Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Pesticide Bureau will offer both in-person and online pesticide applicator testing options for commercial and private applicators this fall. The Department encourages commercial and private pesticide applicators to test and apply for certification early this fall to avoid delays next spring.

“Pesticide applicators serve an important role in production agriculture and our goal is to promote the safe, accurate and effective application of crop protection products,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “We are encouraging both private and commercial pesticide applicators to utilize these in-person or online testing opportunities to qualify for applicator licensing and certification.”

The Department works with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to hold in-person applicator testing sessions, starting in September. In-person testing sites are in Black Hawk, Cerro Gordo, Dallas, Dubuque, Fayette, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Scott and Woodbury counties. In-person commercial and private applicator testing is free and pre-registration is required. Applicators can click here to reserve a spot.

Private pesticide applicators who want to obtain or renew their certifications can register to take the private certification exam online by clicking here. Links for the private applicator exam and instructions are under the Pesticide Applicator Testing Online section. Commercial pesticide applicators can create an account to take the online exam by clicking here. The online exams are monitored, recorded and reviewed by a third-party proctoring service. A web camera, high-speed internet connection and a 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, but 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 and will not be provided for online or computer-based exams. For information about the commercial pesticide applicator online exam, click here.

Once applicators pass the online or in-person exam, they should use their certification number to 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 payment processed by the Pesticide Bureau, the licenses and certifications will appear on the individuals’ online account within one to two business days under “My Licenses” and “My Certifications” respectively.

For more information, contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Pesticide Bureau at (515) 281-8591 or