Naval Architect Career Project

By Dioco Reyes for Digital Literacy p4/5

Naval Architect

Naval Architecture covers designing and maintaining any structure on and/or below the water. They commonly work on basic designs of afloat structures, including the form and stability of the structure.

Naval architects work behind the computer and in an office. They have access to computer software that'll help them analyze projects or design solutions. Sometimes they must go on sea ships and evaluate or maintain them.

A skill commonly used are problem solving, critical and creative thinking skills.

You need a bachelors degree in naval architecture in order to be qualified as one.

In 2012 the median pay is $88,100. The job outlook is predicted to grow at least 10% from 2012 to 2022. In the long run, companies are in need of ships that can transport energy projects, liquefied natural gas, etc.

Career Connections

Laura Alford - Research Investigator and Lecturer at the University of Michigan

I know I need a bachelor's degree to become a Naval Architect, is it recommended or required to go back to school and get an advanced degree?

"We've had a LOT of students staying for a Master's degrees lately, so it certainly seems like that's becoming the new default."

What is your favorite part in teaching Naval Architecture?

"My favorite part of teaching Naval Architecture is its breadth. Naval architects have to know statics, dynamics, hydrodynamics, structures, marine engineering, electrical engineering, probability, statistics, design, etc. It's a lot of stuff, and it's great to see it all come together in designs for new ships or offshore structures. But, really, the best part is just working with students. Teaching is why I stayed in academia."

Warren Noone - Undergraduate Program Adviser at the University of Michigan

What starting salary and benefits could I expect?

"The major energy companies have some of the best salaries and benefits in this field. An engineer with a 4-year degree can start at $70,000-$80,000 per year. If you go to work at a smaller design firm or for the government, you might make $10,000-$15,000 less."

Do you have any advice for a high school student looking to be in a field such as naval engineering/naval architecture?

"Ask lots of questions and start looking early at the types of companies/industries that you'd be interested in. Ask yourself what you are good at and what you enjoy doing."

Joel Reyes - Veteran Sailor

Why did you become a sailor?

"I was in need of money for me and my family. I also wanted to travel around the world. I ended up traveling to Nigeria, South Africa, Somalia, Kenya, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Panama, Caribbean Islands, Fiji, Norway, England, Spain, Turkey, Netherland, Italy, Greece, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Vancouver Canada. Some US states I went to were California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, New York and New Jersey."

What does a typical day of being a sailor look like?

"Everyday was always a hard day. Since I degreed in marine engineering, I was usually transferred to the engine room. It was always hot and humid there and the continuous moving sea made it hard to work."

High School Preperation

Some related courses Leyden provides are:

Civil Engineering & Architecture - Because it goes over some basics of professional up to date engineering as well as designing up to date infrastructure.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing - Because a Naval Architect's working environment is commonly on computers.

Some related extra-curricular activities are:

Engineering Club - Design and create robots. Can also improve and exercise your design thinking process.

Computer Club - Design and learn ways to use a computer, helpful in a Naval Architect’s working environment.

And something I can do independently is to create model boats. I can learn the basics on how a boat floats. Designing a boat exercises your brain and allows you to become more open to critical thinking.


References give a basic outline to your employer about how you act. References are commonly people who only say good things about you. Employers see them as good resources and helps them infer if you're someone they should hire.

Ms. Nix, graphic design teacher - “Works hard, good effort”

Ms. Vazquez, concert band teacher - “Pleasure to have in class”

Mr. Henning, cross country head coach - “An athlete who represents the team well”

America's Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the S.S. United States

Post-Secondary Plans

A post secondary plan I can do is to be apart of the military. The military provides education for naval architects. Since they do need new ideas for warships and submarines.

Colleges I can go to:

United States Merchant Marine Academy - Kings Point, New York

Ranking 3rd of the best colleges in the North for 2011, the college provides marine transportation, marine engineering and operation and technology programs. USMMA also give basic marine engineering design, marine transportation technology and shipboard engineering operations.

United States Naval Academy - Annapolis, Maryland

Their program provides courses in material science, physics, oceanography and math. Students also receive training in electrical, machine and civil engineering. They also teach life support and power systems on a vessel.

Webb Institute - Glen Cove, New York

Students can pursue a double major in naval architecture and marine engineering. Their program combines marine, structural and systems engineering with machine and ship design.

I can major in Architectural Engineering or Architectural Sciences and Technology.

There are apprenticeships open through the BAE System. It gives me maritime education (education for commercial and military activity). There is one stationed in America currently housing 37,300+ employees. The only down side is that I'll be working on one project, and that is to design the submarines for Britain's future defense ambitions.