Please review the Frequently Asked Questions shown below before registering for one of our TCA Information Sessions. After reviewing all the FAQ’s, click the link at the bottom of the page to proceed to the next step in the process.

I’m ready to enroll in the TANKERMAN CAREER ACADEMY. How do I get started?

If you meet the admission requirements and can pay the tuition (or you believe you can qualify for a student loan to cover the tuition), then the next step is to attend an Information Session in your area. At the information session, you will have the opportunity to connect with one of our TCA recruiters and get more detailed information regarding the training program and application process.

Where is the training offered?

The training is typically offered in four locations: Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Corpus Christi, Texas; Pasadena, Texas; and Port Arthur, Texas. The locations may vary depending on our need for tankermen in each area.

How long does the training take?

The training program lasts for four months.

How often does Petroleum Service Corporation run the training program?

It depends on the company’s need for tankermen. At a maximum, the program will run three times/year.

What is a tankerman?

The tankerman’s role is critical to our nation’s petroleum and chemical shipping industry. The tankerman serves as the person-in-charge of critical operations, with responsiblity for protecting the environment by ensuring the safe transfer of petrochemicals to barges. Tankermen must be certified by the U.S. Coast Guard. There are two types of tankermen: boat tankermen and shore tankermen. Petroleum Service Corporation only employs shore tankermen who live at home and travel to various work sites.

What training and credentials are required to become a tankerman?

A Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC) from the U.S. Coast Guard is required to work as a tankerman. To obtain a MMC, the Coast Guard requires that you receive extensive, documented, hands-on training in transfer operations and demonstrate competency with these duties. You must also complete Coast Guard-approved courses in cargo handling and tank barge firefighting. Furthermore, only a qualified company such as Petroleum Service Corporation can formally nominate an applicant for a MMC.

You must also have a Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) to work as a tankerman.
Click here to learn more about TWIC requirements.

Can’t I become a tankerman by working on a towboat?

Yes. There is certainly more than one way to become a licensed tankerman. One such path is to get hired on as an entry-level deckhand by a barge line and work your way up to becoming a tankerman trainee. This process typically takes about two years from hire date to begin the formal tankerman training. If you like the idea of being a shore tankerman (living at home, instead of on the boat), then you may have to wait even longer. Most barge lines only have a limited number of their own shore tankermen, and as you can imagine, there is usually a long line of their current boat tankermen waiting to move shoreside. Generally speaking, as a boat tankerman your experience is limited to only the barges and cargos your employer moves. A shore tankerman working for an independent shore tankerman company has the advantage of gaining experience by working just about every type of barge/cargo out there. Our Tankerman Career Academy is definitely not the only way to become a tankerman, but, to most people, four months of training is definitely more appealing than a few years, and your tuition investment starts paying dividends immediately upon graduation.”

Aren’t there tankerman schools that charge less than PSC’s?

Yes, well sort of… Our Tankerman Career Academy is a comprehensive, all-in-one training program that combines classroom instruction, field training, and full-time employment. While there are other schools that provide the classroom training at a lower cost, you’d still be missing out on the required number of days working in the field and the minimum number of transfers required by the United States Coast Guard to be issued a license. Not to mention, those schools don’t pay you while you’re in class.

What type of work schedule is offered?

Most of our tankermen work on an “on call” basis. Those who are on call work for a stretch of six days, and then they are off for three days. During their six work days, our tankermen are dispatched for work around-the-clock in a “rotation” order. Students may expect to train for at least 40 hours each payroll week; however, they may end up working more than 40 hours/week. Many tankermen frequently work 50-hour weeks. However, no amount of overtime is guaranteed.

How is the training program structured?

From new employee orientation until the employee obtains his/her MMC from the Coast Guard, the program lasts approximately four months. During those four months, the student will undergo a few weeks of classroom training with the balance being hands-on training. The student will be paid $14 per hour during the training, plus overtime if application, and for mileage. The first three days of school will be spent in various orientations, followed by five days of on-the-job training where the student works with a tankerman instructor on actual cargo transfer operations, experiencing first-hand what tankering is all about, so that he/she can make the most informed decision about continuing in the program. The cargo handling course will be interspersed throughout a 60-day period of on-the-job training, until complete, and will be conducted at one of PSC’s training centers. Students who continue will be paired with a tankerman instructor with whom they will begin training on a “6 & 3” schedule. After the student completes 60 days of hands-on training, Petroleum Service Corporation will assist the student with applying to the Coast Guard to obtain a MMC. Provided there are no problems discovered by the Coast Guard in the application process, the student will be classified as a “Level I Tankerman” upon successful graduation from the training program and receipt of his/her MMC from the Coast Guard.

What job opportunities will I have after graduation from the training program?

There is a high demand for U.S. Coast Guard-certified tankermen to meet the needs of the petrochemical industry. Graduates who have successfully completed the TCA training program and received the Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) may qualify for tankerman job opportunities with PSC and other companies. Eligibility for continued employment with PSC after graduation depends upon the student’s overall performance during training, his/her level of competence at graduation, and PSC’s staffing needs. This is not an offer or guarantee of continued employment.

How many applicants will be accepted for each training program?

It depends on the company’s needs in each geographic area at the time of enrollment. The number of students in Pasadena, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is normally larger than the number of students in Port Arthur or Corpus Christi, Texas.

Do you offer housing or housing assistance during the training?

No. Students are responsible for their own housing and living expenses during the training.

I have been convicted of a felony. Will this affect my ability to be accepted into the training program?

It depends on the type of felony and when you were convicted. There are a number of convictions that would disqualify you from receiving a Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC).
Click here to learn more about TWIC requirements.

The U.S. Coast Guard will also conduct a criminal background check as part of the application process for a Merchant Mariner’s Credential (MMC), which is required for work as a tankerman. For more information, click the link below or call the National Maritime Helpdesk at 1-888-427-5662.

Click here to learn more about MMC requirements.

How can I be notified when you begin enrolling for future Tankerman Career Academy classes?

Click the link below to sign up to be notified via email for news and announcements regarding Tankerman Career Academy training classes.

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