Principal Naval Architect

A Naval Architect is to boats and ships what a normal Architect is to houses and buildings.  They are responsible for the overall design of vessel.  Just as a normal Architect might just draw a pretty picture of the outside of a building – or might design the whole structure and every last detail and light switch – so a Naval Architect maybe be involved from everything from basic stability calcs (“Will it float?”) and performance estimates (“How fast will it go?) through to systems engineering and commissioning (“What happens when you push this button?”).

So within “Naval Architecture” are a number of specialist areas which you will need a general knowledge of to any of them – but which you only need to be really good at one or two:

  • Vessel Concept/Exterior Styling
  • Hydrostatics/Buoyancy/Stability
  • Hydrodynamics/Performance/Handling
  • Structural Engineering
  • Advanced 3D Modelling & CAD
  • Systems Engineering – Propulsion/Plumbing/Electrical
  • Construction project management
  • Production Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering/Emissions/Recycling

As a Naval Architect attached to a shipyard your responsibilities are more focused on completing the detail of third-party designs and integrating all of the various aspects of the design into a complete working vessel.

Starting salaries for naval architecture are between £25,000 and £35,000. This can rise to £65,000 for a highly experienced naval architect or an architect in a larger organisation. This will be dependent on experience, location, employer and specialist skills. (Source: Prospects)

For more details about this role, visit:

Prospects: Naval architect job profile |