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Publication #PI-40

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Continuing Education Unit (CEU) System for Certified Pesticide Applicators1

Frederick M. Fishel2

This guide provides the Continuing Education Unit system used by FDACS for recertifying pesticide applicators that are issued licenses by the Bureau of Compliance Monitoring (Chapter 487 F.S.). Licensed applicators who perform lawn, structural (Chapter 482 F.S.), and mosquito control (Chapter 388 F.S.) operations should consult the FDACS Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control for CEU requirements

Applicators must become recertified in order to renew their pesticide applicator licenses. To become recertified, individuals have the option of either retaking the certification exams or earning CEUs. CEU credits are earned by attending professional meetings or seminars or completing online or correspondence courses that have been approved in advance by FDACS to award CEUs.

If an individual has more than one license, the same CEUs can be used to renew both licenses, provided the CEUs were earned during the license period for each license (from the day the license was issued until it expires) or within one year after expiration.

In rare situations, reexamination is required for recertification, with no option of using CEUs. FDACS will notify any applicator affected by this requirement.

CEUs Required

Applicators who renew their licenses with CEUs must have 4 Core CEUs plus the number of category CEUs shown in the table below. Only 4 Core CEUs are required per license—not 4 Core CEUs per category.

All category CEUs must be approved for the specific category. Core CEUs cannot be used to meet the required number of category CEUs. Example: private applicators must earn 4 Core CEUs plus 4 CEUs approved for the Private Applicator Agriculture category. No substitutions of other types of CEUs will be allowed.

Aerial CEUs

The Aerial license is classified as a primary category. The aerial category issued under the authority of Chapter 487, Florida Statutes, is for agricultural and related applications and is not valid for public health aerial (mosquito control, etc.) applications.

Aerial applicators licensed in only the aerial category are licensed to simply apply pesticides according to the directions of another person who has made the pest management decisions. Aerial applicators who make determinations of when treatments are needed or which pesticides to apply must be licensed in the appropriate work-related category or categories (agricultural row crop, agricultural tree crop, forestry, etc.) in addition to the aerial category.

Aerial applicators licensed only in the agricultural aerial category are not authorized to make ground application of restricted-use pesticides. Applicators must be licensed in the appropriate ground categories (agricultural row crop, agricultural tree crop, forestry, etc.) to make ground application of restricted-use pesticides to these sites.

Aerial License Renewal. Aerial applicators must earn 4 Core CEUs plus 16 Aerial CEUs to renew the Aerial category — no substitutions allowed.

Using a Combination of CEUs and Exams to Renew

Applicators may recertify by re-taking and passing the certification exams if they do not have enough CEUs for renewal. If an applicator has earned the required category CEUs but not enough Core CEUs, the Core exam may be re-taken. Applicators may also choose to re-take the category exam(s) providing 4 Core CEUs have been earned, regardless of the number of categories being renewed. Applicators who are licensed in more than one category may choose to renew some categories with CEUs and other categories by exam.

Example 1: Private applicators are required to have 4 Core CEUs plus 4 CEUs approved for the Private Applicator Agriculture category. A private applicator who has 4 Private Applicator CEUs and only 2 Core CEUs may choose to re-take the Core exam instead of earning 2 additional Core CEUs, if desired.

Example 2: A commercial applicator licensed in both the Agricultural Row Crop category and the Agricultural Tree Crop category has earned 8 Ag Row Crop CEUs, 2 Ag Tree Crop CEUs, and 3 Core CEUs. The applicator will need to earn 6 more Ag Tree Crop CEUs plus 1 more Core CEU. To recertify in both categories, the applicator has the option of re-taking the Ag Tree Crop and Core exams instead of earning additional CEUs, or taking either of those exams and earning the required CEUs for the other.

Additional Information

FDACS Agricultural Pesticides Certification Program:

University of Florida Pesticide Information Office:

Order exam study manuals:

Table 1. 

Number of CEUs required for applicators who choose to recertify with CEUs.

Primary Categories

Number of Category CEUs Required

Core CEUs Required

Private Applicator Agriculture





Agricultural Animal Pest Control


Agricultural Row Crop Pest Control


Agricultural Tree Crop Pest Control


Antifouling Boat Paint Application


Aquatic Pest Control


Forest Pest Control


Chlorine Gas Infusion


Natural Areas Weed Management


Ornamental & Turf Pest Control


Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control


Raw Agricultural Commodity Fumigation


Regulatory Inspection & Sampling


Regulatory Pest Control


Right-of-Way Pest Control


Seed Treatment


Sewer Root Control


Soil & Greenhouse Fumigation


Wood Treatment


Secondary Category

Number of Category CEUs Required

Demonstration & Research




This document is PI-40, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date March 2005. Revised January 2014. Reviewed January 2014. Visit the EDIS website at


Frederick M. Fishel, professor, Agronomy Department, and director, Pesticide Information Office; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.