Career guide: ROV Supervisor

If you want to be a ROV supervisor, you'll need to know what the role entails. In this article, we'll look at what responsibilities you're likely to have and how much they pay. We'll also explore where these jobs are available and how to qualify for them if you're interested in becoming an ROV supervisor.

If you want to be a ROV supervisor, you'll need to know what the role entails. In this article, we'll look at what responsibilities you're likely to have and how much they pay. We'll also explore where these jobs are available and how to qualify for them if you're interested in becoming an ROV supervisor.

What is a ROV supervisor

ROV supervisors are responsible for the supervision of ROV operations, including supervising a team of ROV operators and inspecting the maintenance and repair of ROVs. This position requires certification or licensure in the state where you will be working; if you do not have this certification, you may need additional training before starting your new job.

Key responsibilities of an ROV supervisor

The main responsibilities of an ROV supervisor include:

  • Taking charge of operational activities of ROV systems
  • To ensure the ROV systems are maintained, operative, and updated. This means that you will be responsible for supervising the ROV operators and inspecting the maintenance and repair of ROVs.
  • Ensuring that the assigned ROV is checked before and after its launched
  • Ensuring that assigned ROVs have an updated backup of their hard drives, and make sure any spare parts crucial to the operation are on hand.
  • Coordinating and supervising the ROV crew, as well as overseeing all operational activities during all phases of the work scope.
  • Ensuring that the client's specific requirements are met throughout a project.
  • Ensuring that the ROV system is operating within appropriate operation criteria.
  • Monitoring and overseeing the entire operation.
  • Supervises, integrates, and trains trainees to do all the ROV pilot’s duties according to their skills.
  • Ensuring that the operational activities on board are carried out in compliance with the company's policies and applicable laws.
  • Performing their duties as directed by their superior

Qualifications and training

To be a qualified ROV Supervisor, there are certain qualifications that you need to meet. Minimum requirements include:

  • High school diploma or certificate, associate degree in a technical field, bachelor's and master's degrees.
  • Formal ROV operator training. This means that you have to complete formal training from a certified ROV operator. This training can be done in the form of an online course or hands-on classroom training.
  • Electrical or mechanical background. This will help you understand the technical aspects of ROVs and their operation.
  • At least spent 180 days as senior pilot tech with completed assessments
  • Some employers might require you to have a current valid Offshore Medical Certificate
  • Other employers need a current certificate in an offshore survival course suitable for geographical area of work
  • An ROV operator experience. You can prove this by showcasing your certificates and other credentials. You can also show your experience by demonstrating how well you perform in a practical test.
  • Leadership and personal development training. Key leadership skills are essential when you work as an ROV Supervisor. You must manage your team effectively and remember that it is important to communicate clearly with other crew members and clients.

Key skills of a ROV supervisor

As a ROV supervisor, you'll need to be able to:

  • Communicate effectively with team members. You will be the main point of contact for your crew and other team members, so you'll have to be able to make clear instructions and delegate tasks in a way that's easy for others to follow.
  • Organize projects effectively. You will need strong organizational skills in order to keep track of everything your team is doing on each project they take on, so that they can get back on track if something goes wrong or there are problems with one project affecting another one.
  • Solve problems quickly and effectively. As a supervisor, you're expected not only to solve problems but also teach other people how they can solve their own problems as well. This means being able to explain concepts clearly without getting sidetracked by too much technical jargon about things that aren't relevant for solving the current problem at hand.
  • Leadership skills. As a supervisor, you're expected to be able to lead people and get them motivated to do their best work. This means being able to communicate clearly about what needs doing and why, as well as being able to motivate others by showing how the work they're doing is important—not just for their own sake but also for the company's bottom line.
  • Teamwork skills. As a supervisor, you're part of a team. And this means being able to collaborate with others in order to achieve goals. This can be especially important if your company is large and has multiple departments or divisions.
  • Computer literacy. As a supervisor, you'll need to be able to use computers for a variety of purposes. This could include sending and receiving email, using software programs like Microsoft Word or Excel, or accessing databases and other systems that help the ROV operations run efficiently.

Your working environment

When you're a ROV supervisor, your working environment is very different than that of many other jobs in the oil and gas industry. For example, it's:

  • A team atmosphere. As a supervisor, you'll be responsible for managing a group of workers who are stationed at different locations around the world. You'll need to be able to communicate effectively with all members of your team—and long distances!
  • A remote location. When people think about working in remote locations, they usually imagine places like Antarctica or Alaska—but for ROV supervisors these conditions are nothing new! Most work is done on offshore rigs miles out at sea where there aren't any cities nearby, so it can feel like being trapped on an island without even leaving home base (which is actually just another boat).
  • A multitasking environment. The work of a ROV supervisor is never done. You'll be communicating with your team, monitoring their progress and making sure that everything goes smoothly as they complete different tasks. The job requires you to be able to multitask effectively—something that's especially important when dealing with long-distance colleagues!
  • Physically demanding environment. The job of a ROV supervisor can be physically demanding. You'll need to be able to stand for long periods of time, and you may also have to lift heavy equipment or parts. You'll need stamina in order to keep up with the fast pace of an offshore rig.

Potential employers

ROV Supervisors should expect to work with the following employers.

  • Oil and gas companies
  • Offshore drilling companies
  • Drilling contractors
  • Oilfield service companies - these are the smaller firms that provide equipment to help with oil and gas extraction, such as welding, rig building and maintenance. They also include marine contractors who operate tugboats and barges. The ROV supervisor will likely be involved in training new employees on how to safely operate ROVs, as well as supervising those who are doing so.
  • Research institutions
  • The military


ROV Supervisors is a career changing role that offers a lot of opportunities for those looking to get into the oil and gas industry. The job is fast paced and exciting, as well as being very rewarding for those who love working in this field.

You must remember what it takes to become a ROV Supervisor, as well as what the company is looking for in an applicant. The best part is that you can become an ROV Supervisor with experience from previous roles in other fields like the military or engineering. You just need to make the most of your experience and learn from those who are already in this position.

While that is a possible path, there are certain must-have things like the ROV certificate. First, you must be familiar with the technology. You should know how it works and what each part does. This knowledge will help you understand how things work in this field and it will also make you more valuable to your company as an ROV Supervisor.

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