Naval engineering students learn to build, design and repair nautical ships, including submarines, cutters and commercial barges. Students learn how to work with others in the marine industry by obtaining technical, analytical and problem-solving skills. Some naval engineering programs are offered as a concentration within bachelor's degree programs in engineering.
Applicants to bachelor's degree programs in naval engineering need a high school diploma or GED. Graduates of these 4-year programs can pursue graduate-level programs in the field.
Bachelor's Degree in Naval Engineering
Coursework within the bachelor's degree program in naval engineering relies heavily on mathematics and science. Students learn how to interpret ship design schematics and troubleshoot design flaws. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits programs in this field, and applicants will want to check whether their program of choice is ABET-accredited. Most programs are offered at colleges and universities, and these schools are often situated near large bodies of water. In addition to classroom instruction, students utilize co-ops, where they gain hands-on experience and network with others in the industry, or they partake in design projects with classmates. Core courses offered may include:
- Engineering design
- Naval architecture
- Ship hydrodynamics
- Marine engineering
- Ship design
- Fluid mechanics
Career Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), employment of marine engineers and naval architects is expected to increase 9% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the BLS reported that naval architects and marine engineers earned a median annual salary of $93,110.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduates can seek immediate entry-level employment in areas such as shipbuilding, passenger transportation or governmental operations. They can also seek further education with graduate degree programs in engineering or naval architecture and marine engineering. These programs feature research applications and oftentimes include a thesis.
The BLS reported that all states require that engineers who work directly with the public must be licensed. Applicants must have a degree from an ABET-accredited program, four years of work experience and pass a state exam. Most states recognize licenses from other states, granted that the states have similar licensure requirements.
Students interested in naval engineering can earn their bachelor's degree to prepare for careers as marine engineers and naval architects. Graduates must obtain the proper state licensure and can enroll in graduate degree programs if they would like.