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Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
Marine engineers and naval architects are involved in the design, construction, and maintenance of ships, boats, and related equipment. They design and supervise the construction of everything from aircraft carriers to submarines and from sailboats to tankers. Naval architects work on the basic design of ships, including the form and stability of hulls.

Marine engineers work on the propulsion, steering, and other systems of ships. Marine engineers and naval architects apply knowledge from a range of fields to the entire design and production process of all water vehicles. Workers who operate or supervise the operation of marine machinery on ships and other vessels also may be called marine engineers or, more frequently, ship engineers.

According to the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Marine Engineers are responsible for selecting ships' machinery, which may include diesel engines, steam turbines, gas turbines, or nuclear reactors, and for the design of mechanical, electrical, fluid, and control systems throughout the vessel. Some marine engineers serve aboard ships to operate and maintain these systems.

Those interested in a career in marine engineering and naval architecture should consider reviewing engineering programs that are accredited by ABET, Inc. If you choose to attend a program that is not ABET accredited, you should be sure that the university is regionally accredited.

Admissions requirements for undergraduate engineering schools include a solid background in mathematics (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus) and science (biology, chemistry, and physics), and courses in English, social studies, humanities, and computer and information technology. 

Students seeking marine engineering jobs enhance their employment opportunities by participating in internship or co-op programs offered through their schools. These experiences provide the students with broad knowledge and experience, making them more attractive candidates to employers. Many universities offer co-op and internship programs for students studying naval architecture and marine engineering. Click here for more information.

Along with a sense of satisfaction, being compensated well for the work you do is a primary concern. Many factors can affect what you earn. These include your level of education, job function, occupation, and where you live. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual wage for Marine Engineers and Naval Architects is $74,140 a year.

Naval architects and marine engineers hold about 8,500 jobs each year in the United States.

Career Path Forecast
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, marine engineers and naval architects are expected to have employment growth of 6 percent from 2008 to 2018, slower than the average for all occupations. Continued demand for naval vessels and recreational small craft should more than offset the long-term decline in the domestic design and construction of large oceangoing vessels. Good prospects are expected for marine engineers and naval architects because of growth in employment, the need to replace workers who retire or take other jobs, and the limited number of students pursuing careers in this occupation.

Professional Organizations

Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
erican Society of Naval Engineers

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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