Colorado Department of Pesticide Education Program at Colorado State University

commercial_applicator

Commercial Applicator Licenses

If you are unsure whether you need a commercial pesticide applicator's license, or another type of license, try using our decision tree here.

The definitions and procedures for becoming a licensed commercial applicator are outlined below. The rest of this page contains:

Commercial Applicators can now take their examinations completely online find out how by clicking here!

If you have already created a Metro Institute log-in through the CDA, click here to schedual an exam!

 

Definitions and Procedures (Top)

If you wish to apply restricted use pesticides, you will need to become a licensed commercial applicator in one or more of the 21 categories designated by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. There are 2 types of licenses for commercial applicators:

  1. Certified Operator. If you have little experience applying pesticides and will not be recommending or selling pest control measures, this is the license you should obtain.
  2. Qualified Supervisor. You should obtain this type of license if:
    • You have the required experience in the category in which you'd like to be licensed; and if you will:
    • evaluate pest problems,
    • sell or recommend pest control measures, or
    • supervise others in the application of pesticides.

Certified Operators (CO) (Top)

To become a CO, you must:
  1. Successfully complete the general exam plus the exams in all categories for which you wish to be licensed. All exams are scheduled online. Each exam cost $31.50.
  2. After passing, submit a $100 fee with your license application.

Qualified Supervisors (QS) (Top)

To become a QS, you must:
  1. Successfully complete the general exam plus the exams in all categories for which you wish to be licensed. All examinations are scheduled online, and the examination fee is $31.50
  2. Possess the experience and qualifications required by the rules and regulations for each category in which you wish to be licensed.
  3. After passing your exams, submit the $100.00 licensing fee.
The qualifications for licensure as a QS are listed below for the following license categories: (For a description of these categories, click here.)

Agricultural Categories
In order to become a QS in these categories, you must have obtained the following experience or qualifications within the last 5 years:

  • 8 months field experience or;
  • 2 years of college credit and 2 months field experience or;
  • 1 year college credit and 5 months field experience.

Metam Sodium for Sewer Root Control
In order to become a QS in this category, you must have obtained the following experience or qualifications within the last 5 years:
  • 40 hours of field experience in the application of pesticides in sewers; or
  • Level 2 or 3 wastewater collection certification issued by CO Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Systems Council and 20 hours of field experience; or
  • Class A, B, or C wastewater treatment plant operator certification issued by the CDPHE, and 20 hours of field experience.

Turf Pest Control
In order to become a QS in this category, you must have obtained the following experience or qualifications within the last 2 years:
  • 4 months field experience; or
  • 2 years college credit and 1 month field experience; or
  • 1 year college credit and 2.5 months field experience

Ornamental Pest Control
In order to become a QS in this category, you must have obtained the following experience or qualifications within the last 5 years:
  • 8 months field experience in ornamental pest control; or
  • 2 years college credit and 4 months field experience; or
  • 1 year college credit and 6 months field experience.

Structural Categories I
In order to become a QS in these categories, you must have obtained the following experience or qualifications within the last 5 years:
  • 24 months field experience including 100 hours of verifiable field experience in termite control, including 30 hours of hands-on field experience covering drill and inject and other post-treat methods and applications. Any or all of these 100 hours may be obtained in courses approved by the Commissioner; or
  • 4 years college credit and 4 months field experience; or
  • 3 years college credit and 9 months field experience; or
  • 2 years college credit and 14 months field experience; or
  • 1 year college credit and 19 months field experience.

Structural Categories II
In order to become a QS in these categories, you must have obtained the following experience or qualifications within the last 5 years:
  • 8 months field experience; or
  • 2 years college credit and 2 months field experience; or
  • 1 year college credit and 5 months field experience.

Taking the Exam (Top)

CDA has partnered with Metro Institute (an online testing company) and Colorado State University Extension to enhance the testing requirements for individuals interested in acquiring a license as qualified supervisor or a certified operator. This partnership has given individuals an opportunity to take the exam outside of the Denver Metro Area, and within various testing centers around Colorado. As a result of the partnership, CDA has changed the qualified supervisor/certified operator examination procedures.

In order to take a QS or CO exam, you must follow these steps:

  1. Sign up for your Pesticide Applicator exam through the Metro Institute Website (click here).
  2. You will receive an email verifying that you are using a valid email address. The email will also provide you with a link to continue your application process.
  3. The link takes you to a webpage which contains your username/password and a login address for that site. **Print your username/password and keep it somewhere handy! This same username/password will be used if you need to retest due to examination failure OR if you would like to add a category later on.
  4. Provide your employer address or firm name on this page. If self-employed, or not affiliated with a company, type N/A in the Employer field. Click continue.
  5. Select exam categories based on whether you want to test as Qualified Supervisor or Certified Operator. Click continue.
  6. The Colorado Department of Agriculture will review your application and then tell you that you can schedule your test by returning to Metro Institues Website. Here you will also be required to provide your give username/password.
    Scores
    A score of 70% or better is a passing score. Because testing is computer-based, you will receive your score from the site proctor as soon as you finish. If you have passed you will be given the paperwork for your license application.

Re-Examination

If you fail the general exam or any category, you must retake those exams to become licensed as well as pay the examination fee for each testing session. You can apply to retest through Metro Insitutes by logging in here. You must use your previously given username/password from your initial application.

*Your username is usually firstname.lastname. If you forgot your password, click forgot password. After entering your username, Metro Insitute will email you your new password.

Adding Categories
After obtaining your Commercial License, you can add categories by taking the appropriate exam. Again, you must log in using your previously given username/password from your initial application.


Preparation
Preparing for the exam is your responsibility. Reading the Pesticide Applicators' Act (Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 35, Article 10) and its associated Rules may not be the most fun thing in the world, but doing so will help you on your exam. In addition to these laws, you can obtain both the General Pesticide Applicator Training Manual and guides to most categories either from the State Forms office at (303) 370-2165 or from Colorado State University's Resource Center. Study hard!

Testing Center Locations

Lakewood, CO Colorado Department of Agriculture Office
Center, CO SLV Research Center
Cortez, CO CSU Extension Office- Cortez
Fort Collins, CO CSU Campus Computer Testing Center
Grand Junction, CO CSU Tri-River Extension Office- Mesa County
Lamar, CO CSU Extension
Sterling, CO CSU-Logan County Extension Office



Expiration and Re-certification (Top)

Both QS and CO licenses expire 3 years from the licensee's birthdate. The renewal fee is $100. You must submit your renewal before the expiration date; if it is submitted up to 30 days after the expiration date, you will pay a late fee. In order to renew your license, you must either:
  • Earn the required continuing education credits; or
  • Re-take the exam and apply for a new license within 30 days after the expiration date.

Learn more about recertification here.

Licenses for Businesses


There are 3 types of pesticide application licenses for businesses. Use the chart below to decide which your business must obtain.
Business

Commercial License (Top)

Applicants for commercial licenses must:
  1. Employ or have available at least 1 qualified supervisor licensed in the category of application.
  2. Provide proof of required insurance.
  3. Submit a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State if the applicant is a corporation, a limited liability partnership, or a limited liability company.
  4. If an aerial applicator, provide a copy of certification issued by the FAA; and
  5. Submit a $350 fee with the application.

Limited Commercial or Public License (Top)

These classes are registered, rather than licensed, with the Department of Agriculture. Applicants for limited commercial or public registration must:
  1. Employ or have available at least 1 qualified supervisor licensed in the proper category of application.
  2. If not applying RUPs but choosing to register, submit a form acknowledging submission to the jurisdiction of the Department.
  3. Submit a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State if the applicant is a corporation, a limited liability partnership, or a limited liability company.
  4. If an aerial applicator, provide a copy of certification issued by the FAA; and
  5. Submit a $50 registration fee.

Expiration and Renewal (Top)

Business licenses expire on January 1st of each year.
  • You must submit your renewal on or before this date in order to avoid a late fee.
  • If your renewal is submitted after February 1st, you must apply for a new license.
  • Commercial renewals are $350, and limited commercial and public registration renewals are $50.

 

Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management:    Address   1177 Campus Delivery    Colorado State University     Fort Collins, CO 80523     Voice: 970-491-3947     Fax: 970-491-3862     cepep@colostate.edu


Disclaimer | Equal Opportunity | Privacy Statement