Commercial Applicators

Commercial Applicators:   people that apply pesticides to the lands or homes of others are commercial applicators, and must be certified to do that work.

Examples:  Employees of companies that apply pesticides in the course of performing (but not limited to) the following services:  pest control, mosquito control, landscape, lawn care, tree care, agricultural custom application, forestry services (including invasive plant management), vegetation control, aquatic weed control, wood preservation, aerial application, etc.

To become a Certified Commercial Applicator you will need to take and pass the appropriate exams administered by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, and pay the appropriate fees.


Commercial applicators must take and pass the Commercial CORE exam and all appropriate category exams to become certified.  You must speak to the Pesticide Certification & Training (C & T) Coordinator to determine which certification categories you need in order to perform the pesticide-related work you plan to do in Vermont, which determines the manuals you will need to purchase.  

Certification Manuals

Study manuals are available for purchase online through the Cornell Store. Commercial Applicators need to study the CORE manual (3rd edition) and the Vermont specific inserts to pass the CORE exam. Additionally, commercial applicators need to study at least 1 additional category manual and pass that exam to become certified. More information on purchasing the manuals can be found on the Applicator & Dealer Resource Page under Purchasing Certifcation Manuals.

Certification Exams

Once you receive your manuals, study on your own, and when you are ready to take the exam or exams, contact the C & T Coordinator to make an appointment for any of the testing locations.  You may take just one exam at a time, or as many as you can do in the 3 hour time limit.

See the Pesticide Exams page for an exam schedule.


There are no fees to take the exams, but exam re-takes cost $25.00.

Once you pass the exams, you become certified by filling out an application and paying the appropriate fee for your certificate.  Applications are available at the testing location, or on the Applications & Forms page.  Commercial certificates cost $30 per certification category per year.  (The core does not count as a category when calculating the fee.)

A commercial applicator cannot become certified until that person’s employer obtains a Pesticide Company License.

Pesticide Company License (Required for employers of commercial pesticide applicators only)

Commercial applicators must work for a company that holds a Pesticide Company License in Vermont, and all companies in the business of applying pesticides must have this license. Company licenses do not require an examination, but appropriate paperwork and fees must be submitted to the Agency.  The application for the company license is available at the testing location, or on the Applications & Forms page, and must be signed by a company officer.

The company license is renewed annually.  Licensed companies are responsible for ensuring that they employ pesticide applicators that are properly certified, and that applicators employed by them remain certified for the duration of their employment with the company.

Reciprocal Applicator Information

The State of Vermont maintains reciprocal agreements with the following states:

• New York
• New Jersey
• Rhode Island
• Pennsylvania

If you are currently certified in one of these states AND are a resident of that state, you may be able to obtain a reciprocal certificate in VT.  See information sheet for more details.

Vermont Reciprocal Cert Information Sheet (pdf)

Application for a Certificate to Apply Pesticides in Vermont (pdf)

Vermont Pesticide Regulations

Appendix A(2) List of restricted use products