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  3. Offshore Oil and Gas Marine Specialist

Offshore Oil and Gas Marine Specialist

NOC #14404, #84101, #85111

  • Environment Primarily outdoor work
  • Education High school diploma
  • Average salary $52,000 to $105,000

Career profile

Offshore oil and gas marine specialists perform a variety of roles that support safe and efficient operations of oil and natural gas activities at sea.

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.
  • 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.
Oil and gas services, Offshore, Pipelines

When you start in this occupation activities may include:

  • Running instrument tests
  • Conducting safety inspections of equipment specific to the area of their discipline
  • Repairing and maintaining the subsea elements of drilling rigs and platforms
  • Receiving and transmitting messages between the rig and shore bases, supply vessels, helicopters, and other stations by radio-telephone.

As you advance in this occupation you may take on additional tasks including:

  • Overseeing the engineering aspects of the marine structure, stability, lifting appliances and gear, variable deck load and storage and use of hazardous substances
  • Operating control room mechanisms and instrumentation to ensure proper position, draught and trim of the rig during changes in variable load, routine operations (e.g., drilling, mooring, towing) and during emergency and heavy weather situations
  • Ensuring management is informed of the validity of all vessel compliance and certifications required by regulatory authorities, flag states and local governments

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.
  • 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.


  • Specialized training and certifications through Transport Canada may be required.
  • H2S Alive
  • Offshore Survival Introduction (OSI)
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
  • Standard and emergency first aid


  • Valid passport as offshore work may involve traveling in international waters and to other countries.

Additional Requirements

  • Each specialist must meet marine offshore fitness standards and require a signed medical from an approved doctor certifying physical fitness.
  • Divers require a diving medical from an approved hyperbaric physician.
  • Minimal or no travel
  • Shiftwork/variable work hours
  • Primarily outdoor work
  • Physical work
  • Safety-sensitive environment
  • Work away from home/in camps

Problem solving is an important trait. You’re highly adaptable, physically fit and mechanically inclined.

  • Maintaining equipment
  • Monitoring operations
  • Troubleshooting
  • Working with others
  • Tolerating stress
  • Management of personnel resources
  • Building a successful team
  • Critical thinking
  • Continuous learning
  • Instructing