Education or Job? Newbie needs advice...

Discussion in 'Education' started by regan313, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. regan313
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: new orleans, LA

    regan313 Future Yacht Designer

    I am currently looking into switching into the Naval Architecture field.
    Let me start out by describing for you what i want to end up doing
    with this path and you could let me know if i have it all wrong.

    I want to design yachts (luxury yachts or Mega Sailboats) .... by that i mean i want to not only come up with a design concept but be able to know the mechanics of the ship that would make my design actually function with its form.

    1) Is that what a naval architect does?

    to do this it is my understanding that i need my naval architects
    degree. I have just spoken with the Graduate Professor from UNO and
    he has told me that if i hurry i can still get into the masters
    program for next semester. The only drawback is being that my
    undergrad was in graphic design i will be having to take some pre-
    grad non-credit undergraduate courses. thus making my program 4-5

    I have also spoken with a few people from Trinity yachts and they have
    mentioned that with my knowledge of AutoCAD i should be able to get
    an entry level drafter's position.

    2) could you explain a little bit about the day in the life of a
    3) would you recommend getting the degree first and then applying for
    a job?
    4) or would you recommend getting the drafter's position while
    studying for my masters at night?

    Well i guess thats about it for now. Thank you in advance for your
    time. All advice will be greatly appreciated.
  2. DavidJ
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    DavidJ Senior Member

    Good work so far. I don't know why but lots of people never do what you have already done. Contacting companies and schools that interest you is the best first step. Most entry level naval architect jobs will be very similar to the entry level drafter jobs. The assumption would be that with the degree you would advance faster.

    I'm not sure I understand what exactly what you want to do. This would be a very good question to ask Trinity and UNO. Ask each of them what a NA does and see if that sounds like what you want to do. A naval architect is an engineer. They are responsible for the performance and safety of the vessel. Does it float? Is it efficient? - both structurally and performance/fuel economy wise. They are the only member of the design team that has a focus on the project as a whole(at least in the case of the lead NA). As a junior NA you will probably do a fair bit of drafting. You will probably have to do some weight calcs(adding up every single piece of gear and figuring out its centre of gravity). You might design some structure or at least perform structural calculations. You will study and check over different rules and regulations. You will check and recheck everything and attempt to optimize the design, the whole while keeping an eye on what every other member of the team is doing.

    As to which option you should choose that is entirely up to you. I would choose the option of taking the drafting job and doing the degree in the evening, but like I said this is a personal choice. My reason for doing that would be then you could get a good idea as to what it is you really want to do. You could talk to the engineer's, talk to the drafter's, talk to the designer's and best of all you could see what it is that they each do. Then you would have the best idea as to what it is that you want to do and how to get there. You might find after doing the degree that it isn't really what you wanted to do.

    Hope that helps.
  3. regan313
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: new orleans, LA

    regan313 Future Yacht Designer

    Thanks for the advice. Its what my family was telling me as well. but for some reason hearing from someone else makes it sound like a better idea. haha. the only thing that concerns me now is can a graphic design major who learns autocad be a drafter??
  4. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    In most fields, yes- a drafter's job is to take an engineer's or architect's sketches and calculations, and turn them into an accurate drawing or model. Generally a particular degree is not required to do this, but proficiency in the computer system of choice is, as well as the ability to visualize in 2- and 3-dimensional space and to logically fill in missing information.

    Naval architects are engineers- they are the only branch of engineering to not use the word engineer, but they're engineers nonetheless. With this professional qualification comes a great deal of responsibility. The degree program is intended to lay the foundations of this technical knowledge and instill an understanding of the responsibility involved- it is an essential starting point if that's the path you want, but getting the degree is not the end of the learning process. Rather, it's the gateway to a new learning process that will eventually, with time and dedication, make you a capable professional. (FYI, I'm approaching the end of an engineering degree now, although it will be at least 2013 before I would be eligible to become a Professional Engineer.)

    I agree with David here- a drafting job would be something you could do now, it's a foot in the door, and it will help you make the connections between theory and reality. The degree will take longer as a part-time or night-study program, but you'll have the chance to see how that links with the various possibilities that await in the "real world". And you'll be less likely to go broke doing it!
  5. Speng
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: USA

    Speng Junior Member

    The Landing's School also has a program which is one year FT

  6. waterman
    Joined: Feb 2004
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    Location: Nofolk, VA

    waterman Boat Geek

    Drop me a line. I'd be willing to talk with you. Additionally, I went to UNO and was in the last class to graduate before Katrina.
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