The technician with management duties
I am a trained marine engineer from Fredericia School of Marine Engineering. Currently I work as operations engineer with Maersk Oil.
I chose to train to become a marine engineer because it mixes elements from the technical world with elements from management and organisation. I was already a trained locksmith so it was important for me to acquire knowledge that is more theoretical and at the same time develop a set of management skills.
The best thing about the programme is the versatility. As a marine engineer you’re never locked to one particular industry or profession.
“The modern marine engineer will gain insight into a wide range of technical disciplines and is provided with important management tools.”
As the engineer isn’t specialised in a certain niche, many finds that after the training you have the opportunity to specialise in something that’s of personal interest to you.
Work is both on land and at sea
During my time at Maersk Oil, I have had different positions both on and offshore. The variation has given me a greater understanding of how tasks and support onshore should be handled, to ensure that the operations offshore are safe, environmentally sound and efficient.
As operations engineer I’m responsible for the production and control of all work carried out on the installation. We control everything with work permits, in which all of the risks and precautions are described. In the role of operations engineer, I’m the one who must approve each work permit before a job can be performed.
The day starts at 05.50am
I clock in at 05.50am and receive a handover of the night’s activities from the retiring operations engineer. The handover is an important tool that provides an overview of all the on-going activities. After the handover, I perform my own overview of the activities planned for the day before the work is released.
“On the installation I work at, there is activity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To maintain the work requires great support from our onshore department. Ships supply us with materials and the helicopter operation takes care of passenger transport.”
The day passes with follow-up and supervision of the activities that are security and production related. In addition, I plan activities for the coming night and the following day. At 5.50pm the shift changes, and I hand over to the new operations engineer.
14 days out and 21 days at home
I have a great work life balance. I work for 14 days where I fully concentrate on work. When I'm home the following 21 days, I spend all my time with family and friends, and take care of my continuing training.
There are many opportunities for marine engineers in the offshore industry. At Maersk Oil engineers fill positions from technicians to managers within production, construction, maintenance and Well Service departments.
My best advice
The key is to find a job that you find exciting and challenging. Working offshore means working 12 hours a day, 14 days straight, so it is important that you thrive to stay motivated.