What do I study for the exam?
To become certified, all private applicators must pass a 50 question, closed-book certification exam over the Private Pesticide Applicator Study Guide (available from the Extension Distribution Center ). If the exam is failed (<70%), it may be taken again. However, the exam may be taken only once each day. Only producers applying restricted-use pesticides need to be certified.
Where can I take the exam?
Pesticide applicator certification exams are available at many community colleges throughout Iowa. More information on dates and locations can be found on Pesticide Applicator Testing Dates page of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website.
Fees for Certifiation
Recertification by Exam
Exams for recertification are administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) at various locations throughout the year. Passing the exam and the submission of the appropriate fee to IDALS completes the recertification-by-exam process.
Recertification by Continuing Instruction Course (CIC)
Private Applicator Continuing Instruction Courses (P-CIC) are offered through ISU Extension and Outreach county offices from December 1st to April 15th of each year. Applicators who miss a P-CIC in one or more recertification periods during their 3-year renewal cycle are required to renew their certification by exam. P-CICs cannot be “made-up” if applicators forget to attend a P-CIC during each recertification period of their renewal cycle, nor can excess attendance carry forward from one year to the next.
For Private Pesticide Applicator CIC dates, please contact your county office.
In order to qualify for recertification by training, private applicators must attend a private continuing instruction course (P-CIC) for each training period beginning the first fall/winter following initial certification. One exception to this is for applicators certifying initially in October, November or December -- those applicators would begin training the fall/winter of the next calendar year after certification. Refer to the training dates printed to the left on the private pesticide applicator certification card for training periods required for renewal by CIC or contact the Pesticide Bureau at 515-281-8591 or by email. Missed training periods cannot be made up and the individual will need to retest in order to renew their certification.
Fees for Attending a Private Pesticide Applicator Continuing Instructional Course (P-CIC)
There is a $20 fee for attending a P-CIC
Because restricted use pesticides used in fumigation pose special concerns for human safety, there is an additional CIC requirement for private applicators who want to purchase and use restricted use fumigants. A private fumigator must be certified as a private applicator, but also must add a fumigation status to his or her certification to purchase and legally use fumigants. The applicator must pass an exam based on the commercial fumigation manual (category 7C) to gain the initial fumigation certification. Then, the applicator must either retest or attend the annual category 7C training that is provided for commercial applicators in each of the three years of certification. The additional 7C training can be obtained by attending the program on the pre-set statewide date or by viewing the video at the county office's convenience.
A certified commercial applicator may also receive a private applicator certification upon written request to IDALS together with the $15 private applicator certification fee. A person who is certified as both a commercial applicator and a private applicator will need either to retest every three years or attend an approved commercial CIC each year for three years to fulfill their commercial applicator certification requirements. If the commercial applicator certification renewal requirements are met then they may request renewal of their private applicator certification based on their commercial certification. They will not have to attend a CIC for private applicators. Below is a link to the form that the applicator will need to fill out and submit to IDALS.