Offshore oil and gas platforms are some of the most challenging worksites in the energy industry, taking workers far from home and away from the land. On the open ocean, Offshore Marine Specialists merge their oil and gas expertise with a respect for the sea.

What a typical day looks like:

The day-to-day work of an Offshore Marine Specialist depends entirely on a worker’s subspecialty.

  • Marine Seismic Operators direct the work of the crew conducting seismic tests to determine the drilling location. They tow an air gun that transmits sound waves through a series of “booms” that course through the water and down to the earth’s surface.
  • Ballast Control Operators maintain the stability of a semi-submersible vessel as it shifts during operations like loading cargo. Their job is to bring in seawater to adjust the weight back into equilibrium.
  • Marine Diving Specialists are expert scuba divers flown in for specialized work during the operation. They may deal with blowout preventers on the seabed, subsea construction work, underwater surveys and salvage operations.
  • Dynamic Position Specialists control the engines and thrusters on the ship. From a computer in the control room, they monitor instruments, make sure all the equipment is working and observe everything from sea conditions to the various loads coming on to the ship.
  • ROV Operators control a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to aid in underwater activities such as construction, inspection, search, salvage, repair and photography.
  • Radio Communications Specialists operate marine, aeronautical and ship-to-shore communications. They receive calls through marine radios and satellite phones.

Employed by marine service companies and large oil and gas companies, Offshore Marine Specialists generally work 12-hour shifts on 21-day rotations.

The kinds of problems Offshore Marine Specialists solve at work:

Regardless of the specific position, every Offshore Marine Specialist needs to pay attention to their own safety and the safety of those around them. Offshore platforms are constantly moving and far from land.

Skills used most on the job:

Problem-solving and heightened awareness are common skills across all Offshore Marine positions. Offshore Marine Specialists also need to be highly adaptable, physically fit and mechanically inclined.

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