Certification: National First Class Pilot

100 Forbes Drive Martinsburg, WV 25404-7120

First Class Pilot. This is an advanced-level merchant mariner credential. The general requirements for this credential are TWIC Card (Identification, Fingerprints, Citizenship, Social Security number, etc), CG-719B Application, NDR Consent & Check, Oath, 3 letters of recommendation, photograph (supplied by TSA), SSEB Screening complete, age of 21 or over, CG-719K Physical Exam, Medical Tab in MMLD, Drug Testing Compliance, Mariner Fees, and Sea Service Letters or Discharges. Sea service requirements include recency- 90 days in the past 3 years on vessels of appropriate tonnage. FCP, 1080 days of service on in the deck department, of which 540 days of service as quartermaster, wheelsman, AB, apprentice pilot or equivalent capacity standing regular watches at the wheel or in the pilothouse, and 360 days of service must be on vessels operating on the class of waters for which pilotage is desired; or Graduate of Great Lakes Maritime Academy in the deck class; or Masters or Mates with Officer endorsements over 1600 GRT meet the service requirements. There are also route and tonnage requirements that must be met. Other requirements include complying with First Class Pilot Work Instruction, a valid, approved radar observer course, First Aid course, CPR course, and approved basic & advanced firefighting courses. All candidates must complete an examination.

More than two years of education or training after high school required?
More than two years of work experience required?
Oral or Written Exam Required?
Renewal Required?
Every 5 Year(s)
Renew through Continuing Educational Units(CEU)?
Renew through Re-Examination?
Renew through Continuing Professional Development(CPD)?
Does applicant have choice of at least two options from above for renewal (CEU, CPD, or exam)?


Your local Regional Exam Centers external site(REC) provide valuable resources toward obtaining a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC).


The certification has an education level of an Associates of Arts or Associates of Sciences degree or higher and has a work experience requirement of more than 2 years, or requires obtaining a ‘core’ level certification from the same organization.

  • This certification is related to military occupational specialties.