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Pesticide Applicator in a Field

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System pesticide safety education team has compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about the Alabama Commercial Applicator Program, points, testing, what to do, contact information, and more. If you do not find an answer to your question, call the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) for commercial applicator permit questions at 334-240-7243.

How many categories of commercial pesticide applicators are there in Alabama?

There are more than 20 categories.

I don’t know what commercial applicator permit I need.

You can read general information about the commercial applicator permits on the Alabama Extension website at www.aces.edu/blog/category/farming/pesticides/. If you are still unsure what permit you need, contact the ADAI at 334-240-7243 or www.agi.alabama.gov/directory/ to ensure you prepare for the right category.

If someone wants to pay me to apply pesticides, should I apply for a private applicator permit or a commercial permit?

A commercial applicator is a permitted applicator who uses, or supervises the use, of restricted-use pesticides and other pesticides for any purpose on any property. Also, a commercial applicator receives compensation other than trading of personal services between producers of agricultural commodities. Commercial applicators shall be further identified according to the type of pesticide application they are engaged in.

What’s does ground mode or aerial mode of operation mean?

Ground or aerial application is required as part of some commercial pesticide categories. These are not a stand-alone permits. If you are looking for more information regarding permits that require aerial or ground testing, see the following specific commercial categories:

  • Agricultural Pest Control – Plant Permit
  • Aquatic Pest Control Permit
  • Forest Pest Control Permit
  • Public Health Permit
  • Right of Way Permit

You will find these categories require you to select a mode of application test (aerial or ground equipment). Relevant study material for this testing is incorporated into those category study manuals. You will be required to get a certificate of insurance for aerial or ground mode of application.

I need to get a fumigation pest control commercial applicator branch supervisor permit.

Those passing examinations as branch supervisors (FB) can supervise branch offices only. You must pass the examination for certified operator to enter into business for yourself or to supervise services from a main office.

Testing for this permit can be completed at the ADAI in Montgomery. There is also a computer-based testing format that is available on a weekly basis at eight testing sites across Alabama. The cost for the online exam is $125 per exam. To sign up for the online exam, visit apply.adaitesting.com. Once approved, you will receive an approval email from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

I am looking for a fumigation pest control certified operator exam. Can I do this online?

The Fumigation Pest Control Certified Operator Exam (FC), is not available at the online testing sites. For more information contact the ADAI at 334-240-7243.

Is there online testing available for commercial applicator permits?

No, there is only computer-based testing for commercial applicators available at one of eight testing centers: Athens, Auburn, Birmingham, Hanceville, Headland, Millbrook, Mobile, and Pelham.

  • Testing is $125 per exam.
  • Testing at the Montgomery office location does not incur the extra 50 exam fee, as it is a paper-based exam only.
  • Process
    1. Apply for examination(s) and include qualification statement if applicable (certain categories only)
    2. Wait for e-mail approving your application
    3. Schedule and pay for your exam(s)
  • The Certification & Testing unit administers exams for persons wishing to get a permit in plant-setting, landscape design, and/or tree surgery, as well as those seeking to become certified as a commercial pest control applicator.

I just passed my test for my commercial applicator permit. What’s next?

Once the appropriate exams have been passed, you must apply for certification through the ADAI. If an applicator plans to start a business in Alabama, a permit will also be required (professional services-main for structural categories, professional services-horticulture for OTPS, and custom permit for custom categories).

Can I renew my permit online?

At this time, there is not option to renew online. You can renew only during your expiration month, and you must have a minimum of 30 points. If you took the recertification exam, you must mail in the appropriate application and payment.

Can I get online recertification points for my permit?

The ADAI has a few approved online recertification courses. Visit www.usaplants.tnatc.org/al/PesticideApplicator/MeetingSearch.aspx  and go to the document that details the rules and gives you the list. You can to see which online source is approved for the categories you need. Note: A log in is not required at this site.

I forgot how many points I have. Is there somewhere I can look for this information?

Visit www.usaplants.tnatc.org/al/PesticideApplicator/ApplicationExternalSearch.aspx and enter your search criteria to see how many points you have. Note: A log in is not required at this site.

How do I get a reciprocal commercial applicator certification permit?

You must complete the application for the Reciprocal Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification.

  • Copy your certification credentials from the certifying state.
  • Pay reciprocal fee(s) as outlined on the application. Make payable to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. Note: General Standards/CORE (GS) is required for all categories except Wood Treatment (WT), Ornamental and Turf Pest Control (OTPS), and Right-of-Way Pest Control (ROW).
  • The Mode of Application (Ground and/or Aerial) must be certified as well, unless otherwise noted.

What states does Alabama have reciprocity with?

Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

I forgot to get points to recertify my permit. How long do I have after my permit expires?

For applicators that currently hold certification in a category but have not attained the required amount of points to have it renewed, the permit cannot be expired for more than one year in order to qualify for the recertification exam. After one year, you will have to train and test for the commercial applicator permit category again.

I have seven categories. Do I have to get 30 points for each category?

No, you do not need to worry about getting 30 points for all seven categories. You simply need to ensure that when you take a recertification training, it is in one of the categories you hold in order for those points to count. If you take a class in a category you do not hold, the points will not be applied to your recertification points.

Where do I find the study materials for the general standards?

Your General Standards study material is included in your manual for study purposes. When you purchase your category specific manual, the information is in the book.