Commercial Pesticide Applicators

A commercial license is required for any one of the following situations:

  • Application of any restricted/limited use pesticide for purposes other than producing an agricultural commodity
  • Use of any pesticide as a service for which compensation is received (examples include lawn care, pet grooming, tree and shrub care, and pest control)
  • Use of any pesticide on sites open to public use. Property is considered open to use by the public when the owner permits routine access by the public, even if a fee is charged for such use. Examples range from office and apartment buildings to golf courses and other outdoor recreation facilities.
  • Use of any pesticide by a government employee as part of their job duties. Government employees include but are not limited to school, town, county, housing authority, water district, State, Federal and Defense officials.

Commercial Operator: The commercial applicator/operator certification is the minimum license requirement for individuals employed as technicians under the supervision of a licensed master applicator. The operator’s license is in effect only if the employing company or organization has at least one licensed master applicator.

Commercial Master: The commercial applicator/master certification is required for one individual within each company, organization or agency and at every branch office of that company. This license is generally intended for the owner, supervisor or manager as long as it is the person responsible for major pest control decisions, for establishing policies related to proper pesticide use, and for employee training and overall work practices.

Certification Exams (at least two are required):

  1. Core Exam: In addition to exams covering each category of application, all commercial applicators must pass an exam based on the Core Manual. The Core exam includes basic subjects including pesticide labeling, safety, environmental concerns, pest organisms, pesticides, equipment, application techniques, and applicable laws and regulations. Also required shall be knowledge of current methodology and technology for the control of pesticide drift to non-target areas, the proper meteorological conditions for the application of pesticides, and the potential adverse effect of pesticides on plants, animals or humans.
  2. Category Exam: All Commercial Applicators must demonstrate knowledge of pest management practices pertinent to the specific profession where pesticides are used. One test must be taken for every category of intended treatments.
  3. Master-level applicants must also successfully complete a test on pesticide regulations, and pass an oral examination conducted by the BPC staff.

* Core Manual (includes one log book) 2012:  $20.00
The Core manual is the same for all license exam; Agricultural Basic, Private, or Commercial.

* 1A- Agricultural Animal Iowa 1998: $10.00

* 1B- Agricultural Plant Manual 2006: $15.00

Option I (Limited Blueberry) 2003: $10.00
Option II Chemigation: $7.00
Option III Agricultural Fumigation: $7.00
Option IV Post-Harvest Treatment: $7.00

2- Forest Pest Management Manual Washington 1996 : $25.00

3A- Outdoor Ornamental Manual Michigan Reprint 2009: $25.00

* 3B- Turf Management Manual Addendum added 2010: $20.00

3C- Indoor Ornamental Management Manual Reprint 1993: 12.00

4- Seed Treatment Manual Iowa 1999: $10.00

5- Aquatic Manual Pennsylvania 2008: $10.00

* 5B- Sewer Root Control Manual New York: $8.00

* 6A- Rights of Way Vegetation Management Manual 2008: $15.00

* 6B- Industrial/Commercial/Municipal Manual 2009: $15.00

* 7A- Structural & General Manual 2010: $20.00

* 7C- Microbial Pest Control Manual 2009: $15.00

7D- Wood Preservatives Oregon Manual 1996: $7.00

* 7E- Biting Fly Manual 2005: $7.00

* 7F- Termite Pest Manual 2005: $7.00

* 8A- Public Health Manual (Biting Fly & Other Arthropod Vector Pests) 2004: $15.00

* 8B- Public Health Manual (Other) 2004: $15.00

9- Regulatory Pest Control Iowa Manual 1997: $10.00

10- Demonstration & Research Pest Control Manual Cornell 1978: $25.00

* 11- Aerial Manual 2013: $30.00

* Dealer Manual 2013: $20.00

Log Books (Individually): $4.00

Recertification: Commercial certification is valid for six years; however, the commercial license must be renewed biennially. To keep applicators current with the latest technologies and regulations, the BPC requires holders to attend continuing education courses. The number of credits (one credit = one hour of training) needed for recertification varies according to the license level. For more information see the BPC Recertification Chart.

For more information see the Maine Board of Pesticides Control.

More Information:

Meghan DillAdministrative Assistant II
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Pest Management Office
491 College Ave.
Orono, ME 04473-1295
Phone: 207.581.3878

Don Barry, PSEP Program Assistant
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Pest Management Office
491 College Ave.
Orono, ME 04473-1295
Phone: 207.581.3884

For information on Certification and Licensing, Pesticide Laws and Regulations, and the Worker Protection Standard, visit the Maine Board of Pesticides Control.


Gary Fish, Manager of Pesticide Programs
Board of Pesticides Control
State House Station #28
Augusta, ME 04333-0028
Phone: 207.287.2731