NOT be carried forward beyond the five-year recertification period
  • Licensees holding an inactive license are subject to the same requirements as for recertification above

When do re-certification hours need to be received by the state?

During the five years immediately preceding the expiration of your certification

Who submits my North Carolina pesticide applicator continuing education to the state?

We do! Our submission specialist submits your completed courses to the state for you!

How do I renew my North Carolina pesticide applicator certification?

Structural: Earn Continuing Certification Units OR retest between January 1 and June 30 during expiration year.

Are your North Carolina pesticide applicator continuing education courses state-approved?

Yes, North Carolina state approval numbers can be found in the course titles.

How long is my North Carolina pesticide certification valid?

Commercial, Public & Private:

Category P (Aerial Methods): 2 years

Category V/X, Z(SF) (Private Safety, Private Specialty, Private Soil Fumigation): 3 years

All other Categories: 5 years

Structural: 5 years

My North Carolina pesticide certification expired, how do I get it reinstated?

Retest and reapply

Is there a grace period for renewing my North Carolina 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: 12/2020
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