How do I Choose the Best Pesticide Training?

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  • Written By: Terrie Brockmann
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2019
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Pesticide training generally is required before a person can receive a pesticide applicator certification. In order to choose the best training program, a person needs to know the national, regional, and local requirements for a pesticide applicator certification. Another factor is the type of job that the trainee is striving to secure. For example, if a pesticide applicator company requires that all employees be qualified to fumigate, a trainee needs to find training that offers fumigation certifications. Other factors that determine if the training is suitable include the amount of time the training takes, the certification that can be obtained with the training, and the type of training, such as an online program.

There are several types of pesticide training, including online or virtual training and formal classroom lessons. Sometimes a person needs special training, such as fumigation, but generally common pesticide training is available through government programs or private training. Often workers can obtain training through an apprenticeship for a pesticide applicator company. Sometimes workers need to learn related skills, such as specific flying techniques for crop dusting.


Within the United States, most states offer pesticide applicator training through their extension service offices that are affiliated with the state university system. Usually, these training sessions last one to two days and often end with a test for pesticide certification. In the U.S., private applicators, commercial applicators, and pesticide dealers need training and certification. People wishing to become pesticide applicators should check with their local and regional government agencies to learn what training and certifications are required.

In many countries that require certification, private companies offer training. Applicants need to check the training company's credentials to determine if the company is legitimate. Most regions have consumer protection agencies that list fraudulent schools. Some companies that hire pesticide applicators offer free training to their employees or reimburse an employee's training fees. Often this is the best way to get pesticide training.

Frequently, pesticide companies offer training. Some large farming corporations have training or apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeship programs are generally one of the best ways to obtain pesticide training.

Sometimes special training is necessary. An example of specialized pesticide training is military training. The military offers unique problems and unusual places, including ships, submarines, and military units in foreign lands. Some circumstances that a military pesticide applicator may encounter are natural disasters, hostilities, and deployment. Most military divisions offer training to interested applicants.

Most trainees prefer a combination of hands-on training in addition to classroom sessions. Other people are satisfied with online or virtual training. Sometimes an employer couples correspondence or online training with the apprenticeship program.

Some of the basic elements of pesticide training include safe use and storage of pesticides, understanding pesticide labels, and proper disposal of unused pesticides. A person should make sure that training includes record keeping; instruction in national, regional, and local laws; and report writing. Another important element is environmental training. If a trainer does not offer instruction in these areas, you should check out other schooling options.

In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the pesticide applicator certification process. Other countries often have national agencies that oversee their pesticide applicator certification. Sometimes national agencies certify private firms to train and certify pesticide applicators. A person should check to see if the company is legitimately qualified to train and certify pesticide applicators.

There are many categories of pesticide application, and in some areas special certification is necessary for one or more of the categories. Generally no certification is needed unless the pesticides are commercially applied or law restricts the pesticides. Some of the categories include ground usage, air applications, and fumigation. Other examples are agricultural, ornamental, and greenhouse applications. Training should address these diverse categories and others, such as organic or environmentally safe pesticide application.


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