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API TES - Tank Entry Supervisor

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Are you qualified to take the API TES exam?

The minimum years of experience required for the API TES Tank Entry Supervisor exam is based upon your level of education.

  • At minimum, a High School education or equivalent is necessary for TES certification. Documentation, such as a diploma or transcripts, is required.
  • Work experience must have been acquired within the last 10 years while employed by, or under contract with, an authorized inspection agency or owner/user agency.

Prior to submitting an application, please use the table below to determine if you qualify to take the API TES exam. The minimum experience required MUST be documented on your application and will be verified after your application has been submitted. 


Education Years of Experience Experience Required
BS or higher in engineering or technology 1 year Supervisory experience in confined space (AST) related activities including: permit issuance, tank entry, atmospheric testing, tank cleaning, tank repair and maintenance as described in API 2015 and 2016.
2-year degree or certificate in engineering or technology 2 years Experience in confined space (AST) related activities including: permit issuance, tank entry, atmospheric testing, tank cleaning, tank repair and maintenance as described in API 2015 and 2016, of which 1 year must be in Supervisor’s capacity.
High school diploma or equivalent 4 years Experience in confined space (AST) related activities including: permit issuance, tank entry, atmospheric testing, tank cleaning, tank repair and maintenance as described in API 2015 and 2016, of which 1 year must be in Supervisor’s capacity.

The primary references for the API TES Tank Entry Supervisor certification exam are ANSI/API Standard 2015 (defines requirements), and its companion ANSI/API RP 2016 (provides guidance for developing and safely implementing plans in accordance with requirements of API 2015). These standards provide substantial experience-based practical information.  They also incorporate by reference additional background material from API and other sources.

Questions on the API TES Tank Entry Supervisor exam are derived from the publications listed in the Publications Effectivity Sheet.

TES Publications Effectivity Sheet For November 2018 exams


Refer to the Body of Knowledge for the specific topics included in the examination.

TES Body of Knowledge For November 2018 exams


The API TES exam is 3.25 hours long, and there are 120 questions, all multiple-choice and closed-book. Paper and reference materials are not allowed into the examinations. 

Updated Surpass Exam Tutorial coming soon.


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Examination Policies & Notifications

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  1. Certified API TES Tank Entry Supervisors need to apply for recertification every three (3) years. Apply online in the ICP Portal.
  2. You may apply for recertification 90 days prior to the certification expiration date, and for a 90-day grace period after. Late fees apply after the expiration date.
  3. If an application is not submitted by the end of the 90-day grace period, the certification will expire. A new application and fees must be submitted, and you will need to pass a full examination in order to be recertified.
    • Circumstances such as heavy work schedule or work in other countries or remote areas do not relieve the inspector/examiner of the responsibility to file a timely renewal application.
API certified TES Tank Entry Supervisors must have knowledge of above ground petroleum storage tanks and their construction. They will also have the knowledge to plan, prepare for and address potential hazards during the tank entry, ventilation and entire job process of tank cleaning and maintenance. Scope of knowledge for the TES certification consists of:
  • Tank decommissioning isolation
  • Ventilation
  • Atmospheric testing and analysis
  • Work permitting
  • OSHA Confined Space regulatory requirements
  • Emergency response
  • Tank recommissioning
API TES certification is valid for a three-year term.