NYSDEC Certified Pesticide Applicator Education

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is the agency responsible for administering and enforcing New York State pesticide laws.

Depending on the type of pesticide application and/or the pesticide involved, you may need to be a Certified Pesticide Applicator to buy, sell, use, or supervise the use of pesticides.

There are two primary categories of pesticide certification. They are commercial and private. A commercial pesticide certification is any pesticide application done “for hire” and a private pesticide certification is any pesticide application for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity on the property owned or rented by the applicator or the applicator’s employer.

To obtain certification, you must first meet the certification eligibility requirements and demonstrate that you have a practical knowledge of the principles and practices of pest control, and the safe use and handling of pesticides. This is determined on the basis of two separate written exams: a core exam covering the general concepts of safe pesticide use and a category or subcategory exam which is specific to the pesticide use you plan to practice.

Pesticide applicator examinations are conducted through NYSDEC Regional Offices. The regional office for our region is Region 3, New Paltz. For more detailed information call 845-256-3097. Applicator ID cards and recertification courses are processed by the Albany Office, telephone number (518) 402-8748. Certification and recertification courses are posted on the Pest Management Education Program at Cornell University web site.

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Last updated March 4, 2024