What does a Naval Architect do?

A naval architect works as part of a team responsible for designing, producing and repairing safe, sea-worthy surfaces or underwater vessels. They work with a range of vessels including ships, ferries, submarines, and yachts. Naval architects study design proposals and specifications to establish basic characteristics of a ship, such as size, weight, and speed. Additionally, they develop sectional and waterline curves of the hull to establish the center of gravity, ideal hull form, and data on buoyancy and stability. Naval architects generally work for government departments such as the Ministry of Defense.

A bachelor's degree in Naval Architecture or a related field such as Engineering or Marine Science may also be accepted for naval architect positions. Successful naval architects possess excellent spatial awareness and strong IT skills.

  • Assess project requirements and research feasibility
  • Negotiate and agree on project budgets, timescales, and specifications with clients
  • Plan and supervise the construction of vessels
  • Produce detailed designs of ships, boats and other maritime vessels using drawings and specialist computer software
  • Develop and utilize test procedures including computer modeling and scale models
  • Interpret and analyze data and test results
  • Source and purchase components, equipment and materials
  • Lead teams from a variety of specialties to oversee building and testing prototypes
  • Able to analyze and interpret technical information and drawings
  • Relevant shipyard/design office work experience is desirable
  • Keen on thinking creatively
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Able to work effectively with a team of engineers
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent spatial awareness
  • Solid understanding of hydraulics, materials testing, electrical theory
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience5-7 years

Naval Architect Salaries

Average Base Pay

£38,652 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: £39K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Naval Architect Career Path

Learn how to become a Naval Architect, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Naval Architect
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Naval Architect Insights

Read what Naval Architect professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Assistant Quantity Surveyor
9 Jan 2020

“the ability to work on some of the biggest projects in the world and good work/life balance”

John Sisk & SonJohn Sisk & Son
Quantity Surveyor
6 Aug 2021

“This is a great place to develop your skills and get good exposure for your career.”

Eliot Community Human ServicesEliot Community Human Services
GCW II Supervisor
15 Oct 2020

“Supervisors do the majority of the work and there is not a lot of opportunities for growth.”

Quantity Surveyor
29 Dec 2020

“Good staff are overworked while weak staff are let away with doing little to nothing.”

Axis EuropeAxis Europe
Trainee Quantity Surveyor
4 Sep 2019

“A good place to start out at but don’t count on advancing your career here at Axis.”

CPG CorporationCPG Corporation
Quantity Surveyor
14 Aug 2021

“limited career progression only i have nothing else to add please move on not enough words thank you very much bye bye bye bye bye”

Quantity Surveyor
27 Oct 2020

“career development is slow and so”

US ArmyUS Army
25 Jan 2022

“It was fun made good friends and learned a lot”

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Naval Architect Interviews

Related Careers

Project Engineer
13% skills overlap
Project Manager
No skills overlap
Program Manager
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Civil Engineer
25% skills overlap

Naval Architect jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a naval architect

When working as a naval architect, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Quantity Surveying, CAD Software, AutoCAD, Calculations and Microsoft EXCEL.

The most similar professions to naval architect are:
  • Project Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • Program Manager
  • Civil Engineer

The most common qualifications to become a naval architect is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.