How to Become a

Naval Architect

The complete career guide to be a Naval Architect: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $100,090
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 8.4%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Naval Architects design, build and maintain vessels like air craft carriers, airplanes, sail boats and submarines.  They work on the basic design including the form, the hull and the stability of each individual project.

Recommended Schools

What is a Naval Architect?

The following responsibilities are common for individuals in the Naval Architect position:

  • Directs a variety of teams of various specialties on the building and testing of prototypes
  • Designs the interior and exterior layouts, hulls, ventilation systems, cargo space, etc.
  • Reviews design proposals and specifications to establish the characteristics of a vessel
  • Evaluates how the ships preform during trials, and makes any necessary changes to make sure the vessel meets all safety standards and protocols

A Day In The Life

Naval Architects develop, design and evaluate the operation and building of maritime vessels and related equipment.

They spend their time coordinating the work of different design teams.  They also make sure to stick to budget and that the projects are cost-worthy and safety standards are met and that the vessels are sea-worthy.  They also spend a lot of their time checking and testing specifications using computer simulations and 3D models.

This position is typically office based, but they may also work in laboratories or in production floors as well.  They also spend the majority of their time on board of the vessels that they are producing.

Typical Work Schedule

Typically they will work a normal 40 hour work week.  Some travel may also be required for this job.  With a lot of time spent on the water or ocean.

Projected Job Growth

The need for boats and ships and vessels will always be in high demand due to the need of design of environmentally friendly ships and boats to haul things like different energy products and cargo.

Typical Employers

The industries that hire these architects are government agencies like the coast guard or ministry of defense.  Boat and ship builders and companies that repair and maintain naval submarines and also companies that repair smaller vessels as well.




Recommended Schools

How To Become a Naval Architect

To become a naval architect they will need a bachelor’s degree in that subject or a related field like marine engineering or architecture, or civil or structural engineering.  Courses that are required are calculus, physics and computer-aided design (CADD).  Course specific classes would include fluid mechanics, ship/hull strength, and materials mechanics.  Upon completion of the academic requirements, naval architects can choose to specialize in a certain or particular area of naval architecture or they can begin to do project management, academic roles like teaching or consulting.  Relevant shipyard or related experience is also preferred and desired by employers.

Naval Architect Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Naval Architect salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Naval Architect's can make an average annual salary of $100,090, or $48 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $74,030 or $36 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #67 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Naval Architects

  • 2.4%   Doctorate
  • 16.8%   Masters
  • 55%   Bachelors
  • 6.1%   Associates
  • 9.8%   College
  • 10%   High School
  • 0%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Naval Architect job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 700 jobs for a total of 9,000 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 8.4% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #260 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Naval Architects

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Engineering services 1,900 200 0%
Ship and boat building 1,100 --- ---
Federal government, excluding postal service 1,000 -100 0%

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