Which route will you take to start your career in the Subsea sector?

Find out how to get into the Subsea sector! Join after secondary school or if you want to enter through an industry apprenticeship scheme, college study or on a university graduate programme.The Subsea sector is growing and has opportunities at a variety of entry routes.Which route will you take to work in one of the most exciting and technologically driven areas of the energy industry?
Around 40% of North Sea oil and gas production is now from subsea wells.

School route

So you are in your final year of secondary school and are now thinking about your future. If going to college or university is not for you, the chances are you are now looking at getting into industry straight from school and securing a job to start your career.

Going straight into work after school is not impossible but it will take determination. Lots of subsea companies have training programs which will help you advance and give you experience without having to do extra learning – you will also earn money straight away. The key to finding these opportunities is doing research and writing to companies. Many companies offer a period of paid work experience and this is an excellent way to understand if you like the job and the working environment and of course get your foot in the door. Often, work experience allows you to try out a number of areas of the business and see which one you like. Work experience does not always guarantee a job but if you work hard and show the potential employer your skills you may just land your dream job within the thriving subsea sector.

You can also apply direct to subsea companies who have vacancies that you feel match your skills and abilities as well as interests. Generally all subsea companies have job openings on their websites. This is the most common way for securing a role straight from school.

Your questions

  • You are earning a salary.
  • You will learn from experienced people in the organisation.
  • The employer may decided to put you on a formal training course to allow you to gain qualification.
  • You have a job in an industry that is thriving and the only way is up!

College route

You have decided that you would like to further your studies at college and then enter the subsea industry. Wise move! Getting qualifications from college makes you a very attractive candidate for the subsea industry.

College qualifications can set you up for a rewarding subsea career. At college you can study towards qualifications that are in demand by subsea companies. These qualifications will make your entry into industry easier and you will most certainly enhance your technical understanding of equipment, allowing you a great start when you join a subsea company. If you attend college to study towards qualifications that are part of the support roles in subsea (financial, legal, catering etc) you are developing qualifications that are essential for the subsea sector. Many subsea companies recruit people from college and actively encourage people to come with good qualifications that show an ability to succeed.

Your questions

Studying toward qualifications will make your entry into subsea more realistic and will make you attractive to employers. Studying at colleges allows you to develop your understanding of the industry and assists you in your chosen job. Often college courses offer work experience as part of the course and this will allow you to get hands on experience whilst studying toward industry recognized qualifications.
Engineering Course
Mechanical/Electrical/Hydraulic Courses
Financial/Legal/Business Courses
You can apply to a number of subsea companies who require your skills and qualification or you can move on to university study to further enhance your credentials.

Subsea apprenticeship

There’s never been a better time to use a Subsea apprenticeship to start your journey up the subsea career ladder.

Some of the most exciting and forward-thinking companies in the subsea sector offer apprenticeship programmes. It can even be easier to get your foot in the door with a major Subsea company as an enthusiastic apprentice than 4 years later as a graduate! Why? Because by the time graduates are knocking on their doors, many former apprentices will have had several years of experience in which to learn and get ahead.

Your questions

Of the many advantages of a subsea apprenticeship, the most important (and attractive to employers) is professional experience. An apprentice has a number of advantages over interns and graduates: First, as an apprentice you are directly exposed to the subsea working environment that companies desire. You can form close personal relationships with subsea industry professionals, witness the inner workings of the business, and make valuable contacts. No less important – an apprenticeship means direct, hands-on training. As a subsea apprentice you will learn by seeing and by doing. You will inevitably make mistakes, and learn from them. You also get a first-hand feel for the nature of the work as well as a chance to hone your skills needed to become an expert in your chosen Subsea field.Types of Subsea Apprenticeships on Offer:

  • Subsea Controls Apprenticeships
  • Subsea Technician Apprenticeships
  • Subsea Design Apprenticeships

There’s no ideal person exclusively suited for apprentice work. However, there are some personality traits which might make you a good fit for a subsea apprenticeship. So if you’re still trying to decide whether or not an apprenticeship is a good fit for you, consider if you have any of these qualities:

  • Aged 16-24, and still trying to decide which industry best suits your career goals.
  • Interested in developing a particular skill set or technical knowledge.
  • A keen learner, eager for self-improvement.
  • A young person looking to adapt to workplace disciplines and routines.
  • Passionate about creating/working with one’s hands.
  • Want to earn as you learn and miss out on university debt.

Subsea graduate route

You got your grades and you are now heading off to university to study toward a course related to the subsea sector. How do you get employed after your studying is over? You apply for a subsea graduate scheme.

The subsea sector offers a wealth of graduate schemes and these are offered by many small specialist subsea companies as well as world leading subsea employers. Graduate schemes typically last a year, but some may run to 18 months or even two years.

Your questions

Subsea graduate schemes allow you as a new recruit to settle quickly into the subsea sector’s professional work environment. You will receive relevant skills development and get hands on experience, either working in a specific role within an established team, or through working on a number of subsea projects in different areas of the company over the duration of the programme. Some subsea employers have a large graduate intake, this will give you the opportunity to network and socialise with your peers. Subsea graduate schemes allow you to put your university study into practice whilst being supported by leaders in the industry.A subsea graduate scheme may give you the opportunity to work overseas for part of the scheme or during specific projects you may work on. The subsea industry is global and this is represented in many graduate schemes.
Types of subsea graduate schemes are on offer:

  • Subsea Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Project Controls
  • Survey
  • Financial & Legal
The majority of subsea graduate schemes have application deadlines between November and December for programmes starting the following September/October. You need to do your subsea employer research and be ready to apply during the first term of your final year at university.A large number of subsea companies have a structured timetable for taking in graduates. Keep up to date with when the application process starts and ensure you apply early. It is a competitive industry to break into and employers want well qualified and eager graduates.For recruitment success, make sure you’re clued-up on the applications and interview methods used by subsea employers you are applying to. Many subsea employers use online application systems to sort prospective candidates for their schemes and training opportunities. If your application is successful you may then be invited to an assessment centre or interview. Be prepared for psychometric tests – they can crop up in online applications and at interviews and assessments.