Commercial Pesticide Applicators

If you are applying pesticides to produce an agricultural commodity AND you are doing it on land you or your employer owns or rents, then you are a Private Applicator and should click “Private Applicator” in the menu above. If you can’t say “yes” to each of these, then you are a commercial applicator and you are in the right place.

Types of Commercial Applicators

  • Commercial Applicator For-Hire: a person that applies pesticides on other people’s property for money. You need to be certified AND licensed to apply ANY pesticide.
  • Commercial Applicator Not-For-Hire: a person that applies pesticides only on property they or their employer owns. Also, someone who is a volunteer applying pesticides to property owned or controlled by the group they are volunteering for (e.g., a person using pesticides to control an invasive plant in a prairie). You only need to be certified if you are applying a Restricted-Use Pesticide (RUP). You also need a pesticide applicator license if you are applying a RUP.
  • Applying on public school property K-12: You have to be certified to apply any pesticide. You also need a pesticide applicator license if you are applying a RUP.
  • Buying, and Using a Restricted Use Pesticide Anywhere: If you are buying or using RUPs in any capacity, then you must be certified AND licensed.
  • Certification as a condition of employment: Sometimes, your boss says, “You must be certified.” Even though it might not be a requirement of law, if the boss says so . . . then you have to get certified.

How to Get Certified and Licensed

As a commercial applicator, you may need to be certified AND licensed in some cases. This depends on if you are a commercial applicator for-hire or not and if you use RUPs or not.

Certification Categories

There are several categories of Commercial Applicator. See which one or ones suite the type of applications you will be doing. Some jobs require certification in more than one category.

Training Materials

The UW PAT Program offers different types of training materials in the Commercial applicator categories. Some Categories also have online courses available.

All training materials are purchased at the UW PAT Store.

Training Sessions

The UW PAT Program offers live and Zoom training sessions in the months of Jan, Feb, March, April and occasionally in May.

These will be posted starting in November. Registration is at the UW PAT Store

Certification Exam

Once you have purchased your training materials it is time to take the certification exam.

The certification exam is offered either by the State of Wisconsin (DATCP) or through Pearson Vue testing Company.


Once certified, if you are using RUPs or are a commercial applicator for-hire, you will need to get a license.

Licenses all expire on Dec 31st of the year and are gotten through DATCP.

Tools & Information

These are various tools and information that may be useful to commercial applicators in the state of Wisconsin.

Common Questions

A collection of the common questions the UW PAT Program and DATCP get around the commercial certification process.

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