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IMCA Assistant Life Support Technician

Ben Piper

ALST Benjamin PiperBenjamin Piper completed his IMCA Assistant Life Support Technician (ALST) training at The Underwater Centre in 2010.  He recently took some time out to call us from the vessel he’s working on in the North Sea to tell us how he’s getting on in his new career.

Getting a job

‘Training as an ALST was the best decision I ever made.  I could barely scrape together the money to do the course and now I’m phoning from a Subsea 7 vessel, North of Aberdeen; I do 1 month on 1 month off.  You’ve got to really want to be an ALST though; it’s tricky to get work, however there are jobs out there to be found.’

Benjamin Piper and his ROV Pilot Tech DadOffshore work

Ben has two young children and admits that while he does work away from home a bit, it means he can give his children a bright future.  ‘I come from a family of subsea workers; my father did his Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) course at The Underwater Centre, as well as some technical training, and two of my brothers are saturation divers – one trained in Fort William and the other in Tasmania.  I’d been working as a leisure diving instructor for years, but I chose to do the ALST course as I wanted a quicker route to offshore work.  With diving you generally have to work inshore for a period before you can get offshore.  Also, I wanted a change from diving.’

Training at the Centre

‘The training at the Centre was the perfect platform for me and it has changed my life for the best.  For me The Underwater Centre was the best place or training organisation I have been to.  It was perfect to do a course in a live environment.  I love working on a DSV (Dive Support Vessel) now with professional people and constantly learning about saturation systems; I love working in a sat team.  I’ve almost got enough hours on the panel to do my Life Support Technician exam, and ultimately I plan to progress to Life Support Supervisor.’

Willie Stitt, Life Support Supervisor at the Centre, was a major influence during Ben’s time at the Centre.  He went on to say, ‘I must also commend Willie Stitt who did my course, he is absolutely brilliant!  Out on the boat I’m working on, all of the supervisors, and even the client, knew of Willie and spoke very highly of him.’

Could I do it? ‘You have to want to do it!  I honestly wasn’t sure before the course but by the end I was 100% sure.’

How much can I earn? ‘As an ALST you are looking at £313 per day, working 28 days on and 28 days off.  LST £465 per day.’

How easy it to get a job?  ‘Not that easy to be honest but perseverance pays off.  You have to be determined and never give up.’

‘Thank you for helping me change my life.’

Find out more about our IMCA Assistant Life Support Technician Course here

For more information and advice about our training contact one of our Student Advisors;
Email: 
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Or call +44 1397 703 786