Marine engineers and naval architects design, build, and maintain ships, from aircraft carriers to submarines and from sailboats to tankers. Marine engineers are responsible for the internal systems of a ship, such as the propulsion, electrical, refrigeration, and steering systems. Naval architects are responsible for the ship design, including the form, structure, and stability of hulls.
Marine engineers and naval architects typically need a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering and naval architecture, respectively, or a related degree, such as a degree in mechanical or electrical engineering. Some marine engineering and naval architecture programs are offered at state maritime academies.
Marine engineers and naval architects typically work in offices, where they have access to computer software and other tools necessary for analyzing projects and designing solutions. Sometimes, they must go to sea to test or maintain the ships that they have designed or built.
Employment of marine engineers and naval architects is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The need to design environmentally friendly ships and systems to transport energy products, such as liquefied natural gas, across the globe will help to spur employment growth for this occupation.
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