Illinois Pesticide Applicator/Operator
Training & Testing Options for 2020-2021
The University of Illinois' Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) will not offer in-person training this season. PSEP plans to offer the following resources to individuals preparing for pesticide exams.
Training Option A: Online Training
In place of PSEP's in-person training clinics, online courses will be made available for most of the traditional training categories, including general standards core training. The courses are designed to be completed on your own schedule and at your own pace. Each course will guide you through lessons instructed by PSEP specialists, and keep you engaged with plenty of exam-prep questions along the way. For more information about online training please visit: http://pesticidesafety.illinois.edu
Training Option B: Self-Study Publications
Training Manuals are available for each category of licensure. Accompanying fill-in-the-blank-style workbooks are also available for common categories, which will help guide you through the manual and prepare you for the associated exam. For more information about obtaining training materials please visit: http://pesticidesafety.illinois.edu
Typically, most pesticide exams would be administered at in-person training and testing clinics. In the absence of large capacity, in-person sessions, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA) will utilize online testing and limited, small capacity in-person testing sessions to meet testing needs.
Testing Option A: Online Testing
IDA will be offering pesticide exams online through an exam proctoring service. Directions for online testing signups will be posted on this webpage when the online service is available.
Exam length and time allotment for online tests will be similar to that of in-person testing. Individuals will need to schedule each exam with the proctoring service and pay a small fee directly to the online proctoring company due at time of signup. Online proctoring allows for compliance with federal certification and licensing requirements.
Online exams should be available beginning in late November.
For Online sign up information, please visit: Online Testing Page
Testing Option B: In-Person Testing
For those needing an alternative to online testing, IDA will attempt to offer small capacity, in-person testing for all pesticide exams. Due to COVID social-distancing requirements and occupancy restrictions, there will be limited availability of in-person testing sessions. The Springfield and DeKalb IDA office buildings will not be available for testing sessions. However, IDA is working to increase location availability. Please check the website often, as occupancy restrictions and location availability may change frequently.
To check for In-Person Testing availability please visit: in Person Testing Page
The cost of all licenses remains the same. For those individuals taking advantage of the online testing option, there will be a small fee paid directly to the online proctoring service. Online proctoring allows compliance with federal licensing and certification requirements.
The IDA and PSEP teams are working to provide access to training and testing as soon as possible. With that in mind, the planned rollout of online training and testing will roughly follow the traditional availability of training sessions. The chart below shows the tentative schedule. In-person testing dates will be added to the IDA website as they become available.
The Department has also created a Frequently Asked Questions page to address the many inquiries about different licenses and expirations, which can be found here.
The Illinois General Assembly, in the introduction to the Illinois Pesticide Act (415 ILCS 60/1 et seq.) states that:
"The purpose of this Act is to regulate in the public interest the labeling, distribution, use and application of pesticides as herein defined. It is recognized that pesticides are valuable and necessary to Illinois' agricultural production and to the protection of man and his environment from pests, but it is essential to our general health and welfare that they be regulated to prevent adverse effects on man and his environment".
Pesticide Use and Regulation
This section provides a brief overview of the laws regulating pesticides.
Certification and Licensing
Individuals wishing to purchase and/or apply restricted use pesticides in Illinois are required to successfully complete a competency examination and receive a license from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
State-specific labels have been approved for the 2019 growing season, which include additional restrictions beyond the Federal labels. Additionally, Federal label revisions for 2019 require specialized training for users as outlined in this section. More information and a link to training locations and dates can be found in this section also.
The DriftWatch™ Specialty Crop Site Registry is a voluntary communication tool that enables crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators to work together to protect specialty crops and apiaries through use of the DriftWatch™ registry mapping program.
Agrichemical, lawn care wash water, pesticide application and operations, pesticide misuse and pesticide production and company registration forms.
Commercial Pesticide Applicator/ Operator Training and Testing
State law requires anyone in Illinois applying general-use and restricted-use pesticides in the course of employment be licensed. 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.
Private Pesticide Applicator Training and Testing
The Illinois Department of Agriculture and the University of Illinois Extension provide training and testing for anyone wanting to obtain an Illinois private pesticide applicator's license.
Licensed Pesticide Applicator / Operator / Dealer Search
Individuals recently licensed as private, commercial, commercial not-for-hire, and public pesticide applicators or operators by the Illinois Department of Agriculture can be viewed by using the following search tool. Search by any or all of these criteria.
- Pesticide Product Registration
All products offered for sale within the state of Illinois that make a "pesticidal" claim must be registered with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. As a result, the Department registers approximately 13,000 products from approximately 1200 companies.
- Pesticide Product Search
- Search for currently Illinois registered pesticides.
Pesticide Use and Misuse
Through education about the proper use of pesticide chemicals, the Department works to reduce pesticide misuse and enhance Illinois' agricultural industry.
Pesticide Misuse Complaint Form
The complaint form is provided to assist in the submittal of information associated with an alleged pesticide misuse complaint. Please provide as much information as possible about the incident.
Aerial Pesticide Application Questions and Answers
Aerial application is often the most efficient and most economical way to apply crop protection products, fertilizer and even seed to grow and protect crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat.
Agrichemical Facilities Containment Program
The Department issues permits for the design, construction, and operation of containment structures and systems intended to prevent the release of pesticides and fertilizers at retail agrichemical and lawn care facilities across the state.
Containment Requirements for "On-farm" Agrichemicals
Regulations regarding the proper storage and handling of bulk pesticides and fertilizers were modified in 2002 to require secondary containment of certain on-farm storage containers.
Agrichemical Container Recycling Program
The Department annually cooperates with various segments of the agrichemical industry to operate a plastic pesticide container-recycling program.
Pesticide Clean Sweep Program
The Illinois Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Public Health and with funding from the US EPA, annually conducts agricultural/structural pesticide clean sweep program collections for the residents of various counties in the state, depending on the availability of funds.
Groundwater Monitoring Well Network
The Illinois management plan relies on the IDOA's groundwater monitoring well network and the Illinois EPA's public water supply well pesticide-monitoring sub-network to determine the occurrence of pesticides in groundwater and whether there are significant, spatial or temporal trends in pesticide concentrations.