ROV pilot technician


Career outlook for ROV pilot technician

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would operate, maintain and repair submersible machines. You’d use the submersibles to safely explore the seabed and to construct, repair or inspect underwater structures and equipment from the surface.

ROVs - remotely operated vehicles - can dive to far greater depths than a person.

You would control the ROV using equipment, often a ship, for tasks such as:

  • Inspecting underwater equipment, like oil rigs or pipelines
  • Digging trenches for pipes and cables
  • Doing simple tasks like picking up things or moving valves
  • Recording information on video

You would:

  • Maintain and repair the ROV equipment
  • Test the ROV to ensure it works correctly
  • ‘Fly’ the ROV through the water to the right location
  • Operate the machine to complete its task

The ROV has cameras that video its journey and which enable you to see what you are doing as you manoeuvre it.

Once the operation is over you’d analyse the data and videos to ensure you’ve completed the task effectively.

You’d need to adhere closely to health and safety standards.

Working conditions


In some jobs you may be based at sea or abroad for several weeks at a time. During this time, your shifts could be long.


You would have to be willing to work outside in all weathers.


You could be based offshore on a rig or ship for several weeks at a time. You may also have to travel abroad for some jobs.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Taking initiative
  • Developing a plan
  • Attention to detail
  • Reading
  • Working with technology
  • Observation
  • Problem solving

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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.


You will need a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or degree (SCFQ level 9/10) in an engineering or technical discipline such as mechanical, electrical or electronic engineering.

You can also apply with a nationally-recognised technical or trade qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification.

You can enter a 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 an engineering or technical degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers; some courses will ask for much more and may require you gain the qualification in one sitting. 

Useful subjects

Most courses and employers require: 

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

You will also need

To work offshore you must:

  • Pass regular medical examinations and basic offshore induction and emergency training (BOSIET)
  • Be at least 18 years old

Helpful to have

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