While enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in naval architecture and/or marine engineering, students learn the basic principles of engineering and discover how to utilize them within the context of marine technology. The coursework prepares students for work on an entire range of naval vessels, including yachts; it also trains individuals in coastal and ocean engineering.
Prospective undergraduate students must have a high school diploma or equivalent and have completed previous coursework in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, physics, and chemistry. There are schools which require students to spend time at sea to gain hands-on experience. Programs in this field are also available at the master's and doctorate degree levels for those interested in further study.
Bachelor's Degree in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering
Some schools offer degree programs that are solely dedicated to the study of naval architecture, which is the design of ships for speed, seaworthiness, and appearance. Alternatively, institutions might offer programs in marine engineering, which focuses on the ship's mechanical systems. Other schools combine the two disciplines into one program. Marine engineering courses teach the students about power systems, control, applied mechanics, and electrical systems. Naval architecture courses cover stability, resistance, and ship propulsion. Classes may include:
- Ship dynamics
- Marine propulsion
- Structural analysis
- Curved surface design
- Ship hull strength
- Marine engines
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected naval architects and marine engineers to have a 9% job growth from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average compared to other occupations. Most growth is expected from the construction of ships to transport energy products and the need to make changes to existing ships. In May 2018, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $92,560 for these professionals.
Continuing Education and Professional Certification
Many engineers go on to earn master's degrees and doctorates to obtain teaching positions and engage in research. The BLS says that continuing education is vital throughout an engineer's career. Engineers who offer their services to the public must pass the Professional Engineer (PE) licensure examination given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The exam for naval architecture and marine engineering is a multiple choice test that takes eight hours to complete and covers a broad range of knowledge.
A bachelor's program in marine engineering and naval architecture prepares students for a variety of tasks involved in the naval industry, such as the construction, repair, and servicing of ships. Those who obtain a bachelor's degree in this field are ready for the PE licensure exam and may opt for continuing studies.