State law requires anyone in Illinois who wishes to purchase or apply restricted use pesticides to be licensed. In addition, anyone applying a restricted or general use pesticide for hire or in the course of employment must have a license. Persons applying restricted-use pesticides on property they own or control must have a private applicator license. Persons applying general-use pesticides on their own property are exempt from licensing requirements.
It is a responsibility of the Illinois Department of Agriculture to certify and license people applying pesticides outdoors and in agricultural production. The University of Illinois Extension - Pesticide Safety Education Program provides training and study materials in support of this program.
The Illinois Department of Public Health - Structural Pest Control Program certifies and licenses individuals applying pesticides indoors and/or on man-made structures for purposes including, but not limited to, bird control, rodent control, wood treatment and insect control.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the University of Illinois Extension, annually conducts a pesticide safety education program which includes both education and testing opportunities. More information about training and testing opportunities can be found here: Pesticide Home Page.
Illinois law requires that Commercial and Commercial Not-for-Hire applicators and operators pass (with a score of 70% correct or better) a written, closed book General Standards exam. Applicators must also pass one or more category exams appropriate for the sites to which they apply pesticides. Licenses are valid for 3 years. A detailed listing of applicator licensing categories and fees can be found here. Certification and Licensing Home Page.