DEEP: Pesticide Operator Certification

Commercial Operator Certification to Engage in Use of Pesticides

Commercial Operator Certification
Any person who applies pesticides or assists in the commercial application of pesticides in Connecticut, in other than a supervisory capacity, must have an operational certification (also called an operator license).  This certification allows the holder to use pesticides only under the direction of a certified supervisor.  Any person who is hired to do pesticide application work for a commercial company will need an operational certificate.  An operational certificate does not allow an individual to purchase restricted pesticides or go into business for himself; a supervisory certificate is required for these activities.  Pertinent Pesticide General Statutes and Regulations For Commercial Operators (PDF)

Any person not employed by a commercial business (examples include: golf course, property management, and government employees), but applying any restricted-use pesticide must also have an operator's certification and instructions from a certified supervisor.

In order to obtain operational certification, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age and pass a written examination (given in English only) covering the material in the Pesticide Operator's Certification Manual (PDF).  The applicant must be able to read and comprehend pesticide label information and demonstrate knowledge of the safe and proper use, application, handling and storage of pesticides.  The exam is a 55 question, multiple choice exam with one correct answer per question.  In order to pass you need to get at least 44 correct answers.

The pesticide operators examination is given on specified dates throughout the year.  It is a walk-in exam, pre-registration is not required.  You will receive your results after your application and fee has been processed.  The certificate or failure letter will be sent to your home address.

Each examination requires a fee of $200.00. Following a failing examination grade, an applicant must wait a minimum of 30 days before re-examination. A re-examination appointment requires another $200.00 fee.  No fee is charged to federal, state or municipal employees who apply pesticides as part of his or her duties as a governmental employee; however, any certificate for which a fee is not charged is automatically void if the holder is no longer a government employee.  If a governmental employee wishes to convert the governmental certification to a commercial certification, he or she would need to send in another application with the $200.00 exam fee and indicate on the top of the application "please convert 'G' to 'O'".  It would not be necessary to retest, only pay the examination fee.

Payment Information:

Any fee submitted with a hard copy application, by mail, shall be paid by check or money order to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Do not send cash in the mail. 

Cash Payments:

To pay in cash, the required fee along with completed applications/documents must be delivered to the Central Permit Processing Unit (CPPU) at DEEP (79 Elm Street in Hartford, CT). The exact fee amount must be provided; the department cannot provide change.

Credit Card Payments:

To pay by credit card, the card holder and only the card holder must come to the Central Permit Processing Unit (CPPU) at DEEP (79 Elm Street in Hartford, CT). They must bring all completed applications/documents that are being processed in the transaction.

A receipt will be provided for the fee payment and the applications/documents will move forward to be processed.

Procedures for Taking the Pesticide Operator's Examination

  1. You must be 18 years of age or older to take the Pesticide Operator's exam.

  2. You must present a photo ID at the time of exam. Cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in the examination room!

  3. Complete the Application for Pesticide Operator's Certification (Word Form; PDF) and submit it, along with the required fees (check or money order for $200.00 payable to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection or DEEP) to the address specified on the application form. Be sure to sign and date the form.  Note:  The fee is waived for Government employees who will be using the certificate only for their governmental affiliation.

  4. Confirmation regarding receipt of your exam application will not be sent.

  5. You may take the exam prior to submitting an application, however, your exam will not be corrected or processed until the Pesticide Management Program office receives your application and fee.

  6. Examinees will receive their scores by mail (usually within one month to six weeks). Please do not call the Pesticide Management Program Office for results of your test. Certificates and/or fail letters are sent out in a timely manner.  Test scores are not released to applicants or their employers over the telephone.

Exam Cancellations  
If school is cancelled in the town that the exam is to be held, the exam will be cancelled.  Check radio and television announcements for information on school closures due to inclement weather.

Certificate Renewal
The operator's certificate must be renewed prior to the expiration date that appears on the certificate. The Pesticide Management Program will mail renewal information to the certified operator prior to the expiration of the certificate. In accordance with state regulation 22a-66-5(e), if your address changes, you must notify the Pesticide Management Program within 30 days. 

Lost Certificates
If you lose your certificate, a Duplicate Request Form  (Word FormPDF) must be submitted to obtain a duplicate certificate.

To possess an operator's certificate is a privilege. Remember that it can be suspended or revoked if pesticides are misused or if pesticide laws and regulations are not followed.

For more information please call the Pesticide Management Program at (860) 424-3369, email or write to:

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance
Pesticide Management Program
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127

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Content Last updated on May 26, 2017