Tankerman PIC Endorsement

Howdy folks!

So I’m a 2019 academy grad and lately I’ve decided that I would like to get on tankers. Since graduation I’ve been an LW with AMO and have yet to get on a ship unfortunately. I figured getting my PIC would open some more doors, and read through the other thread on obtaining Tankerman PIC trying to figure out how to go about that, however I failed to see any process or suggestions to getting the PIC.
I apologize for any ignorance, I’m still new to the industry and am hoping to get some actual advice from some of you who have been out there. Not looking for a bunch of people to say how difficult it is or that it can’t be done nowadays, I’d just like to know how to get it done and if there are any programs offered or if there are any companies looking for people trying to get PIC. The other thread mentioned SIU but I’m unclear how that would work with my status with AMO so if anyone could talk to me about this as well it would be much appreciated.

Thank you guys in advance, try to keep this thread civil and constructive.

To get the PIC you need 90 days on a tanker, and to have participated in 10 cargo transfers, see 46 CFR 13.203. That’s why you didn’t get it when you graduated. But you probably did get Tankerman-Assistant because you took a PIC course. So you may need to sail unlicensed in order to get that tanker time and the cargo transfers. If you get that withing 5 years of graduation, you won’t need another course for Tankerman-PIC, the one you took at the academy will be sufficient (make sure to save the separate course certificate they gave you). After 5 years, you’ll need to retake the course. Depending on what academy you went to, the course you took might also give you credit for 2 of the 10 cargo transfers.


About as clear and non-biased answer you will get from jdcavo. Read it twice and good luck in your career.

1 Like

Also in addition to sailing unlicensed, I know some tanker companies have a PIC observer program for mates to gain their time and loads/discharges. The pay will be really low but it’s foot in the door. Seabulk tankers I believe may have had that program.

Perfect answer thank you so much!

AMO was developing some USCG approved program that you could take to drop the 90 days as observer down to 30. Announcement was here:web link for announcement, so you might want to ask a union rep or call the STAR center.

That link doesn’t work, possibly because it appears to be 6 years old.

The only program consistent with regs that would allow the reduction in time from 30 days to 60 days is one under 46 CFR 11.603(d), that would only be for an STCW endorsement for Advanced Oil Tanker Operations, and only if you already have an STCW endorsement for Advanced Chemical Tanker Operations, or Advanced Chemical Tanker Operations. There is no corresponding regulation to reduce the time for a national Tankerman-PIC endorsement.

The purpose of such a program (if any exist) is not to shorten the time to get an original endorsement. It’s to resolve the discrepancy between national and STCW endorsements. STCW advanced tank vessel endorsements are for oil OR chemical while National Tankerman endorsements are for “Dangerous Liquids,” i.e. oil AND chemical. That’s why there’s no similar regulation for national endorsements. The program is only to shorten the ti

In short, there’s no shortcut or way around having 90 days on a tank vessel to get an original Tankerman-PIC endorsement.

Well, the link don’t work because I fat fingered it, but the page works just fine. I’ll try again:


Granted, the do specify it’s because there was anticipated to be a flood of US-built tankers, so maybe they just bailed on it.

I saw this advertised in the galley on my cadet cruise in 2017, but I didn’t pay too much attention since I was on a tanker, doing my 90 days…

Your options are to either join SIU and wait in the hall for a tanker job or bug AMO dispatch for an observer spot. I don’t know how common those are in this economy but it’s possible.

1 Like

I know some people who joined the SIU and shipped AB on a tanker to get their PIC. I also spoke to a guy who sailed as cadet with ATC after graduation to get his PIC.

1 Like

Your only option now is join SIU and wait on a tanker job. The PIC observer is a really good in and I know someone who got their foot in the door using it but its not gonna happen now. go be an AB tankerman for 90 days somewhere

1 Like

You can get into the PIC observer program now, its possible. If your willing to take 90 cadet pay then do it. It will actually get you hired before some of the guys waiting with dispatch, which is frusterating people who already have the PIC