What Are the Different Types of Offshore Trainee Jobs?

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  • Written By: A. Garrett
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 22 February 2020
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An individual desiring an offshore career can gain entry into the industry through offshore trainee jobs like derrick operator, service unit operator, or commercial diver. Working offshore is dangerous and requires skill and experience; offshore trainee jobs allow new employees to gain such experience under more seasoned personnel. Derrick operators rig equipment and pumps necessary for the removal of sediment during offshore drilling expeditions while service unit operators are charged with using and maintaining the equipment and pumps used to extract oil or other deposits used in offshore drilling. Commercial divers build or repair submerged structures necessary for offshore operations.

When oil or other offshore deposits are discovered, a floating steel platform known as a derrick is constructed in order to support the necessary drilling equipment. An individual working offshore trainee jobs such as derrick operator must have knowledge of derrick design, operation, and maintenance. Trainees are taught what to look for when inspecting derricks for flaws. They also learn how vibrations emitted from mud pumps may be indicative of problems. A derrick operator trainee also learns how to position derricks over oil and mineral deposits to facilitate drilling and pipe laying.


A service unit operator trainee must familiarize herself with the various gauges, controls, and pressure indicators associated with the drills, pumps, and motors used in offshore work. Someone working these types of offshore trainee jobs is taught how to evaluate machinery and engines to distinguish between issues related to equipment and well-related problems. Observing a more experienced service unit operator gives a trainee insight into what information is necessary during the troubleshooting process. Identifying the cause of the problem is important because delays to offshore operations can be costly and malfunctioning equipment endangers the lives of the crew. Consequently, a trainee also learns how to repair equipment or close and seal problematic wells.

Offshore trainee jobs as a commercial diver are similar to onshore mining construction jobs. A commercial diver builds structures like derricks, welds cracks in pipes, and inspects pumps. The work is more complicated and requires special training because it is performed underwater, however. In addition to being a certified diver, an individual working as a commercial diver trainee is expected to know trades such as ironwork or welding prior to being hired. Trainees are paired with more seasoned commercial divers primarily in order to learn how to build, inspect, or repair more efficiently in conjunction with other commercial divers assigned to the task.


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