Salary and Career Info for a Navy Engineer

Navy engineers require a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the salary, job duties and employment outlook to see if this is the right career for you.

Navy engineers work for the navy in a variety of engineering positions including civil, mechanical, marine, and ocean engineering. Civil engineers can expect a median annual salary of about $82,000, while marine engineers and naval architects can expect about $93,000. Both are predicted to see job growth faster than the market.

Essential Information

Navy engineers are primarily enlisted U.S. Navy personnel; however, some may be civilians contracted for work with the U.S. Navy. These engineers primarily work in civil, mechanical, electrical, marine, and ocean engineering, as well as naval architecture. They typically have bachelor's degrees; some civil engineers also earn professional licensure, which requires a combination of education, work experience and testing.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Licensure Professional licensure may be required for some positions
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% for all civil engineers*
9% for all marine engineers and naval architects*
Median Annual Salary (2015) $82,220 for all civil engineers*
$93,110 for all marine engineers and naval architects*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary Info

Salaries for naval engineers depend in large part on experience and the specific area of engineering, including civil or marine engineering or naval architecture, as well as whether the position is military or civilian. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for civilian marine engineers and naval architects was $93,110 in 2015; civil engineers earned a median annual pay of $82,220 that same year (www.bls.gov). The BLS also notes that military pay depends on rank and years of service, with individuals with specialized skills, such as engineering, and an undergraduate or graduate degree typically starting at a higher monthly pay.

Career Info

According to the BLS, civil engineers are expected to see faster-than-average employment growth of 8% from 2014 to 2024. Marine engineers' and naval architects' employment is predicted to grow 9% over the same period.

Employment opportunities within the Armed Forces will remain the same from 2014 through 2024, reported the BLS. In 2015, roughly 322,928 individuals were actively serving in the Navy. With 20 years of service, military employees are eligible to retire with a pension; however, as jobs become more technical and complicated, education standards may continue to rise.

Job Description

With a college degree in civil, mechanical, and/or electrical engineering, individuals are eligible to become an officer in the Civil Engineer Corps. They primarily work on the construction of bases, airfields, and harbor facilities while gaining skills through on the job training. Civil engineers deal with the structural aspects of a ship such as framing, decks, and bulkheads. Mechanical engineers focus on designing machinery for use on the ships including hoists, cranes, and anchoring systems.

Marine engineers and naval architects create plans, construct, and maintain ships, boats, and equipment. Their work can include the construction of tankers, sailboats, aircraft carriers, and submarines. Naval architects are focused on the design and stability stages of such vessels. They determine aspects such as size, shape, hull form, power, and weight distribution. Other areas of work include propulsion and steering systems of ships.

Navy engineers require a bachelor's degree in a related field. Some fields of engineering may also require licensing. Military employment is predicted to remain constant with steady job growth.


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