Naval architect

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Naval architects design, construct, refit and repair marine vessels and offshore structures.

Salary range: £25,000 to £65,000

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How to become a naval architect

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
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University

Most naval architects have a degree or postgraduate qualification that is recognised by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. This would usually be an engineering subject like:

  • naval architecture
  • ocean, offshore or marine engineering
  • ship science

You may be able to get onto a degree course if you’ve got qualifications from working as an engineering technician.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and physics

More information

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Royal Institution of Naval Architects for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a naval architect from:

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of physics
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to read English
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • coordinating the work of engineering design teams
  • making sure that designs are safe, seaworthy and cost-effective
  • preparing design plans using computer software
  • checking and testing specifications using computer simulations and 3D models
  • making sure that designs meet operational requirements
  • coordinating manufacturing or repair work

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a shipyard, on a rig, on a ship or in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be at height and outdoors some of the time.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to senior positions. You could become a consultant, providing technical and commercial guidance, support and project management for research, design, construction, refits or conversions. 

You could also move into other areas like procurement, sales and marketing