How to get Michigan Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification

Review this guide for important requirements, helpful manuals and test information needed to qualify for Michigan Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification.

August 24, 2017 - Author: John Stone, and Cameron Macko, Michigan State University Pesticide Safety Education Program

Photo by MSU.
Photo by MSU.

To clear up any confusion with the Michigan Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification process, the Michigan State University Pesticide Safety Education Program compiled this guide to ensure certification is as easy as possible.


Certification as a commercial applicator can only be received after turning 18 years old, passing the Certified Pesticide Applicator and Registered Technician exam and at least one category exam where you will be making your applications.

The exams are based on self-study pesticide applicator training manuals. A complete listing of them can be found and ordered at the MSU Extension Bookstore.

Manuals to study

You will need the MSU Extension bulletin E3008KITC, “National Applicator Core Training Manual and Michigan Commercial Applicator Addendum.” Everyone who wants to obtain certification in Michigan will need to study this manual.

In addition, you will need to study the manual of the category or categories you need certification in. For example, someone who wants certification in field crop pest management will need bulletin E2034, “Field Crop Pest Management: Commercial Pesticide Manual - Category 1A.”

Taking the exam

Once you have studied and are ready to take the exams, go to Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Online Pesticide Exam Scheduling page. Enter as a guest. Any county highlighted in green indicates exams are being given in that county. Click on the county for the location, date and times for the session and make a reservation.

Alternatively, online proctored exams are also available. Information about online exams can be found at the Metro Institute website.

For more information on how to obtain certification, see MDARD’s resources on pesticide applicator certification process. You can also visit MSU’s Pesticide Safety Education Program website.

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