API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank Inspector Certification

API 653 Certification: Ensuring safety in aboveground storage tanks. Learn the path to expertise and benefits of this industry-standard credential.

Aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) play a critical role in diverse industries, ranging from oil and gas to chemical plants. Ensuring the paramount integrity and safety of these tanks makes the role of a storage tank inspector indispensable. The API 653 above ground storage tank inspector certificate serves as the benchmark for individuals aspiring to excel in this crucial field. In this article, we will explore the significance of the API 653 certificate and the journey it entails to become an expert in AST inspection. This journey is facilitated through the API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank Inspector Training course

API 653 Code:

The API 653 code, developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API), is a widely recognized standard governing the inspection, repair, alteration, and reconstruction of aboveground storage tanks (ASTs). This code outlines guidelines and requirements to ensure the structural integrity and safety of ASTs, particularly those used in industries such as oil and gas. Compliance with API 653 is crucial for maintaining the reliability of storage tanks over their operational life. The code addresses various aspects, including inspection intervals, assessment of corrosion and degradation, and the implementation of necessary repairs or modifications to enhance the overall performance of aboveground storage tanks

The Role of API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank Inspectors:

The role and responsibilities of an API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) inspector are critical in ensuring the safety, integrity, and compliance of aboveground storage tanks. The inspector's primary duties include:

  • Inspection: Conducting regular inspections of ASTs to assess their structural integrity, identifying signs of corrosion, leaks, or other potential issues.

  • Compliance: Ensuring that the AST and its components comply with industry standards and regulations, as outlined in the API 653 code.

  • Documentation: Maintaining accurate and detailed inspection records, including documentation of findings, recommendations, and any corrective actions taken.

  • Risk Assessment: Evaluating the risks associated with the storage tank and recommending measures to mitigate potential hazards.

  • Repairs and Alterations: Overseeing and approving any repairs or alterations to the AST, ensuring they are carried out in accordance with API 653 guidelines.

  • Review of Design and Construction: Participating in the review of AST design and construction plans to verify compliance with industry standards and specifications.

  • Training and Certification: Staying updated on industry developments, standards, and regulations through continuous education and obtaining relevant certifications, such as the API 653 certification itself.

  • Communication: Effectively communicating inspection findings and recommendations to stakeholders, including facility owners, operators, and regulatory authorities.

  • Safety Advocacy: Promoting and enforcing safety measures in and around storage tank facilities to prevent accidents and environmental incidents.

  • Environmental Compliance: Ensuring that the storage tank operations adhere to environmental regulations, particularly in terms of spill prevention and response protocols.

  • By fulfilling these responsibilities, an API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank inspector plays a crucial role in maintaining the reliability, safety, and compliance of ASTs in various industrial sectors.

The Path to Certification:

Becoming a certified API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Inspector involves a series of steps, including education, experience, and successful completion of the certification exam. Here is a general path to achieve API 653 certification:

Educational Background: Obtain a relevant educational background, typically a degree in engineering or a related field. However, extensive industry experience may compensate for formal education requirements.

Professional Experience: Acquire relevant work experience in storage tank construction, inspection, repair, alteration, or related activities. The required experience varies based on educational background:

  • With a relevant engineering degree: A minimum of one year of experience.

  • Without a relevant engineering degree: A minimum of five years of experience.

Preparatory Exam Course: Enroll in a preparatory course for the API 653 certification exam. These courses are often offered by training providers and cover the content of the API 653 code in-depth. The course may include lectures, discussions, practical exercises, and sample exams to help participants understand the code requirements.

API 653 Code Study: Thoroughly study the API 653 code, as the certification exam is based on this standard. Understanding the code's content, requirements, and application is crucial for success.

Application Process: Submit an application to the American Petroleum Institute (API) to take the API 653 certification exam. The application includes details about education, work experience, and qualification.

Exam Registration: Once the application is approved, register for the API 653 certification exam through the authorized examination provider.

Exam Preparation: Continue studying and reviewing the API 653 code in preparation for the exam. Practice answering sample questions to familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions.

Certification Exam: Take the API 653 certification exam, which is typically a closed-book exam with multiple-choice questions. Achieve a passing score to become a certified API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank Inspector.

Certification Renewal: Maintain your certification by fulfilling the continuing education and work experience requirements outlined by API. API certifications are valid for a three-year term, and inspectors must participate in activities to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for recertification.

It's important to note that specific requirements may vary, and candidates should refer to the latest edition of the API 653 code and API's official documentation for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Benefits of API 653 Certification:

The API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Inspector certification offers several benefits to individuals and the industries they serve:

Recognition of Expertise: The API 653 certification is widely recognized and respected within the industry. Holding this certification demonstrates a high level of expertise in the inspection, maintenance, and management of aboveground storage tanks.

Career Advancement: The certification opens doors to various career opportunities in industries such as oil and gas, petrochemicals, and chemical manufacturing. Employers often seek API 653-certified inspectors for roles involving ASTs.

Competitive Edge in Job Market: In a competitive job market, having the API 653 certification provides a competitive edge. Employers may prioritize candidates with specialized certifications, giving certified individuals an advantage.

Enhanced Credibility: Certified API 653 inspectors are perceived as credible professionals capable of ensuring the safety, integrity, and compliance of aboveground storage tanks. This credibility can lead to increased trust from employers, clients, and regulatory authorities.

Global Recognition: The API 653 certification is globally recognized, allowing certified inspectors to work on projects and collaborate internationally. This global recognition enhances the mobility and marketability of certified professionals.

Expanded Scope of Work: API 653-certified inspectors have the knowledge and skills to handle a broad range of tasks related to aboveground storage tanks. This may include inspections, repairs, alterations, and rerating activities, allowing for a more varied and fulfilling scope of work.

Safety and Environmental Compliance: Certified inspectors are well-versed in safety and environmental regulations related to ASTs. This knowledge helps in ensuring compliance, preventing accidents, and minimizing environmental risks.

Professional Development: Holding the API 653 certification requires ongoing professional development, encouraging inspectors to stay updated on industry trends, emerging technologies, and regulatory changes. This commitment to continuous learning enhances the inspector's overall professional development. The API 653 training course also can be utilized for renewal of other API certification to meet API CPD Hours requirements.

Industry Standard Adherence: API 653-certified inspectors adhere to the industry-standard practices outlined in the API 653 code. This standardized approach contributes to the consistency and reliability of inspection and maintenance activities across the industry.

Higher Earning Potential: API 653 certification may lead to higher earning potential as employers recognize and reward the specialized skills and knowledge possessed by certified inspectors.

In summary, the API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank Inspector certification provides a pathway to career advancement, professional recognition, and a higher level of expertise, contributing to both individual success and the overall safety and integrity of aboveground storage tank operations.


The API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank Inspector certificate transcends being a mere credential; it serves as a testament to an individual's expertise and commitment to upholding the highest standards in aboveground storage tank inspection. Embarking on the journey to obtain this certificate, aspiring inspectors can acquire the knowledge, skills, and credentials necessary to excel in this field. This achievement positions them to contribute significantly to the safety, reliability, and sustainability of industrial operations on a global scale.

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