A person applying a pesticide product in the course of his or her employment or other business activity in the state of Michigan must be a certified pesticide applicator or a registered technician.

If you are interested in starting a pesticide application business, you will need a business license from the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD). 

If you host applicator training events, here are guidelines for obtaining credits for your event.

­How to Get Michigan Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification

To clear up any confusion with the Program Commercial Applicator certification process, the Michigan State University Pesticide Safety Education Program compiled this guide to ensure certification is as easy as possible.


Certification as a Commercial Applicator can only be received after turning 18 years old, passing the Certified Pesticide Applicator and Registered Technician exam and at least one category exam where you will be making your applications.

The exams are based on self-study manuals. A complete listing of them can be found and ordered at the MSU Extension Bookstore.

Manuals to study

Taking the exam

  • Find an exam location and register for a seat to take the exam(s).
  • Once you have studied and are ready to take the exam(s) go to MDARD’s Online Pesticide Exam Scheduling page. Enter as a guest. Any county highlighted in green indicates exams are being given in that county. Click on the county for the location date and time or times for the session and make a reservation.
  • Alternatively, online proctored exams are also available. Information about online exams can be found at the Metro Institute website.

For more information on how to obtain certification, see these resources from the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.