Nautical Engineering Education and Career Information

Sep 27, 2019

Degrees in nautical engineering typically cover general engineering studies, as well as specialty maritime engineering training. Find out about the requirements of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for nautical engineering graduates.

Aspiring nautical engineers will be hard pressed to find a bachelor degree program in nautical engineering. The recommended path would be to pursue a bachelor's degree in a related field, like oceanic engineering, and then seek out a more specialized graduate program and/or work experience. Nautical engineers also typically work in maritime engineering. Some jobs require licensure.

Essential Information

A nautical, or maritime/oceanic, engineering degree can be achieved at both the bachelor's and master's levels. Employers typically require either a bachelor's degree with relevant work experience or a master's degree. Nautical engineers work in the fields of nautical architecture and marine engineering. Some jobs in this field require additional licensing, such as the professional engineering (PE) certification for engineers who work for the public. This career might appeal to individuals with interests in engineering, architecture, and maritime studies.

Career Marine Engineers Naval Architects
Required Education Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 9% 9%
Mean Salary (2018)* $92,560 $92,560

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Information

Engineers may be required to perform a variety of tasks that require a large base of knowledge. There are very few schools that offer nautical engineering degrees. Often, undergraduates follow a related engineering major, such as ocean or aerospace engineering and then, as graduates, focus in a specific area.

Bachelor's Degree in a Related Engineering Field

Many employers in nautical engineering generally require a bachelor's degree in addition to work experience. A maritime-based engineering degree is favorable over a general engineering degree because it satisfies many of the requirements for the specialized nautical graduate programs. Bachelor's degrees in oceanic or aerospace engineering, for instance, are possible choices for related engineering fields.

Graduate Level Education in Nautical Architecture and Marine Engineering

Nautical engineers generally work in both nautical architecture and marine engineering (NAME). Some employers require a prospective nautical engineer to have a master's degree in this field. Advanced degree programs focus on supplementing general engineering courses with specific NAME courses such as marine dynamics, marine structural mechanics and marine system production. Requirements for graduate programs are fairly high and include scoring satisfactorily on the Graduate Record Examination, obtaining letters of recommendation and earning an appropriate grade point average in an undergraduate program.

Career Information

Industry Requirements

Some types of jobs a nautical engineer may work on require prior licensing or certification. Engineers who work for the general public may need professional engineering (PE) certification through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Certification involves completing a test based in naval architecture and marine engineering with focuses on mechanics, load, welds, vibration, and stability.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for marine engineers and naval architects should increase by 9% from 2018-2028. Updating fleets to fulfill federal guidelines and the need to build ships that produce less pollution were expected to contribute to the creation of job opportunities. In May of 2018, the BLS reported that there were 11,700 employed marine engineers and naval architects. According to the BLS, marine engineers and naval architects made an average of $92,560.

Nautical engineers typically have a bachelor's degree in a related field and work experience, or can also pursue a more specialized graduate degree program or courses. They often work in nautical architecture and maritime engineering as well (NAME). A master's degree program would offer more specialized courses and training in this field.

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