Transport & Logistics

Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Operator

ROV operators operate, maintain and repair ROVs used to gather data, or to move goods or passengers.

  • Entry-level education

    Private training course

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Operator do?

ROV operators operate, maintain and repair ROVs used to gather data, or to move goods or passengers.


Work activities

As an ROV operator, you would:

  • control vehicles remotely, by software, hand-held remote control, radio control, or connecting cable
  • control underwater, land based, or aerial vehicles (drones)
  • operate and control systems or equipment attached to ROVs, such as dexterous manipulators, TVs, video cameras, and tools
  • gather required data while operating the ROV
  • ensure the ROV and all the systems are in good working order
  • maintain and repair the ROV.

Key skills and interests

To become an ROV operator, you would need:

  • the ability to work with technology
  • good hand-to-eye coordination
  • strong problem-solving skills
  • the ability to read maps, 2D and 3D displays
  • to be reliable and resourceful
  • to operate ROVs according to safety guidelines and government regulations. 

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

ROV operators may be required to work non-standard hours, including weekends. Work is often on a contract basis. As this industry expands, more permanent roles are likely to become available.


ROVs are used in a growing number of areas, including the military, search and rescue, disaster relief, border patrol, weather monitoring, underwater exploration, automated mining, law enforcement, aerial photography and cinematography, and surveying and geotechnical work.

You may be required to travel to work locations, which may be remote. You may work outdoors, and some of this work may be done in adverse weather conditions or at sea. It may require also nights away from home.


How to become an Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Operator?

Entry Level Education

To become an ROV operator, you will need training appropriate to the type of ROV you will be operating. In addition, you may also need trade skills and training in maintenance of the specific ROV. The types of experience and training desired or required are as varied as the tasks ROV operators perform.

The Underwater Training Centre South Australia (UTCSA) provides training in operating underwater ROVs.
A number of private training providers and Registered Training Organisations run courses for aerial ROVs (UAVs or drones) which satisfy CASA requirements, including a Certificate III in Aviation (remote pilot).


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of ROV operatos is projected to grow at about the average for all occupations.

ROV operations is a developing industry, which is showing strong potential for growth. Opportunities are likely to develop in two main areas- for dedicated operators with strong technical skills, and in more traditional industries now being assisted with remote automation, such as mining, surveying, engineering, cinematography, photography, and agriculture.

Opportunities for ROV operators are currently expected to double over the next 5-10 years. Automation will play a greater role in improving the efficiency and safety of unmanned systems but human judgement will be needed to identify, diagnose and respond to non-routine operational situations.


CareerHQ Compass

Discover the path to your future

How can CareerHQ Compass help you?