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Robert Westerberg from Sweden gives us an insight into how training for a career as an ROV pilot technician with The Underwater Centre, Fort William, has given his subsea ROV career a whole new perspective.
Brought up in Stockholm, Robert originally studied marketing at business school and went on to set up a successful business with a friend. Fifteen years ago he sold his share of the company to pursue a full-time career in film. Much as he enjoyed his varied work in the film industry, Robert decided the time was right to branch out into a new career. After being introduced to the ROV world by friends in the offshore industry, he realised his skills and interests would be ideally suited to a new career as an ROV pilot technician.
Why train as an ROV pilot with The Underwater Centre, Fort William?
The Underwater Centre’s worldwide reputation for high quality and realistic subsea training was the main reason that Robert opted to study; ‘The ROV training programme in Fort William is very well known and respected in the subsea industry. It has been a good choice as every ROV employer knows about The Underwater Centre. I took the 7-week Premium ROV Course, which was of a high standard with very competent instructors.’
The Centre’s Premium ROV Course includes training in ROV-contextual electronics, High Voltage & Electrical Safety, Titan 4 Manipulator, Fibre Optics, Working at Height and 3-weeks of extensive real-world ROV exercises familiarising students with the requirements and considerations of offshore ROV operations, including industry relevant flying experience.
ROV surveying, sea-mapping, cable laying
Robert has gone on to work in ROV surveying, sea-mapping and touchdown monitoring of cable laying; ‘It’s a fun job where you meet lots of interesting people. It’s satisfying to learn new things and great to get paid for doing something you enjoy.’
There’s lots of scope for career development; ‘You can expect to earn 400-800 Euros a day, depending on your skills and experience. I hope to work more in Norway in the future, gain more ROV experience and perhaps move into working in the subsea construction area.’
Freedom of flexible working patterns
Working as an ROV pilot technician gives Robert the freedom to spend more time with family, and also pursue other interests. As he says; ‘Life isn’t just about work – an ROV career allows me to spend lots of quality time with my girlfriend, plus I see more of the rest of my family now. I live near the sea so I’m lucky that I can also go diving a lot too.’
Robert’s love of the water, whether sailing or diving, inspired him to pursue a career that allowed him to use his skills in the subsea sector. ‘I did my military service in the Swedish navy, and I’ve always loved being at sea. Now I get paid for doing something I love!’