Offshore service technician

Engineering
Produce

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would keep equipment and systems running efficiently and safely on an offshore platform to extract oil or gas.

There are different roles for offshore technicians.

As an Instrument and Control Maintenance technician, you would check and fix the measurement systems for oil and gas flow, level, pressure and temperature. You’d also work on electronic equipment and safety systems.

In Mechanical Maintenance you’d maintain machinery like valves, pumps, engines and turbines.

If you work in Electrical Maintenance you’d service the power generation and distribution systems the motors, control systems. You’d work with specialist electrical equipment designed for offshore scenarios.

Whatever area you work in you would:

  • check and test equipment and systems
  • find faults and make repairs
  • assess the safety of systems
  • replace faulty parts and equipment
  • write reports about the maintenance and repairs.

Another technician role is in Process Operations. You would control and monitor oil and gas production, both manually and using computer systems.

You’d check the site and the equipment. You’d operate the equipment to produce oil or gas, making sure that the process is safe and that your installation meets its production targets.

You’d need to be able to interpret technical drawings and follow health and safety rules.

 

Working conditions

Hours

You would typically live and work on a rig or platform for two or three weeks, followed by two or three weeks’ rest period on shore.

Environment

You could work on a fixed production platform with up to 100 workers, or on a smaller mobile rig in a team of around 20 people. Facilities can include living accommodation, canteens and recreation areas. There are bans on alcohol and smoking. The job can be physically demanding, working in all types of weather conditions.

Travel

As well as working offshore in Britain, some contracts will be for several months or a years working abroad.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working as part of a team
  • Following instructions
  • Accuracy
  • Working with your hands
  • Repairing and fixing
  • Using computers
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Solving mathematical problems

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You could to complete a Modern Apprenticeship leading to qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Measurement Processes (SVQ level 3). You can apply to the MA with National 5 qualifications.

You could study an engineering Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or degree (SCQF level 9/10) in areas such as offshore, mechanical, electrical, or petroleum engineering.

You can also apply for this role if you have completed a recognised trade apprenticeship outwith the oil and gas industry.

To enter a Modern Apprenticeship through the Oil and Gas Academy, run by the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Programme (OPITO) and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) you will need a minimum of four National 5 qualifications (SCQF level 5).

You can enter a Mechanical or Petroleum Engineering Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

To enter a Mechanical and Offshore Engineering or Petroleum Engineering degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers at B or above; some courses will require this in one sitting.

Useful subjects

Most employers and courses require:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subjects, in particular physics or chemistry
  • Technologies subjects such as engineering science

You will also need

To work offshore you must:

  • pass regular medical examinations
  • pass an offshore survival course
  • be aged 18 or over

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate skills like teamworking and problem-solving, as well as an understanding of the industry such as Skills for Work Engineering Skills (SCFQ level 4).