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"Before I took your class I knew basically nothing about these ASDs; I jumped on the tractor tug the other day and applied what u taught me and wham!! Pulled it off like I knew what I was doing!! Pretty cool feeling!!! Thanks!"
Capt. Rip Claunch
Tug and Barge Courses
In addition to the Workboat Mate Program, MITAGS-PMI has developed a comprehensive training matrix specifically for the tugboat and barge industry. Many of these courses may be customized and/or taught at offsite locations. The table below provides links to tugboat and barge related courses. The MITAGS-PMI Tug Training Matrix may also be downloaded in a print friendly format.
For more information, please contact Admissions at MITAGS or PMI.
- ARPA (Automatic Radar Plotting Aids)
- Able Seaman
- Advanced Escort Training
- Advanced Navigation
- Basic Firefighting (16-Hour)
- Bridge Resource Management - TUG
- Crew Endurance Management Systems
- Crisis Communications
- Damage Control (MITAGS)
- Designated Duty Engineer Unlimited Horsepower
- Electronic Chart Display Information System (ECDIS)
- Fatigue, Sleep & Medications
- First Aid and CPR
- Medical Care Provider
- Meteorology (Operational Level)
- Navigation Skills Assessment Program
- Radar Observer (Unlimited)
- Radar Observer Recertification
- Radar Observer Recertification - Night Course
- Tank Ship Dangerous Liquids
- Towing Vessel Renewal Program
- Tractor Tug 2-Day Course
- Tractor Tugs 3-Day Course
- Z-Drive/ASD Tug Training
Levels of Tugboat Operator Training
We offer tugboat operator training for the following levels or roles within the tugboat and barge industry:
- Able Seaman (AB)
- Person-In-Charge of Tanker or Barge Operations
- Mate of Towing Vessels
- Master of Towing Vessels
Many of our courses, such as Z-Drive/ASD Tug Training, include tugboat simulator training to provide you with the necessary skills to advance in your career, such as progressing from a mate of towing vessels to a master of towing vessels, also known as a tugboat captain. Whether you intend to become a master of towing vessels or an AB, you can find a complete training program for tugboat operators at our center in Baltimore, Maryland.
How to Become a Tugboat Captain
Joining a training program for tugboat captains requires that you meet the following pre-requisites:
- Age 21 years or older
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- Valid Merchant Marine Licensing and Documentation (MMLD) Medical Certificate
- Valid MMLD with "Y" designation for Safety and Security Evaluation Branch (SSEB) screening
- Approved drug test within the last six months
You must also possess a Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) endorsement if your towing vessel partakes in the following voyages:
- Ocean voyages beyond near-coastal waters
- International tours
- Domestic and near-coastal voyages on a towing vessel of 200 Gross Register Tonnage (GRT) or more
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) also mandates that you provide proof of 90 days of service in the last three years, as well as meet these additional sea service requirements:
- Mate of towing vessels for 540 days
- Mate of towing vessels on a single route for 90 days
Validate your service time and ensure it is compliant with the requirements of a tug master course in the United States by reviewing the following:
- Service on the Great Lakes receives a day-for-day credit
- Service on inland waters qualifies for up to 50 percent of your required service
To complete your tugboat captain license training, you will also need to provide an endorsed Towing Officer Assessment Record (TOAR) for oceans or near-coastal areas. A designated examiner of the National Maritime Center (NMC) is responsible for conducting these assessments. If you are seeking endorsement for Western Rivers on a towing vessel of 200 GRT or more, you will need to undergo 90 days of observation and training, plus an additional TOAR.
After undergoing your tugboat operating training in Maryland, you may file your application with the USCG to update your Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC).
Find a Tugboat Captain License Training Course Near You
At MITAGS-PMI, we offer a comprehensive training program for tugboat operators. Our non-profit vocational training center focuses on providing you with the skills, experience and knowledge to not only expand your career opportunities but also grow your confidence as a mariner, whether as an AB or Master of Towing. Through our in-depth tugboat license training courses, as well as our more than 40-year relationship with regional and national maritime employers, we will give you the opportunity to join leading teams in the industry.
Learn more about our training courses for obtaining a tugboat captain license or endorsement by browsing our course list or contacting us today.
“Thanks again for providing Navy Region Northwest with the best training opportunities available on the West Coast with PMI’s state of the art Tug/Ship Simulator and operators with Captain Jeff Slesinger’s, Delphi Maritime’s professional tutelage in ASD tug instruction. Thank you for the thoughtful and concise assessment of each student. This provides the independent feedback needed for each of these individuals to "think with their head" or "think with their hands" when continuing their process to excellence in becoming an ASD Tug Master for Navy Region Northwest.” Jay Anderson, Port Captain