Frequently Asked Questions about API Inspector Certification and the Individual Certification Program (ICP)

What kind of careers will an API 510, 570, 653, or 1169 Inspector Certification help me get?

While other factors such as previous experience or certifications or previous education and training can play a role; you may have the following jobs available to you: QA/QC Personnel, Site Management roles, Fixed Equipment Inspector, Piping Inspector, Pressure Vessel Inspector, Storage Tank Inspector, In-Service Pressure Equipment Inspector, and many other company-specific positions.

What is an API 510 Inspector?

A certified API 510 Pressure Vessel inspector must have a broad knowledge base relating to maintenance, inspection, repair and alteration of pressure vessels. To become an API 510 Inspector you must pass a 7.5-hour, 170-question exam, consisting of a closed-book part and an open-book part.

What is an API 570 Inspector?

A certified API 570 Piping inspector must have a broad knowledge base relating to maintenance, inspection, alteration and repair of in-service metallic piping systems. To become an API 570 Inspector you must pass a 7.5-hour, 170-question exam, consisting of a closed-book part and an open-book part.

What is an API 653 Inspector?

A certified API 653 Aboveground Storage Tank inspector must have a broad knowledge base relating to tank inspection and repair of aboveground storage tanks, and will satisfy the minimum qualifications specified in API Standard 653. To become an API 653 Inspector you must pass a 7.5 hour, 170-question exam, consisting of a closed-book part and an open-book part.

What is an API 1169 Inspector?

A certified API 1169 Pipeline Construction Inspector must have a broad knowledge base relating to construction of new onshore pipeline construction. At a minimum, this knowledge base includes such topics as inspector responsibilities, personnel and general pipeline safety, environmental and pollution control, and general pipeline construction inspection. To become an API 1169 Inspector you must pass a 3-hour, 115-question open-book exam.

Do I qualify to become an API Inspector?

Only API can declare whether your previous experience meets the requirements to become an API Inspector. The Experience and education requirements for each API certification program can be found at:


If you are unsure whether your previous experience meets these requirements please contact API ICP Customer Service at 202-682-8064.

How do I apply to write an API ICP exam?

Exam applications are submitted on the API ICP Portal. Instructions for registration and application can be found at:


Applicants should be prepared to provide all relevant documentation of previous experience, education diplomas/transcripts/certifications, payment information, etc.

Be prepared to provide contact information for each employer listed who can verify your employment dates, skills and experience.

When can I write an API ICP exam?

API ICP exams are generally held in exam windows which occur three times per year. The schedule of API exam windows can be found at:


Applicants should plan well ahead.

Can I apply for an exam window after an Application Deadline has passed?

Although rare, API may take late applications if an exam window is not full. To inquire about late applications, contact API ICP Customer Service:

American Petroleum Institute
Attn: ICP
200 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
e-mail: inspector@api.org
customer service desk: (202) 682-8064

What is the cost of an API ICP exam?

Please visit the API ICP Schedules and Fees page on the API website:


Please note that the API fees are expressed in USD.

When will I know if I have been approved to write an API exam?

Applications are processed based on the most up-coming exam and then on the order that they are received. The processing of applications may take up to six weeks.

If you are approved to write an exam but then receive a deficiency email from API requesting more information for your application, you must submit the required information before being certified – even if you pass the exam.

Where will I write the API exam?

API uses Prometric testing centers and has over 500 locations worldwide.

When your application is approved you will receive an Exam Authorization email from API with an Eligibility ID and instructions on how to schedule an exam at a Prometric testing center.

Please see the additional information available on the API website at:


What can I expect on test day?

All API exams are computer based; you will not be allowed to bring in your personal code documents. The exam site will have PDF copies of the exam code documents available for exam use.

You are NOT allowed to use any mobile device while in the testing facility—lunch breaks are the only exception.

Please see the Prometric Test Center Regulations available at:


When will I know if I have successfully passed the API exam?

API will give you a preliminary score immediately following your exam – Preliminary Pass, Marginal (too close to call), Preliminary Fail

Marks are not final until all candidate exam challenges have been reviewed by a committee of subject matter experts and adjustments, if any, are made.

Candidates will not be certified until final exam results are released. Final results will be emailed from Prometric 6-8 weeks following the end of the testing window.

If I get a Preliminary Fail or I find out I have not successfully passed the API exam; what do I do?

This preliminary scoring system will help the majority of candidates determine whether they need to submit a reschedule application and continue with their studying efforts.

API gives a candidate 12 consecutive months to pass an exam. Those 12 months start from your first scheduled exam.

Please see the Schedule and Fees page on the API website for Rescheduling Fees:


Do I have to take an API Exam Preparation course?

API does not require candidates to take any training to prepare for the exams. However, CASTI’s API Exam Preparation courses have helped hundreds of candidates successfully pass their exams and go on to be exceptional inspectors.

On average, in 2022, approximately 62% of candidates passed the API 510, 570, and 653 exams.

Many candidates choose to seek exam preparation training to improve their chances of passing the exam(s).

Where can I find training to help me pass an API ICP exam?

Exam preparation training for many API ICP examinations are offered by CASTI (Codes and Standards Training Institute).

For more information, visit the CASTI website at: