Career Definition for a Watercraft Designer
Watercraft designers conceptualize, draw, design, and sometimes help sell boats, ships, and other watercraft. Designing watercraft involves creative abilities in addition to manufacturing and business sense. Watercraft designers typically work for boat or shipbuilding companies, the military, architecture firms, design and engineering companies, or as independent consultants.
|Education||Bachelor's or master's degree|
|Job Skills||Analytical and creative skills, good problem-solving abilities, knowledge of mechanics, experience with 3-D design programs|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$92,560 (for marine engineers and naval architects)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||12% (for marine engineers and naval architects)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Most watercraft designers have completed bachelor's degree programs in industrial design, architecture or marine engineering. Some watercraft designers have bachelor's degrees in other areas and return to school to complete master's degrees in industrial design or marine engineering. Coursework typically includes classes in mathematics, physics, fluid dynamics, engineering, computer-aided design, and manufacturing. Many watercraft designers began their careers with internships for watercraft architecture and design firms.
Watercraft designers must have both analytical and creative skills. The Industrial Designers Society of America lists creative problem-solving skills, an aptitude for mechanics, good written and oral communication skills, and experience with 3-D design and other computer software programs as essential qualifications for successful industrial designers, such as watercraft designers.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects that jobs for marine engineers and naval architects - a category that includes some watercraft designers - will increase at a faster-than-average rate of 12% from 2016-2026. The BLS listed the annual median salary for marine engineers and naval architects as $92,560 in May 2018. California is the top-paying region for the profession.
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Alternate Career Options
Similar careers to a watercraft designer include:
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