Earn a Coast Guard-approved license and get trained for a career on the water

Getting a Coast Guard-approved license is your first step towards a career on the water. The River School offers Coast Guard-approved licenses, as well as training in vessel operation and safety.
Our programs are designed to give you the skills you need to be a safe and successful river operator. We offer both classroom and on-the-water instruction. Our experienced instructors will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to earn your mariner license and begin your career on the water.
Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you achieve your goals

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About Us

The River School: Coast Guard Approved Training

The River School has offered travel courses in the Pittsburgh and Huntington areas. By opening a branch office equipped with a radar simulator, we can offer mariners in the Ohio River Valley a full range of license preparatory and Coast Guard approved courses as well as custom training programs.

Why choose us ?

Get trained for a career on the river

The River School offers a variety of courses, both those required by Coast Guard regulations and others for individual professional development. Our courses are all transportable making them convenient and cost effective. Courses include Licensing, Maritime Security, Radar Observer, Tankerman, and Special Programs. Learn more information about courses offered.

Our Classes

The River School offers a variety of courses, both those required by Coast Guard regulations and others for individual professional development. Our courses are all transportable making them convenient and cost effective. 

Steersman Class

A ten-day Coast Guard approved course which meets the academic requirements for an original Western Rivers towing license.

Tank Barge Fire Safety

Two-day course, Coast Guard approved. Required initial training for all tank barge tankermen.

Radar Observer

Three-day Coast Guard approved course, required initial training for operators of towing vessels equipped with radar on Western Rivers.

Specialty Classes

We offer a variety of non-coast guard-approved classes, including:

Rose Point Electronic Chart Navigations
Designated Examiner
Small Boat Pollution Response Operators
Water Survival (Minutes to Live)
Wheelhouse Leadership & Development

Inland Chart Navigation

Five-day Coast Guard approved course presented as a classroom course intended to provide the student with a solid academic foundation in chart navigation for Great Lakes and Inland Waters

Engineer Licenses

Ten to fifteen day class. Students prepare by the traditional means to pass Coast Guard exams for either Upper Level or Lower Level engineer licenses.

All Events

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River Radar Observer

Feb 06, 2023

Three-day Coast Guard approved course, required initial training for operators…

The River School

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River Radar Observer-

Feb 09, 2023

Three-day Coast Guard approved course, required initial training for operators…

Waumandee State Bank · Fountain City, WI

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10-Day Steersman – Western Rivers

Feb 13, 2023

10-day course includes in-depth instruction in all subject areas required…

Waumandee State Bank · Fountain City, WI

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Days Left

10-Day Steersman

Feb 13, 2023

10-day course includes in-depth instruction in all subject areas required…

The River School

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Days Left

Tankerman-Combined Course

Feb 27, 2023

Four-day, Coast Guard approved cargo course. Required initial training for…

The River School

BY THE NUMBERS

STATISTICS

The River School

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Loyal Rivermen and
Inland Mariner Customers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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Miles of navigable rivers, inland and intracoastal channels

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Locks and dam sites maintained

Inland Marine Industry

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Towing Vessels

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Employment

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Additional Jobs Supported by U.S. Towing Industry

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Generated by U.S. Towing Industry Economic Activities

Become a certified mariner with the help of our courses

We provide maritime training for all levels and ages

We’ve been teaching mariners for over 30 years. Learn from the best!

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Certified Teacher
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Happy Student
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Event & Exhibitions

10+ win the national competition

Become a certified mariner with the help of our courses

What they say about our classes

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

The River School offers a variety of courses, both those required by Coast Guard regulations and others for individual professional development. Our courses are all transportable making them convenient and cost effective. Courses include Licensing, Maritime Security, Radar Observer, Tankerman, and Special Programs. Learn more information about courses offered.

Our instructors are professionals with service in the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Merchant Marine and the river industry. All are highly qualified in their field and are experienced, proven training professionals. Learn more about our staff.

The River School offers books and training videos for professional development.

Yes. There is a $100 fee for application assistance. We provide a complete application package including all of the forms required for the license sought. Advice and assistance in completing the package is available via our toll-free phone number or email. Upon receipt, we review the package for completeness and contact you for any missing or incomplete information. Your pre-screened application package is then delivered to the Coast Guard REC in Memphis for processing. (Note: The Coast Guard provides express service for your application once we have prescreened it. This means a quicker turn-around for your license transaction.) We hate to charge a fee for paperwork assistance. We’d rather not have to charge a fee for paperwork assistance, but there are some folks out there who take advantage of our time and expertise only to attend training elsewhere. We’d like to help everyone, but time is money and our (800) number is meant for our customers — not the customers of other schools.