How Do I Become an Offshore Installation Manager?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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An offshore installation manager presides over day-to-day operations at a marine based facility such as an oil rig. Someone wishing to become an offshore installation manager must have prior experience working in a variety of different capacities on one of these structures. Energy firms and other operators of offshore platforms do not typically require people employed in these roles to have completed college degree courses although most companies do require job applicants to have completed high school.

In some countries, industry associations and government regulators run training courses that are designed to prepare individuals to manage oil rigs, gas platforms and other structures. Someone wishing to become an offshore installation manager may have to attend one of more of these classes since some focus on safety issues while others focus on operational activities such as drilling techniques or the storage of hazardous materials. The classes may last for several weeks or months and students are normally required to pass a written examination at the end of the course.


Installation managers must train workers to operate various types of machinery and equipment. Therefore, someone wishing to become an offshore installation manager may have to start work on an oil or gas platform as a driller or helicopter mechanic. People employed in these roles normally receive on-the-job training, although some managers enroll in engineering courses at universities or community colleges as an alternative to acquiring such knowledge through practical training. Nevertheless, many firms prefer to promote experienced riggers into management roles since these individuals have practical knowledge of the devices and procedures that are in place on a specific installation.

Someone wishing to become an offshore installation manager must have the ability to perform mathematical calculations since these individuals often have to make decisions based around pressure levels that pipes and drill heads are exposed to and miscalculations can prove to be costly. Those working on offshore installations must have good organizational and administrative skills since they are responsible for handling budgetary matters related to payroll, inventory and other operational expenses. These individuals normally communicate with land-based counterparts via telephone or email which means people employed in these roles must have some knowledge of commonly used computer software packages and internet programs.

Safety is of paramount importance on oil rigs and similar installations and many firms require people working in supervisory roles to have completed basic first aid training courses during which skills such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation are taught. In turn, the manager may have to pass on this knowledge to other employees which means that these individuals must have good communication and interpersonal skills. Additionally, depending on the location of the installation someone working as an offshore manager may benefit from having second language skills.


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