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Marine Engineers and Naval Architects Job Outlook

Employment of marine engineers and naval architects is expected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The need to design ships and systems to transport energy products, such as liquefied natural gas, across the globe will help to spur employment growth for this occupation. Employment of marine engineers and naval architects also will be supported by the need to modify existing ships and their systems because of new emissions and pollution regulations on cargo shipping.

Marine engineers design and maintain offshore oil rigs. These workers are expected to be in demand as more companies seek and drill for oil and gas deposits in the ocean floor.

Additionally, the increase in international overseas transportation of liquefied natural gas is expected to lead to demand for marine engineers to work on ship crews, though sometimes on ships sailing under foreign flags. The adoption of new and alternative energy sources, such as offshore wind turbines and tidal power generators, will also drive demand for marine engineer and naval architects.

Demand for naval architects will likely come from the need to update fleets to meet new federal requirements for double-hulled ships for transporting oil and gas. In addition, the skills of naval architects may further be required to help design offshore rigs that drill in more inhospitable climates.

Demand for marine engineers and naval architects will also come from the desire to have cargo ships that pollute less. The technology to do this is becoming more cost-effective and the United States and other countries are focusing more on reducing pollution.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition