Illinois Pesticide Applicator/Operator
Testing & Training Options for 2024
The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is offering both in-person and online exams this season.
Testing Option A: In-Person Testing
IDOA is offering in-person testing for all pesticide exams. Seating may be limited. Pre-Registration is required for all in-person exams. No walk-ins will be allowed.
For a complete listing of testing locations or to register for an exam, please visit:
In-Person Testing Page (Click Link)
(Please do not use internet explorer for your browser while booking a session. Please use google chrome, microsoft edge, firefox or other similar browser. Internet explorer is no longer being supported and may lead to technical difficulties)
Testing Option B: Online Testing
IDOA is offering online pesticide exams utilizing an exam proctoring service. Directions for online testing registration is posted on PSEP and IDOA webpages. Exam length and time allotment for online tests are similar to that of in-person testing. Individuals will need to register for each exam through the PSEP website, schedule each exam with the proctoring service, and pay a small fee directly to the online proctoring company due at time of signup. Online proctoring allows for compliance with federal certification and licensing requirements.
For more information or to register for an online exam, please visit: Online Registration.
The University of Illinois' Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) is offering BOTH in-person and online training this season. The following resources are available to individuals preparing for pesticide exams.
Training Option A: In-Person Training Workshops (BACK THIS YEAR!)
In-person training workshops are available for general standards, private applicator, field crop, turfgrass, rights-of-way, mosquito, and ornamental. Testing will be offered following each training workshop. Preregistration and prepayment are required. For a listing of workshops or to register for a workshop please visit: Workshop Registration or call (800) 644-2123.
Training Option B: Online Training
Online courses are available for general standards, private applicator, and most traditional training categories. The courses are designed to be completed on your own schedule and at your own pace. Each course will guide you through lessons instructed by PSEP specialists, and keep you engaged with plenty of exam-prep questions along the way. Access to each training course is available for a 30 calendar day window upon purchase. You may review the training course contents as many times as you'd like during your access window. For more information or to register for online training please visit: Online Training
Training Option C: Self-Study Publications
Training Manuals are available for general standards, private applicator, and each category of licensure. Fill-in-the-blank-style workbooks are also available to help guide you through the manual and prepare you for the associated exam. For more information about obtaining training materials please visit: Study Materials OR visit your local U of I Extension office that may have some training manuals in stock.
The costs associated with all 3-year licenses have changed.
Commercial Applicator - $240
Commericial Operator - $180
Commercial not for hire Applicator - $120
Commercial not for hire Operator - $90
Private Applicator - $60
Dealer - $350
The fee schedule for online training is listed in the following table. For those individuals taking advantage of the online testing option, there will be a small fee (see below) paid directly to the online proctoring service. There is no fee for exams taken in-person.
The Illinois General Assembly, in the introduction to the Illinois Pesticide Act (415 ILCS 60/1 et seq.) states that:
"The purpose of this Act is to regulate in the public interest the labeling, distribution, use and application of pesticides as herein defined. It is recognized that pesticides are valuable and necessary to Illinois' agricultural production and to the protection of man and his environment from pests, but it is essential to our general health and welfare that they be regulated to prevent adverse effects on man and his environment".
Pesticide Use and Regulation
This section provides a brief overview of the laws regulating pesticides.
Certification and Licensing
Individuals wishing to purchase and/or apply restricted use pesticides in Illinois are required to successfully complete a competency examination and receive a license from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
State-specific labels have been approved for the 2019 growing season, which include additional restrictions beyond the Federal labels. Additionally, Federal label revisions for 2019 require specialized training for users as outlined in this section. More information and a link to training locations and dates can be found in this section also.
The DriftWatch™ Specialty Crop Site Registry is a voluntary communication tool that enables crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators to work together to protect specialty crops and apiaries through use of the DriftWatch™ registry mapping program.
Agrichemical, lawn care wash water, pesticide application and operations, pesticide misuse and pesticide production and company registration forms.
Commercial Pesticide Applicator/ Operator Training and Testing
State law requires anyone in Illinois applying general-use and restricted-use pesticides in the course of employment be licensed. Persons applying restricted-use pesticides on property they own or control must have a private applicator license. Persons applying general-use pesticides on their own property are exempt from licensing requirements.
Private Pesticide Applicator Training and Testing
The Illinois Department of Agriculture and the University of Illinois Extension provide training and testing for anyone wanting to obtain an Illinois private pesticide applicator's license.
Licensed Pesticide Applicator / Operator / Dealer Search
Individuals recently licensed as private, commercial, commercial not-for-hire, and public pesticide applicators or operators by the Illinois Department of Agriculture can be viewed by using the following search tool. Search by any or all of these criteria.
- Pesticide Product Registration
All products offered for sale within the state of Illinois that make a "pesticidal" claim must be registered with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. As a result, the Department registers approximately 13,000 products from approximately 1200 companies.
- Pesticide Product Search
- Search for currently Illinois registered pesticides.
Pesticide Use and Misuse
Through education about the proper use of pesticide chemicals, the Department works to reduce pesticide misuse and enhance Illinois' agricultural industry.
Pesticide Misuse Complaint Form
The complaint form is provided to assist in the submittal of information associated with an alleged pesticide misuse complaint. Please provide as much information as possible about the incident.
Aerial Pesticide Application Questions and Answers
Aerial application is often the most efficient and most economical way to apply crop protection products, fertilizer and even seed to grow and protect crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat.
Agrichemical Facilities Containment Program
The Department issues permits for the design, construction, and operation of containment structures and systems intended to prevent the release of pesticides and fertilizers at retail agrichemical and lawn care facilities across the state.
Containment Requirements for "On-farm" Agrichemicals
Regulations regarding the proper storage and handling of bulk pesticides and fertilizers were modified in 2002 to require secondary containment of certain on-farm storage containers.
Agrichemical Container Recycling Program
The Department annually cooperates with various segments of the agrichemical industry to operate a plastic pesticide container-recycling program.
Pesticide Clean Sweep Program
The Illinois Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Public Health and with funding from the US EPA, annually conducts agricultural/structural pesticide clean sweep program collections for the residents of various counties in the state, depending on the availability of funds.
Groundwater Monitoring Well Network
The Illinois management plan relies on the IDOA's groundwater monitoring well network and the Illinois EPA's public water supply well pesticide-monitoring sub-network to determine the occurrence of pesticides in groundwater and whether there are significant, spatial or temporal trends in pesticide concentrations.