What Are the Requirements for a Career As a Yacht Designer?

Most yacht designers have either an associate's or bachelor's degree; however, some choose to study under an experienced professional for several years to receive on-the-job training in lieu of formal education. Read on to learn the requirements for a career as a yacht designer. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Yacht designers, also known as naval architects, create the designs and construction plans for yachts, powerboats, sailboats and other small marine vehicles. They may work for yacht brokerage firms, design shops, production shops, boat builders, academic institutions and other marine businesses. Certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs can all serve to launch your career as a yacht designer.

Important Facts About Yacht Design Career Training

Required Education A bachelor's degree (for entry-level architecture jobs); work at sea requires a merchant mariner's document and training from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Degree Fields of Study Naval architecture, marine engineering
Programs Internships, work study, regimental training and study-abroad opportunities are available.
Continuing Education Organizations such as the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) offer continuing education programs for professionals.
Median Salary (2018)$92,560 (Marine Engineers and Naval Architects)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)12% (Marine Engineers and Naval Architects)

Education Requirements

Education options for prospective yacht designers include a certificate in yacht design, Associate of Science in Small Craft Yacht Design and Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. The certificate and associate's degree programs include courses in which students learn the fundamentals of yacht design and create their own designs. These programs often include an internship or work experience that allows students to gain hands-on experience in boat design. Common course topics include naval architecture, computer-aided design, visual appearance, construction methods and fundamentals of yacht design.

Bachelor's degree programs in naval architecture often include courses in marine engineering and prepare students for careers in yacht designing, commercial shipping, marine engineering and naval shipbuilding. These 4-year degree programs may include additional coursework in topics such as ship design and structural mechanics, offshore engineering, coastal engineering and hydrodynamics.

Licensure Requirements

Although not always required, the BLS reports that many naval architects and marine engineers earn mariner's licenses from the U.S. Coast Guard. Applicants may first take the exam to earn the 3rd Assistant License, and after securing additional experience, they can take the exams to become 2nd and 1st Assistants before becoming Chief Assistants.

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