Secretary Naig announces pesticide applicator testing options

by | Feb 5, 2024 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will once again offer in-person and online pesticide applicator testing options for commercial and private applicators this spring. The Department encourages commercial and private pesticide applicators to test and apply for licensing and certification this spring to avoid delays during the growing season.

“The safe, accurate, and effective application of crop protection products is essential to the continued productivity of Iowa agriculture,” said Secretary Naig. “Iowa’s private and commercial pesticide applicators play an important role, and we offer multiple online and in-person testing opportunities to satisfy the requirements for applicator licensing and certification.”

In-Person Testing
The Department partners with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to host in-person applicator testing sessions monthly from September through May. In-person testing sites are in Black Hawk, Cerro Gordo, Dallas, Dubuque, Fayette, Marshall, Johnson, Jones, Scott, and Woodbury Counties. In-person commercial and private applicator testing is free. Pre-registration is required. Applicators can visit the Department’s website to reserve a spot. In person testing is also available through our college test partners for a fee and locations and contact information are available on the Department’s website. Those interested should contact the testing center directly to register and inquire about costs.

Online Private Pesticide Applicator Testing
Private pesticide applicators who want to obtain or renew their certifications can register to take the private certification exam online. Presently, there is no cost to the online private pesticide applicator testing. To register for the online exam, visit the Department’s website. Links for the private applicator exam and instructions are provided under the Pesticide Applicator Testing Online section.

Online Commercial Pesticide Applicator Testing
Commercial pesticide applicators can register and pay to take the online exam on the Department’s website. The online exams are monitored, recorded and reviewed by a third-party proctoring service. A web camera, high-speed internet connection, and government-issued photo ID card are required for online testing. There is a $25 fee for each commercial pesticide applicator test completed online, payable directly to the third-party online testing service. Commercial pesticide applicators will receive a preliminary pass/fail test result as soon as they complete the online exam, and these preliminary results cannot be used to apply for pesticide applicator certification. The third-party proctoring service will certify the test results and send the final scores to the email address used to register for the exam. Feedback on test results is only available at in-person paper-based testing sites hosted by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and will not be provided for online or computer-based exams. For information about the commercial pesticide applicator online exam, visit the Department’s website.

Apply for Pesticide Applicator Licenses Online
Once applicators pass the online or in-person exam, they should use their certification number to register and log-in to the Department’s pesticide self-service portal to submit their application, test results and payment. After the application, training and testing information are received and the payment is processed by the Department, the licenses and certifications will appear on the individual’s online account within 1-2 business days under “My Licenses” and “My Certifications” respectively.  Help guides for most types of online applications are available on the Department’s website.

For more information, call the Department at 515-281-8591 or email