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Hello all, I have spent some time recently reading through the numerous posts on the forum regarding a career as an ROV pilot.
It has always been a vocation that I have been interested in, but up until now I haven't really been in a position to seriously consider trying to start a career in the ROV world or for that matter, a career change full stop.

To give you a bit of background i am 34 years old and have spent the 18 years since starting my apprenticeship working in engineering design. More specifically I now work as a Mechanical Designer, which is more traditionally what proper would refer to as a Draughtsman. Before going any further I would like to stress that I am not simply just a CAD operator. I hold a good mechanical engineering knowledge in then design of special purpose equipment across multiple industries. But at the same time I do not consider myself as an engineer.

I spent the first half of my career designing unit equipment for the steel industry. This is predominantly hydraulically operated kit that is utilised in extraction of molten metal from the furnace, handling of material during the various stages of the process and also various large hydraulic and mechanical valves situated around the plant.
During the second half of my career I have spent time in other industries such as nuclear, where I have been involved in the design of remotely operated equipment for use in the waste processing and plant decommissioning sectors.
I have also spent a few years working in the Subsea industry with involvement in the design of ROV launch and recovery systems as well as pipe repair equipment that is usually deployed using ROVs.
In terms of qualifications I have an ONC in Mechanical Engineering, a HNC in Mechanical and Productiion Engineering, An NVQ 2 in General Engineering and an NVQ 3 in Engineering Design as well as various C&G qualifications and short courses In the likes of CAD packages, CE marking and safe working.
Having worked as a contractor for the last 8 years I am now at a stage where I am in a position where I can financially incurr the cost of training towards a new career as well as be able to shoulder the cost of any spells where I would be out of work while I look to make my way in a new career.
Or possibly even revert back to my old trade should I find myself struggling to find work in the new one.

I guess my main question is whether my current skills and qualifications are something that would be applicable to the role of an ROV pilot before I consider taking one of the many training courses that are on offer.

Thank you.
As you will read on here and in the news, the industry is going through a massive downturn at the moment. People with 20+ years experience are struggling for work, this is not the time to be looking to join this industry.

Regarding training, I would highly recommend any raining you wish to do should have transferrable skills and not specifically for ROVs. For example doing an ROV Training course would only count towards getting a job in ROVs. However doing a hydraulics course, a fibre optics course and an electronic course would also all count towards getting a job in ROVs, but are still useful for getting work elsewhere.

First and foremost ROV personnel are there to repair and maintain the equipment. Then, you get to do some flying which is a skill you mainly can only learn on the job. This is why Employers mainly take people on who can repair and maintain electrical/electronic/hydraulic equipment.

Hands on experience will also always count more than theoretical pieces of paper. Degrees are not as useful as having a Degree, you are not taught to solder etc. You may be able to design a circuit but can you actually get your hands dirty and fix stuff.

The qualifications and experience you have would certainly look like you have a suitable background, but the jobs just are not there. Realistically no-one will be taking on trainees for the next year or two.

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