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Professional Development Programs

To help you navigate your way toward a more rewarding career in the port industry, AAPA has developed several tools to guide your professional development. AAPA is the premier trade association for port professionals looking to advance their career. With two programs focused on developing the skills of industry professionals, come discover how AAPA can help you make the next step in your professional career.

The AAPA Professional Port Manager Program (PPM®) is an unparalleled industry credential designed to shape the future of port leadership and enhance port management professionalism. The Industry Recognized Port Certificate (IRPC) will help enhance the careers of low to mid level port employees/maritime professionals as well as those new to the industry.

Professional Port Manager (PPM®) Certification Program

The AAPA Professional Port Manager Program (PPM®) is an unparalleled industry credential designed to shape the future of port leadership and enhance port management professionalism. The online application for the PPM class of 2023 has closed. There will be another opportunity to apply for the class of 2025 in the fall of 2020.

If you are an active candidate in the PPM® in need help/support or If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact Andrew Cameron at

PPM Brochure


Industry Recognized Port Certificate (IRPC)

The Industry Recognized Port Certificate (IRPC) is a professional development certificate program focused on enhancing the participant’s fundamental knowledge of the port industry and to introduce them to AAPA and the greater port professional community. AAPA has partnered with Lamar University’s Center for Advances in Port Management to develop relevant curriculum for the modern port professional’s needs.

To receive the IRPC, participants must complete the following:

  1. Lamar University’s Master’s Class “Ports Introduction to Port and Marine Terminal Management” (INEN-5302)
  2. Attend one of the following AAPA Training Programs and participate in a special session with other IRPC candidates
    • Planning for Shifting Trade Routes (Tampa Bay, Florida - January 2020)
    • Spring Conference (Washington D.C. - March 2020)
    • Security Seminar (San Diego, California – July 2020)
  3. Write and submit a career plan/reflection of the program, including the role the IRPC has played in the execution of your plan

How to Apply

To apply to the IRPC, you must

  1. Register and pay for the IRPC on the AAPA website;
  2. Apply to the Lamar University Master's of Science in Port and Terminal Management (MPTM)*; and
  3. Submit your resume to AAPA by emailing a PDF version to Andrew Cameron,

Registration for the Spring 2020 Program is now open. If you are interested in participating in the Spring 2020 program, please contact Andrew Cameron, 

Applications for the Spring 2020 are due on Friday, January 3rd 2020

*By applying to the MPTM program you will be enrolled into the required online course (INEN-5302), but you are not required to complete the full Master’s program. There is a $25 application fee on the website. This fee is not included in the AAPA program registration cost.

IRPC Applicant Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university
  • Official transcripts from attended colleges or universities. Transcripts must be mailed directly from college/university to Lamar University.
  • 1 year of relevant professional experience
  • An updated resume
  • Support from your port or organization

If you have any questions about registering/paying for the IRPC, please contact Andrew Cameron,

If you have any questions about applying to the Lamar University Master’s Program, please contact Candice Moore,

“I found Lamar University’s Ports Introduction to Port and Marine Terminal Management course very interesting…Over the semester, we balanced the content with a host of visiting lecturers and subject matter experts from various segments of the maritime industry. I highly recommend the program and certainly the class. Whether a veteran looking to stay up to speed on industry trends or new to the industry, the course provided significant learning opportunities.”

-Larry Kelley, PPM, Executive Director & CEO, Port of Port Arthur Navigation District