Marine engineers and naval architects essential information:
- 2012 median pay: $88,100
- 2012, number of jobs: 6,880
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 17 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Marine engineers and naval architects; what they do:
People who enjoy the ocean, dream of designing enormous ships and engines, and who love fixing mechanical problems should consider a marine engineer career or a naval architect career. Marine engineers and naval architects design, build, and maintain ships from cruise ships to submarines. Marine engineers work on mechanical systems, including propulsion and steering. Naval architects work on the basic design, including the form and stability of hulls.
A maritime engineering career includes researching, developing, inspecting and constructing waterborne transport and their component parts. Marine engineer careers include testing equipment, preparing budgets, contracts and schedules, and compiling reports for other workers such as contractors.
Naval architects work on the various stages of vessel design, maneuverability, specifications and construction, especially the hull. Naval architect careers include working in conjunction with professionals in ship engineering on the characteristics of a ship such as passenger compartments, cargo space and elevators.
Marine engineers and naval architects job titles:
- Marine Engineer
- Marine Architect
- Marine Surveyor
- Project Engineer
- Consulting Engineer
- Hull Outfit Supervisor
- Piping Designer
- Marine Structural Designer
- Naval Architect Specialist
Marine Engineers and Naval Architects Education, Certification and License Requirements
People interested in a marine engineer career or a naval architect career typically need a Bachelor in Marine Engineering degree, a Bachelor in Naval Architecture degree, or a Bachelor in Marine Systems Engineering degree.
Cooperative engineering programs, award credit for job experience; they’re valuable since employers favor hands-on experience. A Master in Naval Architecture degree and a Master in Marine Engineering are also available. A small number of schools located in the United States offer a degree in marine engineering.
Programs in marine engineering, naval architecture, and marine systems engineering are accredited by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).
High school students who are interested in maritime engineering or naval architecture benefit from taking courses in mathematics, science and drafting.
Marine engineers and naval architects programs cover subjects such as:
- Concepts in submarine design
- Naval engineering
- Ship resistance and propulsion
- Introduction to naval architecture
- Fluid mechanics lab
- Marine engineering
According to The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), individuals need a Professional Engineer (PE) license to provide engineering services to the public throughout the United States. The National Counsel of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) conducts licensing exams.
Marine Engineers and Naval Architects Job Outlook
Forecast: 17 percent employment growth for marine engineers and naval architects from 2010 to 2020.
The need to design ships to carry energy products across the world as well as the need to drill for oil and maintain offshore oil rigs helps encourage employment growth for this occupation. In addition, naval architects are needed to update fleets to meet new federal requirements for double-hulled ships for transporting oil and gas.
Some of the demand for marine engineers and naval architects comes from the need to modify existing ships due to new pollution regulations. A need for their services also comes from the demand to build alternative energy sources, such as offshore wind turbines.
Marine Engineers and Naval Architects Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $88,100
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $113,420
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $69,600
- Federal government
- Deep sea, coastal, and great lakes water transportation
- Architectural, engineering, and related services
- Other professional, scientific, and technical service
- Ship and boat building