Scheduling the PDA Certified Pesticide Applicator Exam

The winter off season is an ideal time for green industry professionals to prepare for and take the pesticide applicator certification (aka pesticide license) exam.
Scheduling the PDA Certified Pesticide Applicator Exam - News


At a minimum, commercial and public pesticide applicators will need to take the core and one category exam. To determine which license your green industry needs you can refer to Which Pesticide License Does Your Business Need? .

Make sure you have plenty of time to study for your exam before you take it. The core exam and several of the category exams are closed book. You can order study materials from Penn State Publications . The Penn State Extension Green Industry Team and Pesticide Education Program offer a preparatory course in regions around the state throughout the year. To find a location or to request notification of when the course is scheduled near you enter your zip code and email and you will recieve notification of the next scheduled course near you.

How to Schedule a Pesticide Exam

  • Go to the PA Dept. of Agriculture's PAPlants site
  • On the menu on the left hand side of the screen, click on "Pesticide Programs"
  • On the second menu that appears, choose "Certification Exam Locations"

  • Select your Region from the drop down location and click on the search button. PDA Regional Map
  • Scroll down to see the scheduled dates and locations in your region
  • If you see a date and location that you want (and "Available" is indicated in the Status column), click on details to register.
  • Click Register and enter your personal registration details.

You will need to know:

  • Your applicator number if you already have one. If not, leave it blank.
  • An email address
  • If you are taking a Commercial or Public exam you will need the following information:
  • Business name and address
  • Business phone
  • BU Number (If you do not have a BU Number yet, you can leave it blank)
  • The category of exam(s) that you intend to take
  • Click Register again before closing the screen.

The Day of the Exam

  • You will need a government issued photo ID. This would be a driver's license or two other forms of identification—government issued document with signature (social security card, green card), a document with name and address (utility bill, tax statement, personal check).
  • Testing fees in the form of a check made payable to Commonwealth of PA—Core Exam: 50.00 / Category Exam 10.00 per category
  • If you are not sure how many exams you will be able to complete on the day of the exam, leave the dollar amount blank until you are finished with the exam. No fee is charged for Private Applicator Exams.
  • A sharpened number 2 pencil—bring 2 or 3 in case your point breaks!
  • You may also want to bring a separate calculator for solving math problems. You cannot use your cell phone for the exam. You will be given a blank sheet of paper that you can use for calculations or to make notes; you will hand this sheet in at the end of the exam.
  • For open book exam you can bring you're the contents of your study materials packets. For closed book exams, leave the study materials in the car.
  • The testing period lasts for three hours and you may register for up to three exams per testing session.