GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In Florida, pesticide licensing exams help ensure the state’s approximately 70,000 pesticide applicators are properly certified to follow state regulations and best practices for mitigating the impact of chemicals on the environment.
After the launch of several online pesticide exams earlier this year, all pesticide exams are now available on this platform, including those required for agricultural, structural pest control and mosquito control licenses. The online test is $26.
Florida is one of only a few states that offers an online pesticide exam option, said Brett Bultemeier, an Extension assistant professor of agronomy with the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office, which partners with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to offer the exam.
“We hope this remote online option will save applicators both time and money. When you factor in travel time and testing time, a pesticide applicator may spend half a day or more to sit for an in-person exam. That’s time they could be spending working or growing their business. The remote online option will allow them to take the test on a rainy day or outside traditional working hours,” Bultemeier said.
“Taking the test online can also cut down on testing anxiety, as applicators can take the test from a quiet office or area in their home, rather than among several other people,” he added.
Bultemeier emphasized that the online exam does not replace in-person exams. Both will be offered. New applicators must pass the exam, while current licensed applicators must retake the exam every renewal cycle or accrue enough continuing education units during that licensing window for renewal.
Applicators can apply for an in-person or remote online test by first getting a voucher from FDACS. This how-to video explains the voucher process. With a voucher in hand, examinees must register with UF/IFAS to test in person or online. This how-to video explains the registration process. For more information, visit the UF/IFAS pesticide exam website
To maintain the integrity of the test results, the online exam uses software developed by the company Everblue to ensure test takers are not consulting the internet, books or study guides while taking the exam.
The UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office also offers online courses that give applicators continuing education units (CEUs). Pesticide applicators who have already passed the exam once can either retake the test or accrue CEUs to maintain their license. For additional updates check out PIO blog
–Samantha Murray, UF/IFAS