API 653 – Above Ground Storage Tank Inspector Program

The American Petroleum Institute initiated an Above Ground Storage Tank Inspector Certification Program with the issuance of Supplement 1 to API 653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction. The program was developed with the participation storage tank owner/users, and establishes a uniform national program that will assist state and local governments in above ground storage tank regulations.

API 653 certification is valid for a three-year term.

API 653 Above Ground Storage Tank Inspector Program - Qualification Requirements

Minimum Qualification Requirements

  • As outlined in the Annex D of the API 653 Standards, the qualification requirements for API 653 applicants are based on the combination of education and experience related to above ground storage tanks. This experience must have been acquired within the last 10 years while employed by, or under contract with, an authorized inspection agency as defined in API 653.
  • Prior to submitting an application, please use the table below to determine if you qualify to take the API 653 exam.

API 653 Above Ground Storage Tank Inspector Program - Exam Information

Exam Details
  1. Questions on the API 653 examination are derived from the publications listed in the Publications Effectivity Sheet.
  2. Please refer to the Body of Knowledge for the specific topics included in this examination.
  3. There are 150 questions on the exam, of which only 125 are scored. The remaining 25 are pretest questions. Learn more about Pretest Questions
  4. The exam day is 8.5 hours long, and includes 3 hours for the closed-book section, 4 hours for the open-book section, a half-hour tutorial session, and a 1-hour lunch break. View the Tutorial before exam day.
  5. The exam will be administered via computer at a Prometric computer testing center.
  6. The examination consists of two parts.
    • The closed book section tests the candidate on knowledge and tasks requiring everyday working knowledge of API Standard 653 and other applicable reference documents.
    • The open book portion of the examination requires the use of more detailed information that the inspector is expected to be able to find in the documents, but would not normally commit to memory.
    • “Open book” for computer-based testing refers to PDF files of pertinent codes and standards that will be available on your monitor and presented in English. The PDF documents will have tabs differentiating the sections and chapters. These reference materials will only have those sections listed in the Effectivity sheets. Sections not listed in the Effectivity sheets will not be available for candidates during their exam.
  7. Papers and books are not allowed in Prometric’s computer testing centers. All materials needed for the open-book portion of the exam will be displayed on your computer screen in English.


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