Using pesticides – Applicator Certification Program

Alberta’s pesticide applicator certification program is a joint effort of the Alberta government and Lakeland College.


Who needs certification?

A pesticide applicator certificate is required for:

  • anyone other than a commercial agriculturist applying Schedule 1 or 2 (restricted or commercial class) pesticides
  • anyone applying a pesticide where the label specifies for use by “certified or authorized applicators”
  • anyone applying Schedule 3 (domestic class) pesticides:
    • in a rental dwelling
    • in common indoor and outdoor areas of condominiums
    • in or on the grounds of a school, hospital, nursing home or day care


The applicator candidate must meet the prerequisites and successfully complete the provincial certification exam.

For training materials and exam requests, contact Lakeland College.


A commercial agriculturalist does not require applicator certification to purchase and use pesticides in Schedule 1 or 2. This is a person who is primarily engaged in agricultural production such as growing a crop or raising livestock. It does not include people who:

  • sell a pesticide or transfer a pesticide for sale
  • use or apply a pesticide as a pesticide application service to other people
  • store a pesticide to be sold, transferred, used or applied as a service

Program structure

The program consists of 3 main aspects:

  • home study
  • certification exam
  • classroom tutorials (optional)

Home study

The home-study material:

  • is available year-round
  • requires 60 – 80 hours of dedicated study time
  • consists of a core lesson (common to all categories) and a series of other lessons (which depend on certification category)


The home-study course consists of lesson materials and study guides. The course and study guides should be used to prepare for the provincial certification exam.

All candidates must understand the training material in the core lesson and pass the core certification exam. Candidates must also pass the specific certification exam for at least 1 of the following applicator classes:

  • Aerial (candidate must hold a valid flight crew licence issued by Transport Canada prior to qualifying for an aerial applicator certificate)
  • Agriculture
  • Aquatic
  • Biting Fly (Mosquito Control)
  • Forestry
  • Fumigation (candidate must have held a structural applicator certificate for 2 years prior to qualifying for a fumigation applicator certificate)
  • Fumigation: Restricted/Prohibited to Stored Agricultural Products Fumigation (a structural certificate is not a prerequisite for this certificate)
  • Greenhouse
  • Industrial
  • Landscape
  • Special – Interior Plantscape
  • Special – Seed Protectant
  • Special – Exterior Rodent Control
  • Special – Fish and Aquatic Invertebrates
  • Structural

Certification exam

The exam is:

  • based on the Standard for Pesticide Education, Training and Certification in Canada
  • administered by Lakeland College
  • offered primarily in electronic format
  • 1.5 – 4.5 hours long
  • closed book
  • written at specified proctor centres throughout Alberta
  • specific to the class(es) of applicator certification

Candidates require a grade of at least 70% in the core section and specific categories to qualify for certification. Successful candidates will be issued a pesticide applicator certificate by Lakeland College.

Certification is valid for up to 5 years. Recertification requirements must be met before a new certificate can be issued.

How to arrange the exam

Candidates pay an exam fee then receive a password and exam-writing date. They can choose the proctor centre where they wish to write the exam.

For more information reference the Lakeland College Pesticide Applicator Certification.

The exam for Special: Stump Treatment is available through the Professionals Vegetation Management Association. Phone: 780-433-0838.

Classroom tutorials

Supplemental training through in-class tutorials are optional. The tutorials reinforce understanding of the home study course. They also help prepare for the exam.

The tutorials:

  • consist of a series of workshops and hands-on labs
  • are 4 days in length
  • are based on the home-study training documents from Lakeland College (it should be reviewed before enrolling)

The tutorials are offered at various Alberta colleges, usually every spring. They may also be available in the fall. For more information, see: Using pesticides - Applicator tutorials.


Connect with Outreach Services:

Alberta Environment and Protected Areas
9th Floor, South Petroleum Plaza 9920 108 Street
Edmonton Alberta T5K 2G8

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-3773 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Outside Alberta: 780-944-0313
Toll free: 1-877-944-0313
Email: [email protected]

Lakeland College

Connect with Lakeland College for questions about pesticide applicator or dispenser certification:

Phone: 1-866-853-8646
Email: [email protected]