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A Guide to Naval Architect Profession for Aspiring Students and Professionals

naval architecture

Naval architecture (also knows as Naval Engineering) is the art, science and engineering of designing and manufacturing sea and offshore related vessels such as merchant ships, passenger vessels and ferries, submarines and underwater vehicles, warship, offshore vessels, icebreakers, high speed craft, workboats, yachts, power boats and other recreational craft. In nutshell naval architecture is the science of making a ship fit for purpose.

Who is a Naval Architect?

A naval architect integrates the all activities of shipbuilding and shipyard operations of ocean going vehicles and manages the entire project including repair and maintenance of these vessels. Naval architecture also involves in formulating and following safety and statutory requirements including approval and certification of shipbuilding activities such as ship design and construction. In nutshell a naval architect is an engineer competent in naval architecture.

What are the Career Opportunities for Naval Architects?

Naval architects have a variety of career and employment opportunities across several disciplines and industries. Aspirants may find employment in shipbuilding (commercial, private and defense), passenger transportation, navy and coast guard, offshore, oil & gas, and recreational boating industries. Some of the potential career options include - Ship Design, Ship Construction and Repair, Shipyard Operations, and Statutory Regulations and Surveying. In commercial space, they can find employment in - Marketing and Sales, and Consultancy. And for those who are academically oriented, they can find opportunities in Education, Training, Research and Development.

ship building


Nava Architecture - License / Certification / Professional Memberships (USA)

Professional Engineer Exams are conducted through various agencies and many of the states have prescribed licensing requirement. National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) administers several exams for students as well as professionals. Other programs include memberships and examinations by professional associations such as Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) and/or the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE). These certifications and memberships are great value addition for aspirants for their professional journey. Following exams are available through these institutions:

  • NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)
  • NCEES Principles and Practice of Engineering
  • ASNE Naval Engineering Certificate
  • SNAME Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Exam

Nava Architecture - License / Certification / Professional Memberships (UK)

The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), is an internationally renowned professional institution whose members are involved at all levels in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of marine vessels and structures. A fully qualified Naval Architect is a member of The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) who is registered with the UK Engineering Council (EC) as a Chartered Engineer (CEng), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Engineering Technician (EngTech). The CEng, IEng and EngTech titles can only be obtained through membership of a professional engineering institution such as the RINA. Students who are studying to achieve the academic qualification required to become a member may join the RINA as a Student Member.

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