Engineering Career Resources

Subsea Engineer Job Description

Subsea Engineer Job Description

A subsea engineer is an engineering specialist who works primarily in the gas and oil industry. Subsea engineers are employed by companies that deal with offshore oil and gas development, more specifically with the exploration and drilling of oil and gas fields in underwater locations. A subsea engineer's job is to navigate the underwater world to obtain more gas and oil, and he works primarily with the equipment that is used for oil extraction. His main task is to dig out crude oil and gases, and he will most frequently work on installing equipment, testing it, conducting safety assessments, and making sure that all components work properly during the operation.

Skills and qualifications

Subsea engineering is challenging work. Engineers must be very familiar with all the equipment used in drilling as well as with the effects of pressure, water, corrosion and other outside factors on the equipment.  Strong math and mechanical skills are a must.

A subsea engineer must also have excellent analytical and problem solving skills. Leadership and people skills are very important in the field as well, as subsea engineers typically supervise all the aspects of a project that are related to operating and maintenance of equipment.

A subsea engineer needs to have a pretty thorough skill set to be successful. They need to have an understanding of how subsea systems are designed and operated and the technology that is used in subsea engineering. They also need to understand the current developments and issues that are facing the industry, and keep up to date with all the latest research and safety regulations.

A bachelor's degree is often the minimum educational requirement, but most employers prefer a master's degree in a relevent engineering discipline. Before becoming a subsea engineer, it is preferred that one has several years of experience in an engineering field.


A subsea engineer has many duties. They are responsible for making sure the subsea systems are running properly. They need to schedule maintenance and have a thorough understanding of the operations. They need to understand the drilling operations, and they will need to perform mathematical calculations. They also communicate directly with others on the team to make sure that operations run smoothly. The engineer may need to move heavy equipment and install it on the drilling site.

Subsea engineers typically work for drilling contractors or consulting companies. Those employed by drilling contractors are responsible for assembling, installing, operating, testing and repairing equipment when necessary. They supervise drilling crews who operate and recover the equipment.

Engineers employed by consulting firms usually design the project solutions and facilities used on drlling sites and deal with issues related to flow assurance and safety . They determine the specifications for subsea control and production systems equipment, and are responsible for selecting the equipment, as well as for commissioning, installing, and testing it to ensure that it meets all the relevant safety standards. Subsea engineers will also be involved in vendor management and assist with operation and equipment maintenance. They will also attend equipment integration tests and coordinate the contractors responsible for the design, production and testing of subsea control systems.