Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Pilot Technician
Hometown: Logy Bay
“I haven’t had a crew change yet where I wasn’t looking forward to going back to work. When you look forward to going to work, you’ve found the career for you.”
Cecil completed the Aircraft Electronics Engineering program at College of the North Atlantic in preparation for his current career. He credits his youth involvement in sports with helping him develop the team-building skills required for his position. “Working with people on small platforms for months at a time requires good communication and teamwork.”
Cecil says his natural mechanical ability and interest in math also helped draw him towards his chosen career. He adds that his high school math and language courses were most applicable to his post-secondary studies and career. Courses in the proper use and safety of tools also play a major role for anyone choosing a career in ROV.
Cecil works 12 hours a day for four weeks and then has four weeks off. He lives 20 minutes from St. John’s harbour where he boards the Atlantic Osprey vessel and stays aboard for 28 days. In his position he is responsible for various aspects of operating, repairing and maintaining Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs). ROVs are small submersibles that can be used to explore remote places under the sea; they can be very useful in the offshore oil and gas industry. His typical duties consist of some heavy lifting and a lot of climbing. Cecil’s work as an Avionics Engineer took him to Europe, South America, Canada and the U.S. Currently he works offshore in Newfoundland and Labrador as an ROV Pilot but has opportunities to travel elsewhere as well.
Environmental conditions offshore can be quite harsh, ranging from storms at sea to extreme temperatures. All work is done outside in the elements. Workplace hazards include the possibility of a bad fall or someone falling overboard from a vessel. Working with high voltages and hydraulic pressure is also dangerous, which is why proper training and safety programs are top priorities for the industry.
Cecil has had an interesting career path to his current position. A high school summer job working in a graveyard gave him his first lessons in basic work ethic as he progressed to positions such as Avionics Engineer, Avionics Manager for an airline, Hydraulics Technician for a company dealing mostly in the oil and gas industry, and then to his current position as an ROV Pilot Tech. Cecil plans to continue working in the ROV industry and in the future might look to become superintendent of an ROV operation.
Compensation and Benefits
The salary range for Cecil’s current occupation is $65,000-100,000 annually while career compensation can range from $65,000-150,000. His employer provides a complete insurance plan, pension and RRSP contributions. Safety bonuses are awarded every six months and drilling bonuses can be obtained when wells are commissioned. Cecil feels the oil and gas industry pays approximately twice as much as a “land job.” His employer is also committed to ongoing training. “Our employer is constantly training us to be efficient with our equipment and safe in our environment.”