General Farming Pesticide Certification/Private applicator Training & Testing

A private applicator is defined as a person who applies pesticide to produce an agricultural commodity AND pesticides are applied on property that you own, rent or your employer owns or rents. If you as the applicator do not meet BOTH parts of the definition, you are considered a commercial applicator. Example of a commercial applicator is working for a lawn care company or county Highway employee.

Attention Private Applicators!

Do you know when your private applicator certification expires? This is an important message for you.

Which counties will be giving the Private Applicator Test? County Testing Sites


Certification is required if you plan to use restricted use pesticides in Wisconsin. Pesticide Applicator Certification is available in 3 different platforms, or you may choose the Self-Study option before testing. To achieve this certification you have to purchase the General Farming Manual and take a test. Training is optional.

Certification is valid for five (5) years.

The General Farming Manual will only be available at the WI Pesticide Applicator Training Online Store. County Extension offices will not have them for sale. Cost is $40/ea. Order via mail with printed form or online.

Those wishing to be certified in Fruit Crops or Greenhouse & Nursery, can take the General Farming training, but then take the exam for those specialized categories.


In-person, Online or Zoom training will provide the education component required to secure the reduced grade (50% passing score on the test), otherwise you will be marked as a self-study test (70% passing score).


1.  In-Person Training (& Test) – See below for area in-person training sessions with testing. State wide trainings HERE.

2.  Zoom Training (offered on specific and set dates) with Glenn Nice, PAT Program Manager.

  • April 7, 2023

Register for Zoom Training

3. Online Training (static training and available at any time). General Farming Manual and registration is required.  Online training can be taken either by computer or smart phone. Please block approximately 4 hours to complete the training.  Attendance is mandatory, meaning once you start the training you will have to complete the training in one session. Two 15-minute breaks are built into the training.

    • Select General Farming 100/101.
  • Participant will be emailed a link and password to the training to gain access to the training.
  • To assure attendance, code words provided in the training must be entered at the end to be marked as complete.
  • The code words must be correct to take advantage of the reduced grade (50% passing score), otherwise you will be marked as a self-study test (70% passing score).


For a full FIVE-YEAR CERTIFICATION, you will need to take the exam in person at a county Extension office, who will proctor the exam. Tests are by appointment only.

  1. Zoom and On-Line training will provide the education component required to secure the reduced 50% passing score on the test. If you choose the Self-Study option (no training) the minimum passing score is 70%.
  2. When taking the in-person exam you will have to provide your certification form (inside the front cover of the manual) with the PAT number to the test proctor (i.e. Extension office) to have your certification processed. If you purchased a book this comes in your manual. If you purchased a pdf or online course, then you will receive it via email.
  3. The private company Pearson Vue also provides the Private Applicator test. To set up a Pearson Vue account, schedule a test or find a testing center near you –
    • Receive test results immediately with Pearson Vue
    • Test cost $45/test
    • You have to pass at 70%
    • The manual is provided within the test, you will not be able to use your book.
  4. Call the Extension Sauk County office to schedule an exam at 608-355-3250.

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