A subsea engineer usually holds a position within a company engaged in the undersea oil and gas drilling industry. Minimum requirements generally include a bachelor’s degree in engineering, preferably with an emphasis on structural, mechanical, or ocean engineering; this is because the job requires the ability to plan and execute the complex undersea operations required to locate and retrieve oil and gas reserves that may be located at great depths many miles from shore. Given the location of such deposits, the job generally involves a considerable amount of travel, as overseeing the onsite portion of a project is generally part of the job.
Subsea engineers also need to be well-versed with computers and relevant design and simulation programs such as CAD and MATLAB. Previous experience as a subsea engineer in the oil and gas industry is also generally preferred, though not always required. Project management skills, such as the ability to project costs and review technical drawings for accuracy and consistency, are also generally desirable, as is an overall understanding of the oil and gas industry.
Working hours and conditions may vary somewhat, as a subsea engineer likely works in an office at a computer, as well as manages projects onsite at offshore drilling locations. The ability to communicate effectively with people at all levels in the organization is essential, as subsea engineers interact with many levels of workers and management during the course of their duties. Safety-mindedness is also an important quality for a subsea engineer, as they not only design systems to work with fluids under great pressure, they will occasionally work in hazardous environments.
Subsea Engineer Tasks
Write and check plans, specifications, and proposals to ensure structural integrity and accurate estimates.
Support and plan repairs for subsea installations, coordinating to ensure productivity of site.
Develop plans and identify materials for subsea installations.
Explain, calculate, and adjust materials, plans, schedules, and materials.