Certification Categories

There are 6 Private Applicator certification categories/subcategories and 20 Commercial Applicator certification categories/subcategories. If you need to be certified as a pesticide applicator, you will need to get certified in the appropriate category(ies) and, if applicable, subcategory(ies). If you need to determine if you are a private or commercial applicator go here.

You can purchase training materials for each of the categories. For more information about what’s in the manuals, and the types of training materials you can purchase, see the Products page. You can also view a podcast that explains the different type of training materials we offer.

Every category manual contains “core” information that includes topics such as use of personal protective equipment, proper storage, mixing and loading and disposal of pesticides, to just name a few of the topics. Each manual will contain information that is relevant to the category in terms of types of pests, application sites, application equipment and more. To see an example table of contents from one of the manuals, click here.


Category 1.1, Field & Vegetable Crops manual cover.Field & Vegetable Crops          Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 1.1)
8th Edition effective 2018 – 2022 

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for commercial applicators applying pesticides to field and vegetable crops, including planter-box treatments. It also includes those using pesticides on non-crop agricultural land, pastures, fallow land, grassland, prairie and CRP land.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide. Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • Employees of canning companies applying pesticides on a farmer’s land as part of a contract.
  • Custom hay balers using pesticides.
  • Private Applicators–Alternative certification for private applicators applying RUPs to field and vegetable crops.

In The Classroom (as seen on the DVD). The Field & Vegetable DVD is no longer available, but it is now available online for free.  Some of this content may be out of date, however it can still be somewhat helpful.


Cover of the Fruit Crops, Category 1.2/112/113, manual.Fruit Crops               Purchase – Commercial / Private

(Commercial Cat. 1.2)
(Private Cat. 112 / 113)
7th Edition effective 2014 – 2019 

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category for those applying pesticides for the production of fruit crops, small fruits, cranberry marshes, tree fruits and nuts as agricultural commodities. Those doing this on their own property can be certified as private applicators. This in an alternative to General Farming for private applicators who mainly grow fruit crops. Those contracting out their services would be commercial applicators.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide. Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • Private Applicators using RUPs.

Cover of the Livestock & Poultry, Category 1.3, manual.Livestock & Poultry                            Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 1.3)
6th edition, effective 2016-2021

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category includes custom applicators making applications to livestock and poultry structures where agricultural animals, including animals raised for meat, dairy and/or fiber; poultry and horses are confined. Also for commercial horse stable operators and white washers using a pesticide mix.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide. White washers if using pesticide mix.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • Private Applicators using RUPs.
    EXEMPT: Licensed veterinarians and certified veterinary technicians who meet requirements put forth in Chapter VE 10, Wis. Adm. Code.

Category 2.0, Forestry manual cover.Forestry                                       Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 2.0)
7th edition, effective 2014-2019

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category includes custom applicators treating forested areas. State and county employees managing forests for timber production. Also for forest nurseries and tree seed producing areas, releasing planted trees, Christmas tree operations and custom loggers treating stumps.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • Private Applicators using RUPs.
  • Public school employees treating school forest property.

Cateogry 3.0 Turf & Landscape manual cover.Turf & Landscape                          Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 3.0)
7th edition, effective 2014-2019

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for custom applicators treating sod; lawn care professionals; arborists, golf course or cemetery workers, public/private researchers; park/campground employees; custodians/groundskeepers and public school employees treating turf/athletic fields on school property.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • Public school employees treating school property.

Cover of the Greenhouse & Nursery, Category 3.1/104/105, manual.Greenhouse & Nursery         Purchase – Commercial / Private

(Commercial Cat. 3.1)
(Private Cat. 104 / 105)
7th edition, effective 2014-2019

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for custom applicators contracting out work in greenhouses & nurseries. Also for private applicators that want to use RUPs but specialize in greenhouse & nursery operations.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • Public school employees treating plants in greenhouses and/or nurseries on school property.
  • Private Applicators using RUPs.

In The Classroom (as seen on the DVD). The Greenhouse & Nursery DVD is no longer available, but it is now available online for free.  Some of this content may be out of date, however it can still be somewhat helpful.


Cover of the Seed Treatment, Category 4.0, manual.Seed Treatment                       Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 4.0)
6th edition, effective 2015-2020

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for people treating seed with pesticides in seed facilities and anyone treating seed on-farm other than planter boxes.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide to treat seed they do not own.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs to treat seed owned by themselves or employers.
  • Alternative certification for private applicators applying RUPs to seed.

Cover of the Aquatic & Mosquito, Category 5.0, manual.Aquatic & Mosquito                   Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 5.0)
7th edition, effective 2015-2020

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for aquaculturists, such as fish farm operators (preferred alternative to private applicator General Farming category if no applications made other than for aquaculture) and custom applicators controlling aquatic pests (such as algae). Mosquito control services controlling larva in water or adult mosquitoes on land, DNR employees or public health officials controlling aquatic pests or adult mosquitoes. Employees of golf courses, institutions, commercial businesses, or parks, treating private ponds on such sites.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide.
  • Any application to water for aquatic invasive species control.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs, liquid pesticides or any pesticide to treat water.

Cover of the Antifouling Paints, Category 5.1, manual.Antifouling Paints                   Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 5.1)
5th edition, effective 2015-2020

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for the application of antifouling paints to boat hulls, buoys, underwater equipment, pipes or other underwater structures to prevent growth of aquatic plants or animals in or on submerged surfaces.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any antifouling paint.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • Boat builders and marinas.

Category 6.0, Right-of-Way & Natural Areas manual.Right-of-Way & Natural Areas                  Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 6.0)
7th edition, effective 2015-2020

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for those doing vegetation management on right-of-ways, including roadsides, median strips, fire lanes, pipelines, railways and runways, under power lines and around power stations, stream bank or drainage ditch treatments above the high-water mark and non-selective control in right-of-way sites (substations, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, patios, cell towers, some trails).

This category is also for those using pesticides for restoration and to maintain natural areas, including preparing land that will be transitioned to a natural area. Also to native, undeveloped or wild land that is preserved or restored and managed for its natural features, including parks, forests, and native grasslands on public or private land and controlling invasive plants.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide such as, custom applicators, line clearance crews, pavers, and ecological restoration crews.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire such as public school personnel treating school grounds, state or local government forestry, parks, highway, or DNR staff.

Cover of the Structural Pest Control, Category 7.1, Manual.Structural Pest Control                  Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 7.1)
8th edition, effective 2017-2022

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for those who use pesticides to control pests (including vertebrates, birds, arthropods) in or around food handling establishments, industrial establishments, residences, schools, institutions, warehouses, grain elevators, kennels and any other private/public structures and adjacent areas within 10 feet of the structures.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • Public school personnel using any pesticides on school grounds.
  • Park employees working with sanitation and waste management.

Cover of the Space & Commodity Fumigation, Category 7.2, manual.Space & Commodity Fumigation               Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 7.2)
8th edition, effective 2017-2022

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for those who use pesticides in Industrial, institutional, structural or health-related fumigation of rail cars, trucks, ships, planes, docks, warehouses, grain elevators, food storage areas, buildings and milkhouses. Also for fumigation of grain bins and other areas storing agricultural commodities.Treatment methods include: general, spot, tarpaulin, chamber, vehicle and in-transit fumigation and pest mammal burrow fumigations. to control pests (including vertebrates, birds, arthropods) in or around food handling establishments, industrial establishments, residences, schools, institutions, warehouses, grain elevators, kennels and any other private/public structures and adjacent areas within 10 feet of the structures.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • NOTE: Category 107 (Soil Fumigation) does not cover any type of fumigation that is not to soil (since Jan. 2013). Private applicators must certify in commercial Category 7.2, Space & Commodity Fumigation in order to use non-soil fumigants, (e.g. phosphine in a grain bin).

Cover of the Termite Control, Category 7.3, Manual.Termite Control                    Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 7.3)
6th edition, effective 2017-2022

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for commercial pest control operators working in the prevention or control of termite infestations in structures other than by wood preservation (e.g., treating joists with borates).

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • NOTE: Certification is not required for people that inspect structures for termites—only for those using pesticides to control termites.

Cover of the Wood Preservation, Category 7.4 manual.Wood Preservation                  Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 7.4)
6th edition, effective 2017-2022

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for those who use both pressure or non-pressure treatments of wood such as treating raw wood products, sapstain control at sawmills, treating residential decks, brush-on treatments to cut ends of treated lumber, railroad tie repair, groundline retreatment of utility poles and injection of fumigants into standing poles or pilings.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.

Cover of the Sewer Line Root Control manual.Sewer Line Root Control                  Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 7.5)
1st edition, effective 2007-2022

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for sewer line clearance contractors and municipal employees clearing sewer lines with pesticides.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.

Cover of the Companion Animals, Category 11.0, manual.Companion Animals                    Purchase

(Commercial Cat. 11.0)
5th edition, effective 2016-2021

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for pet groomers and employees of pet boarding businesses/animal service industries in the treatment of pets for external pests (fleas, ticks, mites, lice). This includes using pesticidal shampoos and dips, prediluted sprays, pour-ons, spot-ons and dusts. People may treat areas other than homes, residences or lawns where pets are confined (e.g. kennels)..

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire using any pesticide.
  • Commercial applicators not-for-hire using RUPs.
  • EXEMPT: Licensed Veterinarians and certified veterinary technicians who meet requirements put forth in Chapter VE 10, Wis. Adm. Code.

General Farming        Purchase – PrivateCounty Extension Offices

(Private Cat. 100 / 101)
8th edition, effective 2018-2022

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

Private applicators using pesticides in the production of agricultural products on land that they or their employer own or rent. This category includes farmers, people who work for farmers, and agricultural researchers (applying only on land owned by their employer).

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Private Applicators using RUPs.

Cover of the Aerial Application, Category 9.9/111, manual.Aerial Application           Purchase – Commercial / Private
Subcategory Manual

(Commercial Subcategory 9.9)
(Private Subcategory 111)
5th edition, effective 2018-2022

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for those using airplanes, helicopters or unmanned aircraft systems (drones) to apply any pesticide. Includes operation of aircraft by remote control. You must hold a valid pilot’s license for manned systems or FAA qualifications for operating unmanned aircraft systems. If making aquatic applications you must meet DNR permit requirements for aquatic applications (contact your Regional DNR Office for permit requirements).

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire or not-for-hire using ANY pesticide by air.
  • Private applicators using ANY pesticide by air.

Special notes: Applicators must obtain certification in a base category before becoming certified in this category. The base category should be for the site/application that you intend to apply pesticides to via air. Possible categories include:

  • General Farming
  • Field & Vegetable Crops
  • Fruit Crops (private or commercial)
  • Forestry
  • Turf & Landscape
  • Greenhouse & Nursery (private or commercial)
  • Aquatic & Mosquito
  • Right-of-Way & Natural Areas

Cover of the Soil Fumigation, Category 25/107, manual.Soil Fumigation           Purchase – Commercial / Private
Subcategory Manual

(Commercial Subcategory 25.0)
(Private Subcategory 107)
5th edition, effective 2018-2022

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for those all applicators that fumigate soil, greenhouse soil and potting mixes. If soil fumigant is applied by chemigation, you also need to certify in the Chemigation subcategory (see below).

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire or not-for-hire applying ANY fumigant to soil.
  • Private applicators applying ANY fumigant to soil.

Special notes:
Certification in this subcategory does not cover the use of non-soil fumigants (since Jan. 2013). Private applicators must certify in commercial category 7.2 Space & Commodity Fumigation in order to use non-soil fumigants, (e.g., phosphine in a grain bin).

Applicators must obtain certification in a base category before becoming certified in this category. The base category should be for the site/application that you intend to apply soil fumigants. Possible categories include:

  • General Farming
  • Field & Vegetable Crops
  • Fruit Crops (private or commercial)
  • Forestry
  • Turf & Landscape
  • Greenhouse & Nursery (private or commercial)
  • Aquatic & Mosquito
  • Right-of-Way & Natural Areas

Cover of the Chemigation, Sub-Category 26/109, manual.Chemigation           Purchase – Commercial / Private
Subcategory Manual

(Commercial Subcategory 26.0)
(Private Subcategory 109)
5th edition, effective 2018-2022

Pesticide Applications / Application Sites

This category is for those making applications of pesticides through a chemigation system — a device that mixes irrigation water and pesticide, (e.g., center pivot or drip irrigation systems). It also covers operation of an urban pesticide misting system that draws water from any source, (e.g., mosquito misting systems). Chemigation applications to both agricultural commodities or non-agricultural sites are covered. This subcategory does not include hand-held hose-end sprayers and hand-held greenhouse proportioners. If you apply soil fumigants through chemigation equipment you must also become certified in the Soil Fumigation subcategory.

Applicators Requiring Certification

  • Commercial applicators for-hire or not-for-hire applying ANY pesticide via chemigation.
  • Private applicators applying RUPs via chemigation.

Special notes:
Applicators must obtain certification in a base category before becoming certified in this category. The base category should be for the site/application that you intend to use chemigation equipment. Possible categories include:

  • General Farming
  • Field & Vegetable Crops
  • Fruit Crops (private or commercial)
  • Forestry
  • Turf & Landscape
  • Greenhouse & Nursery (private or commercial)
  • Aquatic & Mosquito