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Commercial Pesticide Applicator Training

Updated May 02, 2022
Professional headshot of Amanda Bachmann

Amanda Bachmann

SDSU Extension Pesticide Education & Urban Entomology Field Specialist

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) is the lead agency administering the pesticide certification program required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). SDSU Extension partners with DANR to offer training programs.

Those who apply pesticides for hire or as a government employee that applies pesticides while performing work duties, must have a commercial applicator license.

You are considered a commercial applicator if you:

  • Engage in the business of applying pesticides to the lands of another;
  • Advertise as being in the business of applying pesticides to the lands of another at any time;
  • Apply pesticides while in the performance of duties as a governmental employee; or
  • Otherwise act as a commercial applicator.

Initial commercial applicator certification is obtained via exam. Testing services are offered at all SDSU Extension Regional Centers and most county offices. A full list of sites is available on the DANR website. Individuals wishing to obtain their initial certification should contact their closest testing office to schedule an appointment. The exams are multiple choice and a score of 70% is required to pass. There is no fee for the exams.

Commercial applicator certification and licensure is valid for two years and licenses expire on the last day of February. Information about 2023 recertification options will be available in December. 

For questions about commercial applicator testing or recertification, contact Amanda Bachmann, SDSU Extension Pesticide Education & Urban Entomology Field Specialist. For questions about the license and certification status of an applicator, contact DANR or search their commercial applicator database at

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