- Exploration and production
- Oil and Gas Services
- Post-secondary diploma
About This Career
There aren’t a lot of jobs where showing up means not being there. But for Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Operators, who remotely pilot submersible crafts that can operate in underwater areas that are too hazardous for humans, showing up means staying away.
A remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, is a submersible craft that performs underwater tasks varying from inspections, welding, manipulating valves, and mapping to ultrasound and survey operations in the oil and gas industry. Traditionally, ROVs have been tethered underwater robots that allow the operator to remain in a safe environment while the ROV works in the hazardous environment below. Increasingly, these ROVs are becoming autonomous units without tethers. Most ROVs are equipped with video cameras and lights, but may also include sonar, magnetometers and a manipulator or cutting arm.
ROV Operators repair and maintain their ROVs in addition to piloting them in their underwater tasks. IT knowledge and programming are increasingly becoming more common requirements. These operators work from vessels or offshore platforms, typically for several weeks at a time with corresponding weeks off. Duties may include some heavy lifting and climbing in outdoor conditions.
In this occupation activities may include:
- Launching and piloting your ROV vehicle by remote control.
- Operating robotic arms to perform tasks such as picking up items from the seabed, welding or manipulating valves.
- Regularly maintaining the ROV and its associated equipment and carrying out repairs on location.
- Operating equipment such as cameras and interpreting data, sometimes in poor visibility, from video or sonar displays to calculate and keep track of the position of your vehicle.
- ROV Operators require one to two years of formal electrical or electronic coursework and relevant marine experience. Four levels of certification for ROV personnel is available through the Canadian Diver Certification Board.
- In eastern Canada, most employers will require a certificate in ROV Operations from the Marine Institute, University of Newfoundland.
ROV operator certification is now part of the Canadian Standards Association’s Competency Standard for diving, hyperbaric chamber and remotely operated vehicle operations (CSA Z275.4-12)
Levels of ROV Certification Available
- Pilot/Technician Level 2
- Pilot/Technician Level 1
- Senior Pilot/Technician
- Pilot/Technician Supervisor
Safety is a priority for ROV operators, and employers may require additional certifications beyond the following basics:
- Basic Survival Training
- Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET)
- Helicopter Underwater Emergency Breathing Apparatus (HUEBA)
- Marine Emergency Duties (MED)
- Offshore Medical
- First Aid/CPR
ROV Operators need to excel at understanding complex information, simultaneously interpreting data from their ROV while tracking the position of their vehicle. Needing to maintain the software that supports the ROV is also why IT knowledge and programming are increasingly becoming more common requirements.
And then there’s the hardware. Even at a distance, an ROV Operator needs to understand the mechanical and navigational principles that make an ROV function. They need to understand mechanical engineering principles and, most importantly, be able to safely operate heavy machinery. Because even when your co-worker is a remotely controlled submersible, it’s important that everyone gets home safe.
- Mechanical Engineering
- Works Safely
- Preventative Maintenance
- Equipment Maintenance
- Operation and Control
- Quality Control Analysis
- Mechanical Operation
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
- Professional, scientific and technical services
Related Careers in Oil & Gas
Also known as
- Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Pilot
- ROV Pilot Technician
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Operator SpotlightPosted
There aren’t a lot of jobs where showing up means not being there. But for Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Operators, who remotely pilot submersible c...Continue reading