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USCG  Approved Marine Training Programs Training at Mountwest Maritime Academy, Huntington

mountwest maritime academy

Mountwest Community & Technical College (MCTC) was founded in 1975 as a separate college within Marshall University to better serve students by bringing together many of the two-year associate degree programs under one college. Classes began in the fall of 1975 with a wide range of programs. From the outset, the college’s mission has been to provide two year associate degrees as well as provide continuing education and community service.

MCTC was separated from Marshall University in 2008 according to the state plan to separate community and state colleges into separate institutions. Now the MCTC is an independent community college serving the Huntington metropolitan area in West Virginia. It is one of ten regional community colleges in the West Virginia Community and Technical College System.


Mountwest Community & Technical College offers over 50 programs that lead to an associate degree. For full-time students, associate degrees usually can be earned in four semesters, excluding any developmental or prerequisite requirements. Certificate programs are also available, and designed to provide competence in a focused area and require significantly fewer credit hours to complete. Mountwest Community and Technical College is fully accredited by The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Mountwest Maritime Academy, formerly known as the Inland Waterways Academy, at Mountwest Community & Technical College provides entry-level training and more than 20 U.S. Coast Guard-approved licensure-training programs for the inland maritime industry.  The Academy has been serving the needs of the river industry since 2001. These unique and rewarding careers are not for everyone, but the opportunities are there for individuals who are motivated and dedicated.

mctc campus

Training Programs




Mountwest Maritime Academy Programs

  • Deckhand Basic Training: This seven-day course is designed to acquaint the prospective entry-level deckhand with the life on the river and to assist the deckhand in obtaining a job on a commercial towboat. Safety training and hands-on skills are emphasized.
  • Steersman: This 10-day course prepares the experienced deckhand to obtain a license as a Steersman of Towing Vessels on Western Rivers from the U.S. Coast Guard. This is the first license on the path to becoming a Master of Towing Vessels. Classroom subjects include Deck Safety, General Deck and Environmental Subjects, Navigation, and Rules of the Road. Prerequisite: 18 months experience as a deckhand.
  • Tankerman: This 40-hour course is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and is designed for the boatman (licensed or unlicensed) who will be transferring liquid dangerous cargoes in bulk. Prerequisite: The U.S. Coast Guard requires observation of a number of transfer of liquid dangerous cargoes prior to issuance of the endorsement. Also, Tank Barge Firefighting is required.
  • Radar Observer: The Mountwest Maritime Academy offers a number of U.S. Coast Guard approved Radar Observer and Radar Observer Recertification courses for Western Rivers and Inland Waters. The cost varies depending on the nature of the course.
  • Radar Observer - Upgrade: Towing vessel Increase in Scope which is a 4-day class or a 32-hr class and then you can do a radar upgrade this is a 8-hr course to get your license from Western Rivers to Inland.
  • CPR/First aid/AED: This is the Basic Plus CPR, AED, and First aid for adults in Standard First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, and Automated Electronic Defibrillators. This class also meets the First Aid requirements of Basics Safety Training under the STCW Code.
  • Basic & Advanced Firefighting: This is a U.S. Coast Guard approved comprehensive forty-hour course in the theory and practice of marine firefighting. The course includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training in the exterior and interior firefighting. This course is required for all candidates for an Engineering License and for all Deck Licenses over 200 tons. The course is also approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for international operations under the STCW code.
  • Tank Barge Firefighting: This class is required by the U.S. Coast Guard prior to issuance of an endorsement as Tankerman- Person in Charge. The class familiarizes the prospective tankerman with the theory and science of firefighting and provides hands-on experience in extinguishing large fires.
  • Increase Scope: This five-day class prepares the licensed towboat officer to expand the scope of their license from the limited Western Rivers route to the Inland Waters route. Navigation and Rules of the Road are stressed. Prerequisite: License as Master, Pilot, or Steersman (Apprentice Mate) of Towing Vessels on Western Rivers.
  • Train the Trainer: This one-day Train the Trainer course is for the experienced mariner who desires to become certified as a Designated Examiner by the U.S. Coast Guard. A Designated Examiner certifies the competency of persons working in the maritime environment who are advancing their licenses or certifications.

LAST UPDATED ON Aug 9, 2021