The MDA is the authority regulating pesticide use in Minnesota. The MDA certifies applicators as qualified to obtain a license based on when he or she passes an initial test. The MDA issues different license types with specific categories depending on the intended application site.

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Commercial Pesticide Applicator

Commercial pesticide applicator licenses are for anyone who applies any pesticide “for hire.” For hire means you charge or invoice for the service. To become licensed, an applicant must:

Noncommercial Pesticide Applicator

Noncommercial licenses are for all pesticide applicators that apply Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) as part of their job on property owned or controlled by their employer; or for two or more governmental units sharing resources through a joint powers agreement. Any pesticide application  to a golf course (RUP or general use) must be performed by a licensed applicator. To become licensed, an applicant must:

  • Apply online or complete and submit a New Pesticide Applicator License Application Form 
  • Pay application fee and surcharge before taking certification exams
  • Pass at least 2 certification exams, CORE (A) and one other category
    • Aerial Applicators must pass CORE (A), Aerial (B) and at least one other category
  • Recertify AND renew license as required

Structural Pest Control Applicator

Structural Pest Control Applicator licenses are for applicators that apply pesticides in, on, under, or around structures. See Structural Pest Control Requirements. To become licensed, an applicant must:

  • Apply online or complete and submit a New Structural Pest Control Applicator License Application Form 
  • Pay application fee before taking certification exams
  • Be employed by a licensed structural pest control company with a Master applicator
  • Pass a certification exam in CORE (A) and at least one category detailed below
  • Categories include Master* or Journeyman
    • *To become licensed as a Master, the applicator must work for at least two years as a licensed Journeyman
    • Fumigation Endorsement can be added to Master or Journeyman category
  • Meet Financial Responsibility Requirements
  • Recertify AND renew license as required

Structural Pest Control Company

Structural Pest Control Company licenses are for companies that employ a Master and Journeyman applicator. See Structural Pest Control Requirements. To become licensed, a company must:

Private Pesticide Applicator Certification

Private applicators apply pesticides to lands or sites they own, rent, or manage for the production of an agricultural commodity. Typically farmers and their families who apply restricted use pesticides to their land can apply for a Private Certification.

Pesticide Applicator License Categories

This table displays the categories for Commercial pesticide applicator licenses, Noncommercial pesticide applicator licenses, and Structural Pest Control Applicator Licenses.

Category Code Commercial Noncommercial Category Description
A Yes Yes Core Basic principles of pesticide regulation and application; required for all licensed applicators
B Yes Yes General Aerial Pesticide application with an aircraft
C Yes Yes Field Crop Pest Management Herbicides, fungicides and/or insecticides to agricultural crops
E Yes Yes Turf & Ornamentals Pesticides to non-agricultural areas or for ornamental propagation including lawns, parks, athletic fields, golf courses, nurseries, greenhouses. Note that fertilizer applications are licensed separately
F Yes Yes Aquatic Pesticides to surface water or areas where water is present to control aquatic organism, plants
H Yes Yes Seed Treatment Insecticides and fungicides to seed
I Yes Yes Anti-Microbial Pesticide to HVAC ventilation systems, cooling towers and for indoor mold mitigation & remediation
J Yes Yes Forestry, Rights-of-Way, and Natural Areas Pesticides to forestry (forested areas and forest plantations), rights-of-way (including roads, utilities, and ditch banks), and natural areas (prairie restoration, buckthorn removal)
K Yes Yes Agricultural Pest Control - Animal Pesticides to farm buildings and farm animals
L Yes Yes Mosquito, Black Fly, Tick Pest Control Pesticides for mosquito, black fly and tick pest control
M No Yes Food Processing Pest Management (Noncommercial) Pesticides to food processing areas (not for-hire)
N Yes Yes Stored Grain and Fumigation Fumigants and other pesticides to stored grain, processed grain, other commodities and facilities (fumigation endorsement for structural applicator OR private pesticide certification)
O Yes Yes Soil Fumigation Pesticide to Soil (fumigation endorsement for private pesticide certification)
P Yes Yes Vertebrate Pest Control Pesticides for vertebrate pest control (including repellents)
Q Yes Yes Wood Preservatives Chemical wood preservatives to lumber such as utility poles, fence posts, structural lumber, and railroad ties
R Yes Yes Sewer Root Control Pesticides for root control in sewer lines
S No Yes Noncommercial Structural Pesticides on, in, under or around structures (not for-hire)

Structural Pest Control Applicator License (SPCA) is a license type separate from Commercial and Noncommercial. It can be held with a Commercial license.

Category Code Commercial Noncommercial Category Description
SPCA Yes No Structural Master Pesticide on, in, under or around structures with 2 years licensed experience.
SPCA Yes No Structural Journeyman Pesticide on, in, under or around structures
SPCA Yes No Fumigant Endorsement Fumigant in a structure (building or grain facility)
Private No No Optional Fumigation Endorsement Private Pesticide Certification exams and recertification training are provided by the University of Minnesota Extension.  Private Fumigation Endorsement (soil or grain) can be added through exams given by MDA.