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Marine Engineers and Naval Architects
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Description: what do they do?
Design, develop, and evaluate the operation of marine vessels, ship machinery, and related equipment, such as power supply and propulsion systems.
Also known as:
Marine Architect, Marine Design Engineer, Marine Engineer, Marine Engineering Consultant, Marine Structural Designer, Marine Surveyor, Naval Architect, Naval Architect Specialist, Ships Equipment Engineer, Structural Engineer

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: Planning precisely how to keep an enormous ocean-going vessel stable and safe in high seas while carrying giant loads of cargo… is just one of the many tasks of marine engineers and naval architects. They usually specialize in designing and building a particular type of ship… from giant aircraft carriers to submarines… and from 15-foot sailboats to ocean tankers. Marine engineers are responsible for the internal systems of a ship, such as propulsion, electrical, refrigeration, and steering… While naval architects design the ship itself… including the form, structure, and stability of hulls. These architects also lead the teams that create new ship designs. Marine engineers and naval architects typically work in offices where they have access to computer software and other tools to analyze projects and design solutions. Sometimes they go to sea on ships to test their designs or to maintain ships they’ve built. Marine engineers and naval architects work full time, though overtime hours are not uncommon, especially when working at sea. Those who work on shore usually have more regular work schedules. Because naval architects are primarily designers, they are much more likely to work a regular schedule in an office or at a shipyard. Marine engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering, marine systems engineering, or marine engineering technology. Naval architects typically need a bachelor’s degree in naval architecture, or a related field like mechanical or electrical engineering.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Please note that this does not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different outlooks due to the rapidly changing economy. When new outlook information is developed, it will be reflected here.

    Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings". This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations and My Next Move career outlook designations (based on Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections 2020-30). Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Wisconsin
N/A
2018 Employment
N/A
2028 Employment
N/A
Percent change
N/A
Annual projected job openings
United States
9,800
2020 Employment
10,200
2030 Employment
4%
Percent change
500
Annual projected job openings
N/A: We do not have employment projections in this state for this occupation.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2018 (for states) or 2020 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2028 (for states) or 2030 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and State Labor Market Information offices, 2018-28.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2020-30.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Marine Engineers and Naval Architects in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationWisconsinUnited States
10%N/A$62,610
25%N/A$76,750
MedianN/A$95,440
75%N/A$118,790
90%N/A$148,580


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Program, May 2020 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Bachelor's degree
  • No work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:
Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2018-19.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Design structures or facilities.
  • Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
  • Review technical documents to plan work.
  • Monitor processes for compliance with standards.
  • Direct construction activities.
  • Evaluate characteristics of equipment or systems.
  • Prepare detailed work plans.
  • Prepare contracts, disclosures, or applications.
  • Schedule operational activities.
  • Maintain electronic equipment.
  • Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
  • Create graphical representations of structures or landscapes.
  • Communicate with others to coordinate vehicle movement.
  • Inspect equipment or systems.
  • Maintain operational records or records systems.
  • Coordinate safety or regulatory compliance activities.
  • Prepare technical reports for internal use.
  • Direct equipment maintenance or repair activities.
  • Devise research or testing protocols.
  • Direct installation activities.
  • Purchase materials, equipment, or other resources.
  • Communicate technical information to suppliers, contractors, or regulatory agencies.
  • Maintain mechanical equipment.
  • Confer with other personnel to resolve design or operational problems.
  • Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
  • Research advanced engineering designs or applications.
  • Analyze design or requirements information for mechanical equipment or systems.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Mathematics - Using math to solve problems.
  • Operations Analysis - Figuring out what a product or service needs to be able to do.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Systems Analysis - Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - Choosing the right type of math to solve a problem.
  • Visualization - Imagining how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Category Flexibility - Grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision - Seeing details that are far away.
  • Number Facility - Adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing.
  • Originality - Creating new and original ideas.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Artistic - Occupations with Artistic interests frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and allow for developing unique approaches to conducting the work.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Design complete hull and superstructure according to specifications and test data, in conformity with standards of safety, efficiency, and economy.
  • Supervise other engineers and crew members and train them for routine and emergency duties.
  • Study design proposals and specifications to establish basic characteristics of craft, such as size, weight, speed, propulsion, displacement, and draft.
  • Perform monitoring activities to ensure that ships comply with international regulations and standards for life-saving equipment and pollution preventatives.
  • Oversee construction and testing of prototype in model basin and develop sectional and waterline curves of hull to establish center of gravity, ideal hull form, and buoyancy and stability data.
  • Evaluate performance of craft during dock and sea trials to determine design changes and conformance with national and international standards.
  • Prepare plans, estimates, design and construction schedules, and contract specifications, including any special provisions.
  • Check, test, and maintain automatic controls and alarm systems.
  • Design layout of craft interior, including cargo space, passenger compartments, ladder wells, and elevators.
  • Evaluate operation of marine equipment during acceptance testing and shakedown cruises.
  • Act as liaisons between ships' captains and shore personnel to ensure that schedules and budgets are maintained, and that ships are operated safely and efficiently.
  • Conduct environmental, operational, or performance tests on marine machinery and equipment.
  • Prepare, or direct the preparation of, product or system layouts and detailed drawings and schematics.
  • Inspect marine equipment and machinery to draw up work requests and job specifications.
  • Investigate and observe tests on machinery and equipment for compliance with standards.
  • Maintain records of engineering department activities, including expense records and details of equipment maintenance and repairs.
  • Coordinate activities with regulatory bodies to ensure repairs and alterations are at minimum cost and consistent with safety.
  • Prepare technical reports for use by engineering, management, or sales personnel.
  • Design and oversee testing, installation, and repair of marine apparatus and equipment.
  • Procure materials needed to repair marine equipment and machinery.
  • Schedule machine overhauls and the servicing of electrical, heating, ventilation, refrigeration, water, and sewage systems.
  • Maintain contact with, and formulate reports for, contractors and clients to ensure completion of work at minimum cost.
  • Maintain and coordinate repair of marine machinery and equipment for installation on vessels.
  • Confer with research personnel to clarify or resolve problems and to develop or modify designs.
  • Determine conditions under which tests are to be conducted, as well as sequences and phases of test operations.
  • Conduct analytical, environmental, operational, or performance studies to develop designs for products, such as marine engines, equipment, and structures.
  • Review work requests and compare them with previous work completed on ships to ensure that costs are economically sound.
  • Analyze data to determine feasibility of product proposals.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.