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Career Profile: Marine Engineers and Naval Architects

Design, develop, and evaluate the operation of marine vessels, ship machinery, and related equipment, such as power supply and propulsion systems.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 9,800 people employed as marine engineers and naval architects in the United States. The median annual salary is $95,400. Entry level employees earn approximately $62,610 per year and senior employees earn approximately $148,580 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Maintain and coordinate repair of marine machinery and equipment for installation on vessels.
  • Confer with research personnel to clarify or resolve problems and to develop or modify designs.
  • Conduct analytical, environmental, operational, or performance studies to develop designs for products, such as marine engines, equipment, and structures.
  • Determine conditions under which tests are to be conducted, as well as sequences and phases of test operations.
  • Review work requests and compare them with previous work completed on ships to ensure that costs are economically sound.
  • Analyze data to determine feasibility of product proposals.
  • Schedule machine overhauls and the servicing of electrical, heating, ventilation, refrigeration, water, and sewage systems.
  • Study design proposals and specifications to establish basic characteristics of craft, such as size, weight, speed, propulsion, displacement, and draft.
  • Perform monitoring activities to ensure that ships comply with international regulations and standards for life-saving equipment and pollution preventatives.
  • Oversee construction and testing of prototype in model basin and develop sectional and waterline curves of hull to establish center of gravity, ideal hull form, and buoyancy and stability data.
  • Evaluate performance of craft during dock and sea trials to determine design changes and conformance with national and international standards.
  • Prepare plans, estimates, design and construction schedules, and contract specifications, including any special provisions.
  • Check, test, and maintain automatic controls and alarm systems.
  • Design layout of craft interior, including cargo space, passenger compartments, ladder wells, and elevators.
  • Design complete hull and superstructure according to specifications and test data, in conformity with standards of safety, efficiency, and economy.
  • Supervise other engineers and crew members and train them for routine and emergency duties.
  • Evaluate operation of marine equipment during acceptance testing and shakedown cruises.
  • Act as liaisons between ships' captains and shore personnel to ensure that schedules and budgets are maintained, and that ships are operated safely and efficiently.
  • Conduct environmental, operational, or performance tests on marine machinery and equipment.
  • Inspect marine equipment and machinery to draw up work requests and job specifications.
  • Maintain contact with, and formulate reports for, contractors and clients to ensure completion of work at minimum cost.
  • Prepare, or direct the preparation of, product or system layouts and detailed drawings and schematics.
  • Investigate and observe tests on machinery and equipment for compliance with standards.
  • Maintain records of engineering department activities, including expense records and details of equipment maintenance and repairs.
  • Coordinate activities with regulatory bodies to ensure repairs and alterations are at minimum cost and consistent with safety.
  • Design and oversee testing, installation, and repair of marine apparatus and equipment.
  • Prepare technical reports for use by engineering, management, or sales personnel.
  • Procure materials needed to repair marine equipment and machinery.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
9,800
Annual Openings:
500
Increase in Openings by 2030:
4%
Annual Salary Range:
$62,610 - $148,580
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree