Online Steersman



Click “Buy Now” and proceed through checkout to enroll in the Online Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Course. 

Once checked out, you are redirected to your “My Courses” page where you can click on your course to get started. We mail your Book Package USPS Priority Mail and it should arrive in about five days.

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Web Conferences two times per week for six weeks.

Get Expert Application Preparation, Screening, Submission, and Support

Full Course Description

Please read through the informational tabs.

Online Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Course

An Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of Towing Vessels is a training license for Mate of Towing. Once you receive the Apprentice Mate Steersman license you continue to work on board the tug as a deckhand and receive training as a watch-stander under the direct supervision of the mate or master. The scope or “Route Endorsement” of your license is based on the geographic location in which you gained your sea service. This course does not work for Western Rivers.

Course Materials

The book package needed to complete the Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Course is included in the purchase price. It is shipped USPS Priority and arrives in five to seven days. The package contains the following items:

Exam Modules

The six Exam Modules listed below make up the Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Course.

  • Rules of the Road: International and Inland
  • Navigation General: Near Coastal
  • Navigation Problems: Chart Plot
  • Navigation Problems: Near Coastal
  • Deck General 70
  • Deck Safety 70

Complete the Exam Modules by passing quizzes which unlock topics sequentially. The final practice quiz unlocks a Certificate of Achievement for the exam module. Unlock the Certificate of Achievement for each exam module and you are ready for the Online Final Examination.

Your “My Courses” Page

Upon purchase of a course you are redirected to your “My Courses” page. This page shows your course and exam modules which make up the course you purchased. When you purchase the Online Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Course the following courses show up on your My Courses page.

  • Online Steersman – the main course that triggers enrollment in other courses
  • Rules of the Road: International and Inland – exam module
  • Navigation General: Near Coastal – exam module
  • Chart Navigation – exam module
  • Navigation Problems: Near Coastal – exam module
  • Deck General 70 – exam module
  • Deck Safety 70 – exam module
  • Final Examination Apprentice Mate (Steersman) – the final exams you take with your proctor
  • USCG Application Packet Course – helps you fill out your USCG Application Packet

In addition to being redirected to your “My Course” page you will receive an email with the subject “US Captains Training Username and Password.” This email allows you to reset your password and access your account details.

Online Final Examination

Take the Final Examination Online as soon as you are ready. The process is convenient, reliable and USCG approved. You are never alone during Online Final Examinations. Your proctor is always present to guide you through the process.


Complete the Exam Modules which make up your Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Course. You must complete your Exam Modules before you may schedule your Final Examination.


Contact us to connect with your proctor for the Online Final Examination. During the initial consultation you schedule your first exam session as well as ask questions you might have about the process.


Pass the Final Exam for each of the Exam Modules which make up the Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Course. Below is a list of the Exam Modules as well as the number of questions and passing grade.

  • Rules of the Road: International and Inland – 50 Questions – 90% to pass
  • Navigation General: Near Coastal – 50 Questions – 70% to pass
  • Chart Navigation – 10 Questions – 90% to pass
  • Navigation Problems: Near Coastal – 10 Questions – 90% to pass
  • Deck General – 70 Questions – 70% to pass
  • Deck Safety – 70 Questions – 70% to pass

Answers to FAQs

Below are answers to the most frequently asked question we receive about the Online Final Examination.

  • You may take the final examination in multiple sessions so you can review and study between sessions.
  • Once you start the final examination you have 90 days to finish.
  • You have three chances to pass each exam module.
  • If you fail any exam module three times the USCG requires that you must retake the entire final examination.
  • If you need to start over you do not need to repurchase the course, you simply pay a retest fee to compensate the proctor for a second round of testing.
  • The online Final Examination is the only final examination you need to take. There is no testing with the USCG. Our Online Final Examination has been approved by the USCG and is in lieu of testing at the REC.


The USCG qualifications an applicant must meet to hold an Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of Towing Vessels are presented below and based on the USCG Checklists for Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of Towing Vessels

General Requirements

  • Must have U.S. Citizenship
  • Must be at least age 18
  • Medical Certificate Requirement
    • Original – Must hold a valid Medical Certificate or be approved for
      Medical Certificate
    • Renewal, ROG, New Endorsement – Must hold an unexpired Medical
      Certificate or submit a Medical Certificate application
  • Drug Testing Compliant
  • Mariner Fees must be paid

Sea Service for Apprentice Mate (Steersman) of Towing Vessels

The sea service qualifications below come from the Apprentice Mate (Steersman) Checklist.

  • 540 days total
  • 360 (of 540 total) days on towing vessels
  • 90 (of 540 total) days must be on the particular route requested (any type vessel),
  • 90 (of 540 total) days sea service in the past 3 years on any vessel or tonnage

Other Requirements

  • First Aid (completed within 1 year) (original only)
  • CPR (must be valid) (original only)


USCG License Application

You must submit an Application Packet to the US Coast Guard (USCG) to earn a license. You may submit your application packet to the USCG before or after taking a course.

IMPORTANT: Your course completion certificate (Certificate of Training) will satisfy the testing requirements for your license however, we recommend preparing your application and submitting it ASAP. The application evaluation process typically takes 4 to 6 weeks. You do NOT need to include your course completion certificate with your application. If your application is evaluated and approved for issuance, you will be given one year to complete the course!

If you need help putting your application together, we have prepared the following resources:

  • A USCG Application Packet Course is included with your purchase! This course contains videos that guide you through each section of each form that makes up a USCG Application Packet so you can submit it to the USCG yourself.
  • We have created an Application Form Generator to help prefill some of the forms for you.
  • The National Maritime Center website has resources including live chat if you have questions for the USCG.
  • If this process seems overwhelming, time consuming, or if you just want professional help putting your application together, we recommend contacting Diamond Marine Services. The team at DMS have credentialing experts and former National Maritime Center evaluators on their staff and can quickly guide you to a complete and properly prepared application. You can reach them at 877-335-6341.

Application Packet

A USCG application packet contains everything the USCG needs to process and issue your captain’s license. Fill out the Forms and complete the Tasks below to create an application packet. Don’t forget to try our Application Form Generator!


The US Coast Guard (USCG) application packet consists of the following USCG forms. Visit our Application Page for video tutorials of each form.


To complete an application packet you must complete the following tasks.

  • TWIC – Applicants for original licenses must apply for a TWIC and include the receipt in their application packet.
  • Pay.Gov – Go to Pay.Gov and pay processing and issuance of your license. 
  • CPR & First Aid – Take this USCG Approved Online CPR & First Aid Course. Send a copy of your CPR & First Aid Card in with your application packet.

Application Packet Costs

The total cost of completing a USCG application packet will vary. The figures below are cost estimates based on our experience.

  • Physical and Drug Test – $160 – This is our best estimate for a physical and drug test.
    • Any primary care physician can complete the USCG Physical (719K).
    • We recommend US Drug Test Centers 866-566-0261 for scheduling a drug screen at a local lab.
  • TWIC – $125 – Applicants for original licenses must apply for a TWIC.
  • Pay.Gov – $145 – Pay for processing and issuance of your license. Renewals and modification of an existing license will cost less.
  • CPR & First Aid $74.95 – Online and USCG Approved.

Certificate of Training

The Certificate of Training satisfies USCG testing requirements. Once you complete the course and online final examination your Certificate of Training is issued. As a reminder, you can prepare and submit your application before completing the course. Keep in mind that due to USCG regulation, your Certificate of Training is only valid for one year.

  • If you completed the course first, please include your certificate of training with your application.
  • If you have already submitted your application, you can send your Certificate of Application via email to

Email your Application Packet

Please follow the USCG Electronic Submission Instructions to email your complete USCG Application Packet to the Regional Examination Center (REC) nearest you. The USCG processes and issues your license once they have evaluated your application packet. The USCG evaluation process takes about four to six weeks.

If your packet is incomplete or filled out incorrectly the USCG will mail you a letter explaining what additional information they need. Get that information together and send it to the USCG to keep the process moving.