Marine Architecture and Engineering

Careers in marine architecture and engineering delve into the design and creation of watercraft vehicles and vessels. Read further to learn more about a career in marine architecture and engineering.

Is Marine Architecture and Engineering for Me?

Career Description

Those who work in marine architecture and engineering design boats, underwater boats, heavy vessels, causeways and other nautical structures. They also perform tasks including creating models and mock-ups, developing blueprints, collecting data and supervising construction of these things. There are several different employment opportunities in this field such as a marine engineer, naval architect, modeler, project manager, junior project manager or project engineer. There are also careers in shipping and transportation, fishing operations or nuclear waste disposal. You could also work in designing or constructing different types of watercraft or providing support to other marine professionals, such as marine scientists who study oceanography or marine biology.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of marine engineers and naval architects was expected to increase 10% from 2012-2022, which is considered about as fast as average ( The job prospects were considered good mostly due to new federal guidelines for gas and oil transport ships and the goal to build ships that cause less pollution. In May 2012, the BLS also reported that marine engineers and naval architects earned an average annual salary of $96,140, so you can also expect to enjoy a good salary.

How Do I Work in Marine Architecture and Engineering?

Undergraduate Education

You can find programs that include studies in marine architecture and engineering through several universities. Undergraduate courses might include maritime systems, routine procedures, vessel power and studies of motion. You'll learn the planning of marine vessels, the manufacturing of vessels and designing techniques. You may also have lab studies.

Graduate Education

You can choose to further your education by enrolling in a graduate program in naval architecture or marine architecture and engineering studies. Courses in a master's degree program may include the repair and reconditioning of vessels, examination of vessels, parts of the vessel and manufacturing maritime structures. Master's degree programs typically require completion of a master's thesis or an independent study, while doctoral programs typically require completion of coursework, a series of comprehensive exams and a doctoral dissertation.


If you plan on offering your services to the public, you need to possess a license. You can gain appropriate licensing through the state you intend to practice in. Requirements may include possessing relevant experience, having a degree from an accredited school and passing a state test. You may then be eligible to receive the Professional Engineer (PE) designation.

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