Vegetation Pesticide Handler

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing


License required in 51 states
68th most burdensome licensing requirements
13th most heavily regulated occupation

(Last updated April 24, 2012)


Vegetation pesticide handlers mix or apply pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or insecticides through sprays, dusts, vapors, soil incorporation or chemical application on trees, shrubs, lawns or botanical crops.


All 50 states and the District of Columbia require aspiring vegetation pesticide handlers to earn a license. The requirements are moderately burdensome on average: 93 days lost to education and training, two exams and $83 in fees, making the occupation the 68th most burdensome. Because it is licensed in all states, it ranks as the 13th most widely and onerously licensed occupation.

Requirements vary greatly across states. Tennessee requires a four-year degree and two exams, and Mississippi requires a two-year degree and two exams. Six states require a certain amount of experience -- two years in New Mexico and one year in Alabama, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Four other states, Alaska, Arizona, New Jersey and New York, require courses that cost those wishing to enter the trade up to 10 days. The other 39 states have no education or training requirements. All states require at least one exam, and several require three.

(Last updated May 1, 2012)

State Licensing Requirements

Burden RankStateFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age

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