About This Career
Offshore Oil and Gas Marine Specialists include a variety of roles. In general, this occupation supports the safe and efficient operation of offshore exploration activities. Some of the roles include:
- Ballast Control Operators typically operate semi-submersible vessels (a common offshore drilling structure). They are responsible for monitoring and maintaining the vessel’s stability as it shifts during operations such as when loading cargo.
- Marine Diving Specialists are expert scuba divers. These specialists are flown in for work, such as conducting subsea construction, underwater surveying or searches, and salvaging, recovering and cleaning up operations.
- Dynamic Positioning Operators operate the Dynamic Position (DP) system, which controls the engines and thrusters on a vessel. They monitor various instrumentation and conduct function tests to ensure all equipment is working. These operators also observe weather, wind and sea conditions, as well as loads coming on to the vessel.
- Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Operators control an ROV to aid in underwater activities such as construction, inspection, search, salvage, repair and photography. Most work activities conducted underwater will be done with an ROV before a Marine Diving Specialist is called in.
- Marine Seismic Observers conduct seismic testing to determine the best drilling location. They also oversee and direct the work of the seismic crew.
- Radio Communications Specialists monitor and operate marine, aeronautical and ship-to-shore communications. They are responsible for receiving calls through marine radio and satellite phone.
Education: Educational requirements for this occupation vary depending on the role.
- Ballast Control Operators typically receive on-the-job training. This is an entry-level position.
- Marine Diving Specialists typically require accreditation from an accredited commercial dive school and certification from the Canadian Diver Certification Board, as well as some relevant commercial diving experience.
- Dynamic Positioning Operators require a Second Mates ticket and three to five years of relevant experience in offshore drilling operations.
- Remotely Operated 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.
- Marine Seismic Observers typically require some land or offshore seismic crew experience as a Shooter, Blaster or Recorder.
- Radio Communications Specialists require a diploma or certificate in wireless telecommunication technology or emergency service telecommunications.
Employment: This occupation is found in offshore environments and is typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P), oil and gas services and marine transportation sectors of the oil and gas industry.
Long Periods of Standing
Marine and Nautical Services
Oil and gas services
1525, 7384, 8412, 8615
- High School Diploma (or equivalent)
- Each specialist must meet marine offshore fitness standards and require a signed medical from an approved doctor certifying physical fitness.
- Hours of work and time in the field will vary depending on the specialist's area of expertise.
- Valid passport as offshore work may involve traveling in international waters and to other countries.
- Divers require a diving medical from an approved hyperbaric physician.