• Posted by: EPSD Staff

Testing for AZDA Licenses

By: Alex Bellotti, Yuma EPSD


AZDA Environmental & Plant Services Division offers several licenses in the agricultural industry. From trainers, to pesticide applicators to pest control advisors - we even provide the exams for milk handlers. In order to obtain these licenses, applicants must first take and pass a written exam.

Below is a breakdown of each license category and what test or tests need to be taken and passed to obtain that Ag license.


Private Applicator (PUP): Allows the license holder to apply a restricted use pesticide for their own farm or their employer’s farm. The candidate/applicant must pass the National Pesticide Applicator Core Exam.


Golf Course Applicator (PUG): Allows license holder to apply pesticides on a golf course. The candidate/applicant must pass the National Pesticide Applicator Core + the Ornamental & Turf category. [Aquatics category can also be added to a Golf Course Applicators license.]


Commercial Applicator (PUC): Allows license holder to apply pesticides for a custom applicator or to apply pesticides which fall under any of the specific categories. The candidate/applicant must pass any category tested for in addition to the National Core Exam. [Categories are: Ag Pest Control, Forest, Seed Treatment, Aquatics, Rodents and M-44.]


Pest Control Advisor (PCA): Allows license holder to recommend the use of agricultural pesticides. The candidate/applicant must pass the PCA Core Exam / Calibration Exam + any of the eight categories available*. [PCA categories are: Defoliants, Fumigation, Nematodes, Insects & Mites, Plant Growth Regulators, Plant Pathogens, Vertebrates and Weeds.] (Testing Approval Letter is required before a PCA Core test can be administered) *A category must be added to a PCA tester’s license before the license is issued.


Custom Applicator (CA): Allows license holder offer their services and to apply pesticides for hire. The candidate/applicant must pass the Custom Core Exam + Custom Ground Exam or Custom Core Exam + Custom Air Exam. (This license is for the business, not an individual, although an individual must take and pass the exam.)


Agricultural Pilot (AAP): Allows license holder to apply pesticides by aircraft. The candidate/applicant must pass the National Core Exam + Category (usually the Ag Pest) + Ag Pilot Exam. Ag Pilots are required to hold two licenses in Arizona: The Commercial Applicator and The Agricultural Pilot. [A valid FAA Pilot License and a Current FAA Medical Certificate must be presented in order to process the license.]


Pesticide Safety Trainer (PST): Allows license holder to conduct Pesticide Safety Training as required by state, tribal and federal regulations. The candidate/applicant must pass the Train The Trainer Full Exam. (Certified to train Workers and Handlers) Pesticide Safety Trainers of Workers Only; allows license holder to provide Pesticide Safety training to Workers TTT Worker-Only Exam. (These exams are only given at the office if a person did not pass the original exam during the initial Train The Trainer class and have waited a week to re-test, or after taking a TTT class online)


Milk Handler (MH): Allows license holder to haul and sample milk from dairies. The candidate/applicant must pass the Milk Handler’s/Hauler’s Test. (A completed FDA Evaluation Report must be presented by the tester in order to take this exam)


All exams must be passed with a score of 75% or better. If an exam is not passed, there are an additional three attempts to take and pass the exam within a 12-month period. You must wait seven days between testing attempts.


During these unusual times proper precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are being taken. AZDA requires testers wear a protective mask and submit to a no-contact temperature scan before personnel can allow testers to enter and take exams. AZDA employees are currently required not to proctor any exams if a tester’s temperature exceeds 99°F / 37°C, as released in the AZ Department of Health Services recommendations.


To learn more about EPSD Licenses or schedule a test in Phoenix, please call Central Licensing at (602) 542-3578. To schedule a test appointment in Yuma, call (928) 344-7909.

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