Naval architects are also known as naval engineers. They work with design, construction, maintenance and operation of naval craft, passenger and cargo ships, submarines, high-speed ferries and catamarans, tugs, boats, yachts and oil rigs.

Specialisations include structure and design, management, cost calculations, manufacturing processes, research, mechanical practices, hydrodynamics and hydrostatics, stability, propulsion and systems engineering.

Where naval architects are employed

They work in a variety of location from drawing offices to shipyards and onboard for sea trials.


Full-time naval architects in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week.

Graph of pay scales for Naval Architect

Job prospects

Naval architects can be employed in naval architecture consultancies, shipyards, international ship classification societies, boat and shipbuilding firms, boat and ship repair and maintenance companies, port and harbour authorities, shipping lines and offshore engineering oil and gas companies.

In 2011 there were 80 people employed full-time as naval architects in South Australia compared with 23 in 2006.

How to become one

You need a degree in engineering with a major in naval architecture. At school consider doing maths and physics.   

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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