Private Pesticide Applicators

The goals of the Pesticide Applicator Program are to ensure that private and commercial pesticide applicators have the requisite knowledge to handle and apply pesticides, and to ensure that pesticides are applied in a manner which reduces unnecessary associated hazards. The program covers the certification of private pesticide applicators who use restricted use pesticides, commercial applicators, and some businesses and public agencies that do their own pesticide applications. All persons in the state who use pesticides are regulated by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

To meet the goals of the program, the Department conducts exams, issues licenses, and requires technician training and continuing education. In addition, the Department enforces the federal Worker Protection Standard; conducts pesticide use inspections checking for proper maintenance of equipment, proper application, storage, and disposal of pesticides; and investigates complaints about the misapplication of pesticides.

What is a Private Pesticide Applicator and how do I obtain a license?

To qualify for a Private Pesticide Applicator license you must be someone who uses, or supervises the use of, pesticides for the purpose of raising an agricultural commodity. The pesticide use can be on land owned or rented by the applicator or the applicator's employer. Examples of private applicators are dairy farmers, vegetable or fruit growers, greenhouse growers, ranchers and nurserymen.

The private applicator exam fee is $20 (plus a small convenience fee); the license fee is $75.  The license is good for three years.

To obtain a Private Pesticide Applicator License you must complete the following steps:

  1. Obtain the Private Pesticide Applicator Training Manual & Exam Order Form or take the online test through the Metro Institute
  2. Complete the Application for Private Pesticide Applicator License
  3. Email a copy of Drivers License to

Worker Protection Standards

The New Revised Federal Worker Protection Standard How to Comply Manual and Quick Reference Guide

Revisions to the Worker Protection Standards

Resources and Tools for Private Pesticide Applicators

Worker Protection Standards