The two year ROV program is designed to:


  • Train students in ROV piloting, in hydraulics, electronics and electrical maintenance, and in underwater navigation.
  • Train students in ROV deployment methodologies that encompass safety, inspection, and operation.
  • Prepare students for careers in underwater intervention in offshore oil & gas, nuclear, military, law enforcement, pipeline and cable industries as a substitute to diving operations
  • Graduate students with a 2-year Technician Diploma.




The ROV program is designed to prepare graduates to enter the workforce with a sound background in electronics, hydraulics, and electrical and workplace safety.


Main Areas of study


  • In the first year, students begin studying math, physics, electro-technology, digital logic, and computer programming. ROV systems are introduced as well as courses in oceanography, fluid mechanics, ROV electronics, and underwater acoustics. Written communication and computer programming is another feature of this first year.
  • Following Term 2, the 6 week Technical Session 1 teaches hands-on experience with electronic and mechanical fabrication and drafting, instrumentation used on ROV’s, and ROV pilotage via simulators. A basic seamanship course introduces students to life at sea.
  • The second year focuses on ROV operations and maintenance. It covers advanced hydraulics, industrial electronics & controls, and electrical machines, maintenance, and safety. A workshop practice course adds a practical dimension to the theoretical knowledge. ROV launch, recovery, and maintenance duties form a major part of work for the graduates in the ROV industry. On the operational side, computer interfacing techniques, data communication, and acoustic applications help in understanding the internetworked systems that comprise an ROV.
  • Term 4 is followed by the 6 week Technical Session 2 in which students receive hands-on experience piloting ROVs in open water and honing those skills in the simulator. This technical session also includes marine safety training required to work in the offshore industry.
  • Following Technical Session 2, students are required to complete an 8 week (320 hour) work term in the local or international ROV industry.


Characteristics of Graduate


  • Successful ROV Pilot / Technician graduates will have a proven work ethic and an excellent understanding of ROV design, operations and maintenance including safely launching, piloting, and repairing ROVs, preparing them for initial employment as a ROV operator/technician on their first ROV crew.


Accreditation Status


  • The ROV program is accredited under the Dublin Accord as an Electronics Technician program by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB).
  • Graduates are recognized by the Diver Certification Board of Canada (DCBC) and are eligible to register with DCBC as an ROV Operator.




Direct Entry


Program entry regulations are as per the Marine Institutes minimum entrance requirements for Technician Diploma Programs. Refer to the Admissions Section of the Marine Institute Calendar.


Applicants should possess strong skills in both mathematics and science to enter this program.


Advanced Standing


Refer to Admissions section of this Calendar for general information regarding Advanced Standing. Applicants who have completed a three-year diploma of technology in either Electrical, Electronics, Mechanical, or Marine Engineering at another accredited post-secondary institution, or at the Marine Institute, may be eligible to receive Advanced Standing in the program. Advanced Standing students commence their studies in Term 3 of this program, with the possibility of requiring a three week bridging program to take place before the start of the Term 3 fall academic semester.




Length of the Program:


  • 2 academic years (1 year for Advanced Standing students)


Number of Semesters:


  • Four (4) 13 week academic semesters, two (2) technical sessions and one (1) 8 week work term


Number of Courses:


  • 40 courses in 2 years of study


Work Terms


  • Students do a 8 week (320 hour) work term at the end of Term 4


Topics covered in each semester


  • Refer to program calendar – Main areas of study




Proof of physical fitness must be provided by way of a valid CAPP (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) offshore medical from an approved physician for registration in this program. Contact the Registrar’s Office for a list of physicians approved to conduct the CAPP medical.




CMSK 1104 (Introduction to Technical Reporting)
ELTK 1100 (Electrotechnology)
ELTR 2102 (Digital Logic)
MATH 1100 (Introduction to Calculus)
ONGR 1200 (Descriptive ONGR)
ROVO 2200 (Introduction to ROV Systems)


CPSK 1102 (Introduction Applied Programming)
ELTK 1200 (Electrotechnology)
ELTR 1301 (Control Electronics for ROV)
FLDS 2108 (Introduction to Fluid Mechanics & Hydraulics)
MATH 1101 (Introduction to Calculus)
PHYS 1101 (Physics)


ELTR 1104 (Electronic Fabrication Techniques)
ENGR 1303 (ROV Drafting and Blueprints)
NASC 1304 (Seamanship for Ocean Technology Technicians)
ONGR 1301 (Instrumentation Oceanography)
ROVO 1300 (ROV Simulator - Introduction)
ROVO 1301 (ROV Tooling)
WKPR 1306 (Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Fabrication)


ELTK 1303 (Electrical Machines and Power Systems)
ELTK 2118 (High Voltage Safety)
ELTR 2115 (Data Communications)
FLDS 2109 (Advanced Hydraulics)
ONGR 1200 (Descriptive ONGR) For Advanced Standing Students Only
ROVO 2201 (ROV Operations)
ROVO 2200 (Introduction to ROV Systems) For Advanced Standing Students Only
WKPR 2118 (Workshop Practice)


ELTK 2200 (Marine Electrical Troubleshooting)
ELTR 2116 (Industrial Electronic and Controls)
ELTR 2215 (Microcomputer Interfacing)
OMAP 2000 (Underwater Acoustic Applications)
ROV0 2205 (ROV Maintenance and Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS))


ROVO 2300 (ROV Ship Interaction)
ROVO 2301 (ROV Pilot Training)
ROVO 2303 (ROV Simulator - Advanced)
SFTY 1102 (Basic First Aid (STCW A-VI/1-3))
SFTY 1128 (BST - Basic Survival Training)
SFTY 1134 (Security Awareness Training for Seafarers without Designated Security Duties)
SFTY 2101 (H2S Alive)
SFTY 2301 (Fall Protection)
WKTM 1105 (Work Term (320 hours)




Information about the industry


  • Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) are used most notably in the offshore oil and gas, nuclear, military, law enforcement, pipeline, and cable industries, as a substitute or supplement to commercial (manned) diving operations. These vehicles are especially suited for hazardous and difficult underwater operations.
  • Due to the increased complexity in ROV/AUV operations, offshore operators have started to demand a higher level of quality assurance for ROV operators. Skills required by ROV/AUV operators include piloting, hydraulics, electrical & electronics and general workplace safety. There are few educational institutions in the world that offer ROV training. 


Sample Job Description


ROV Pilot/Technician


  • Repair and maintain Remotely Operated Vehicles and the associated support systems including Tether Management Systems, Winch and Launch and Recovery Systems, and Power Generation Systems
  • Perform electrical, electronic, hydraulic and mechanical maintenance and repair duties for a multitude of electro/hydraulic/mechanical systems
  • Perform piloting duties for a multitude of subsea tasks including general visual inspections, survey, specialty tooling operation, construction, installation, pipeline and cable laying, search, salvage and recovery, and offshore oil drilling support
  • Perform support duties including navigation and sonar operation, multimedia recording and record keeping, manipulator operation, inventory, planned and preventative maintenance, updating system specifications, logs and registers
  • Opportunity to work globally


ROV Supervisor


  • Act as team lead for operation, maintenance, and repair of Remotely Operated Vehicle
  • Plan ROV missions
  • Act as liaison between ROV crew and vessel
  • Accept responsibility for safe and effective ROV operations
  • Accepts responsibility for documentation of ROV operations
  • Participates in daily planning of offshore installation activity


ROV Superintendent


  • Engage in project planning for acquisition and deployment of Remotely Operated Vehicles and crews
  • Interface with clients to determine ROV requirements and activity
  • Present clients with optimal operational scenarios
  • Interact with ROV Supervisor to ensure efficient operations


Types of Companies Graduate will find Work


Graduates of the program typically find work in AUV/ROV manufacturing companies, marine offshore industries, nuclear, military, law enforcement, and pipeline and cable industries.


Types of Job Titles


  • ROV Pilot
  • ROV Operator
  • ROV Technician
  • ROV Supervisor




  • The industry is a global one and graduates should expect to work in various locations around the world.