Naval Architect

NOC #21399

  • Environment Primarily outdoor work
  • Education Post-secondary degree

Career profile

Naval architects are responsible for planning the whole building process of a vessel, and managing all aspects from the concept to the delivery of the final product. Their specialization is crucial to the development of specialised vessels necessary for the exploration and production of off-shore oil and natural gas as well as for the installation and construction of off-shore facilities in emerging energy sectors such as wind, solar and other power generation sectors.

Naval architects are charged with designing vessels that meet the requirements for which they have been commissioned and usually work closely with marine engineers to ensure that their designs will allow for the incorporation of the numerous systems that vessels require for their operation including safety, propulsion, and navigation.

Naval architects prepare plans, draft design and construction blueprints, and specifications, including any special provisions leading to the concept, design and construction of marine vessels.


In this occupation, activities may include:

  • Developing vessel concepts and design using a variety of CAD and ship-building specific software.
  • Supervising technicians, technologists and other engineers.
  • Overseeing and writing reports and appropriate regulatory applications.
  • Analyzing and defining system requirements which impact the ability to achieve project defined margins, classification society design approvals, and certificates from certification authorities.
  • Assessing and investigating defects in design and construction and proposing solutions to maintain project integrity.


  • A bachelor’s degree in an appropriate engineering discipline is required.
  • A master’s degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.


  • Licensing by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports, and to practise as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).

Additional Requirements

  • Depending on the company and responsibilities, typical requirements may include:
  • Experience with engineering software applications such as SFRAME, STAAD, RISA
  • AeroHydro MultiSurf
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
  • Intergraph SmartMarine 3D
  • ShipConstructor
  • Siemens PLM Software NX
  • The Napa Group NAPA
  • Autodesk Algor Simulation
  • Creative System GHS
  • Herbert Software Solutions HECSALV
  • HydroComp NavCad
  • MSC Software Nastran
  • Proteus Engineering FastShip
  • Seasafe Marine Software Seasafe
  • Strand7
  • Extensive knowledge of all relevant codes and standards
  • Specific health and safety certifications may be required, determined by location of work and company requirements. Marine work in general includes:
  • Basic Survival Training
  • Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET)
  • Minimal or no travel
  • Shiftwork/variable work hours
  • Primarily outdoor work
  • Work not physically demanding
  • Work away from home/in camps
  • Building and Construction
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Design Creation
  • Application of Engineering Design and Technology
  • Security of People and Property
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics
  • Production and Processing
  • Cost Benefit Analysis
  • Interpreting Documents/Plans
  • Operations Design Analysis
  • Professional Judgment and Decision Making