All Illinois pesticide training, testing moves online

URBANA, Ill. – All University of Illinois Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) training and testing will be completed online through spring 2021. The change protects the health of attendees, staff, and communities where testing has been held, says Michelle Wiesbrook, Illinois Extension specialist.  

Several options are available to replace in-person testing and training,


"Online, asynchronous training courses allow participates to complete the training on their own schedule and at their own pace," Wiesbrook says. "The courses, taught by PSEP specialists, are engaging and provide exam-preparation questions throughout."

Participants who prefer may purchase printed self-study training publications for each license category at Pubs Plus. Workbooks align with the manuals and provide sample questions.  


An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 certification exams will be administered by the Illinois Department of Agriculture during 2021. The majority of those tests will be administered online using a commercial proctoring service. Participants must complete the online test in the allotted time, similar to in-person testing.

Limited in-person testing is available for participants needing alternative testing options. "Due to social-distancing requirements and occupancy restrictions, there will be limited availability of in-person testing sessions," Wiesbrook says.  "IDA is working to increase location availability, and this will likely evolve rapidly over the next several months."

Training and testing will be rolled out from Nov. 1 to March 1. Check the Pesticide Safety Education website for updates, or contact the PSEP office at 800-644-2123. 

The tentative release of online training and testing is:

  • Nov. 1: Private Applicator Online Training ($45), Testing ($12)
  • Nov. 1: General Standards Training ($45), Testing ($12)
  • Nov. 1: Aerial General Standards Testing Only ($12)
  • Nov. 1: Dealer Testing Only ($12)
  • Nov. 1: Field Crops Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Dec. 1: Rights-of-Way Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Dec. 1: Vegetable Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Dec. 1: Demonstration and Research Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Dec. 1: Private Grain Fumigation Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Dec. 1: Grain Facility Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Dec. 1: Seed Treatment Testing Only ($12)
  • Jan. 15: Turfgrass Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Jan. 15: OrnamentalsTraining ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Feb. 1: Aquatics Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • Feb. 1: Mosquito Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • March 1: Plant Management Training ($25), Testing ($12)
  • March 1: Forest Testing Only ($12)
  • March 1: Fruit Crops Testing Only ($12)
  • March 1: Livestock Testing Only ($12)
  • March 1: Sewer Line Root Testing Only ($12)
  • March 1: Soil Fumigation Testing Only ($12)

SOURCEMichelle Wiesbrook, Extension Specialist,, 217-244-4397

SOURCEPesticide Safety Education Program, 800-644-2123 or 217-244-2123, 1201 S Dorner Drive - Urbana, IL 61801

WRITER: Judy Mae Bingman, Communications and Marketing Manager, Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.