Career guide: ROV Pilot

With advancement in technology, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) have become an important part of many industries, and more so, a career path that many want to do. This blog will explain what an ROV pilot does and the requirements to become one.

With advancement in technology, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) have become an important part of many industries, and more so, a career path that many want to do. This blog will explain what an ROV pilot does and the requirements to become one.

The Job Description

An ROV is a remotely operated vehicle that is used for underwater exploration and inspection. It can be used in various industries such as offshore oil and gas, marine archaeology, oceanography, filmmaking, research and construction projects.

Therefore, an ROV pilot is someone who is responsible for controlling the ROV from a distance. This can be done from a boat, ship or even land. The pilot uses a control system that allows him or her to navigate the vehicle and look into tight spaces such as underwater caves.

Key responsibilities of an ROV Pilot

The tasks performed by an ROV pilot can differ depending on the location and industry. However, there are some general responsibilities that an ROV pilot will always have to carry out. These include:

  • Testing ROV systems. This means that an ROV pilot has to test the different components of the vehicle before it is used. This includes making sure that all systems are working properly and that there are no problems with any of them before deploying them under water.
  • Operating ROV equipment. This is considered their main role. It involves the pilot navigating the ROV vehicle through water and using its various systems to perform tasks such as collecting samples from the sea floor or inspecting pipelines for leaks.
  • Coordinating with other team members to ensure things are running smoothly.
  • Reporting any faults to management
  • Reporting on, recording and interpreting data after deploying the ROV. This means the pilots must be able to read and interpret data from the ROV’s sensors and understand what this means.
  • Operating other hydraulic machines. This can include things like underwater cranes and manipulators. The ROV pilot must be able to operate these machines safely and effectively, while keeping in mind that they work in coordination with the ROV.
  • Following, complying with and achieving company/client and industry health-and-safety standards. This includes following all safety rules and procedures, complying with health-and-safety regulations and other legal requirements. It also means ensuring that the ROV is operated safely at all times.

Other times, ROV Pilots can be responsible for other minor tasks assigned to them by their employers. These include tasks like collecting data from the ROV and sharing it with clients, as well as cleaning and maintaining the machine’s components.

The work environment

As an ROV Pilot, you’ll work in a variety of underwater environments. You may be required to work in the open ocean, near coastlines or even on land. Depending on your employer’s needs, you might be required to travel around the world to your work location.

The operations take place in a cabin where you’ll be able to monitor the ROV and its cameras. The cabin is usually above water, but it can also be located below the surface. The average workday for an ROV Pilot is 10 hours long. This includes time spent traveling between locations, conducting operations and preparing for them.

As the job requires a lot of travel sometimes, you'll be exposed to a more diverse work environment than many other jobs. You'll get to interact with people from different cultures, learn new languages and experience different lifestyles.

Qualifications and Training

There are different routes you can take to become an ROV Pilot. The most common one is to get a degree in marine science, engineering or computer science, as this will give you the knowledge necessary to understand how these vehicles work and how they're used. After completing your degree, you'll need to gain experience working with remotely operated vehicles. This can be done by volunteering at a research facility or by doing internships.

Other options may include taking a course on remotely operated vehicles or working as an operator for an underwater vehicle. Once you have the necessary experience, you can apply for jobs with companies that use ROVs. The most common employers are oil and gas companies and research facilities.

Here are some other skills that can help you get started. Experience in:

  • Hydraulics
  • Marine biology
  • Physics
  • Mechanics
  • Earth science
  • Pneumatics
  • Oceanography

Most ROV Pilots start on other careers before becoming pilots. They typically work as an electrician, mechanic or engineer, and then transfer their skills to ROVs. Some may have had experience in the military as a pilot or drone operator. 

There are also a few schools that offer training for ROV pilots. It helps to clarify with your employer what kind of training they require. If you’re not sure, then a general knowledge of ROVs and their components will help. You should also have experience with electronics and computers.

Key skills of an ROV Pilot

Like any other career, employers look for certain skills that are necessary for a successful candidate. Whether it is soft, analytical, or technical skills, you must possess them in order to be considered for a position. Here are some of the key skills that an ROV pilot should possess:

  1. Communication skills

Communication is key in any workplace. You need to be able to communicate clearly with your team, as well as your employer. This is especially important when working on an ROV because you will be sending signals back and forth. Good communication means that you can understand and interpret what the person on the other end is trying to say. It also means that you are able to relay back clearly what your team or employer needs to know.

This is especially true working as an ROV pilot because you will be communicating with people who are not on site. You will need to be able to send signals back and forth while also understanding what they mean. This can be difficult, especially when trying to communicate over a long distance or when there is poor reception.


Working as a team is also an important part of being a ROV pilot. You will be working with other people to get the job done, and you need to be able to work well together. This means that you should be able to communicate effectively with your team and understand what they need from you so that they can do their jobs as well. Problem solving skills

No work environment is perfect, problems arise. As an ROV Pilot, you will need to be able to solve problems quickly and effectively. You should also be able to identify possible solutions so that you can take care of any issues that may arise. Proficiency in working with computers

If you are going to be operating a ROV, you need to have experience with computers. You will need to know how to use the equipment on board and also how to operate them from land or another ship. This means that you should have at least some experiences with computers and electronics before becoming an ROV Pilot.

You will always be trained on the necessary software, but it is important to remember that working with computers will be a major part of your job. This means that you must have some experience working with computers and software before you take on this position. Exceptional attention to detail is another important skill that you need to have. You will be working with small, delicate parts and equipment, so it’s important that you are able to pay attention to every detail when operating an ROV. This is especially true when it comes to programming and calibrating the equipment.

This skill will also be important when interpreting the data that you collect, as it can be very difficult for an untrained individual to understand exactly what the data means. For example, you can experience two things at the same time which means that it’s important to be able to read and understand the data that you collect from both incidents.

Potential employers

As an ROV Pilot, expect to work with the following employers:

  • -Oil and gas companies
  • -Government agencies
  • -Scientific research institutions
  • -Military
  • -Educational and research institutions
  • Survey companies
  • Archeological exploration companies


Being an ROV Pilot can come with a lot of responsibility. While most people have previous experience in the industry before they become a Pilot, it can be very helpful to have some experience in the field if you want to become an ROV Pilot. This will give you an idea of what goes into this job so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you.

If you decide that it is, then make sure to do your research on how to become an ROV Pilot and find out what qualifications are needed. There are different entry levels so make sure you understand your current level first before you begin to learn about your options. This will help you know what will be expected of you and how to prepare.

ROV Pilot is a great career choice, use this blog as reference to start your career change today.

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