Pesticide Certification

Private Applicator License

A private applicator is one who purchases and/or uses or supervises the use of a restricted-use pesticide on their own property or anyone else’s property as long as they do it without direct compensation for their services. These include farmers, greenhouse and nursery operators.

A private applicator becomes certified by attending an educational seminar at the county Extension office or by completing the training online. The cost of certification is $50 payable to UT Extension AND $25 payable to the TN Department of Agriculture. The cost of recertification (for non-expired cards) is $25 payable to UT Extension. Pesticide Certification training is available online at To schedule a private applicator training in person, please contact the Extension office at 423-775-7807.  

Commercial Applicator License

A commercial applicator is an individual who purchases and/or uses or supervises the use of restricted-use pesticides who do not fall under the definition of a private applicator.

A commercial applicator becomes certified by passing a certification exam in their area of work. The commercial applicator exams consist of questions from the CORE or general standards manual and the respective category. These exams are offered several times a week at various locations and at the TN Department of Agriculture offices across the state. You must prepay a fee to TDA in order to take the exam. TDA will then assign you a date to take that exam. You should indicate on the prepay form if you intend on taking one of UT’s training seminars in Knoxville. For more information, please contact the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at (615) 837-5133.

Certification educational seminars are offered by UT the first Wednesday of each month in Knoxville, ETSU, UT Chattanooga, UT Extension District office in Nashville and the UT West TN Center in Jackson.