What jobs are there in shipbuilding?

20 Apr 2023

What jobs are there in shipbuilding?

It’s hard to think of a sector that is more diverse and richer in terms of its people than the shipbuilding industry.

When you think about how impressive naval and cruise ships are, it’s not surprising that it takes a vast range of skills, experience, and qualifications to construct these incredible vessels. What this means is a big range of jobs and opportunities in a time of economic uncertainty; this is one sector that shows no signs of abating.

Ships are such complex and involved pieces of construction that they need so many different trades and skill sets, below is a brief look at just some of the incredible people that bring these to life:

Contract manager
The Contract Manager as you would expect takes responsibility for the negotiating phase of a shipbuilding project and the contracting instigated from that. Clearly, this role is a central player in the project team both in terms of the precontract stage involved in bids and tenders and the execution phase.

Production director
A shipyard Production Director will create and oversee procedures and systems which ensure productivity in the shipbuilding project is optimised. They implement processes, meet deadlines, and ensure operations are run efficiently.

Project manager
Project managers are also sometimes called marine engineers and will set objectives and milestones as well as take responsibility for performance. They will work with multiple teams and trades and closely monitor initiatives from start to finish.

Marine surveyors
At every stage of the construction of a ship, Marine Surveyors cross-check production drawings against the dimensions of the components as the ship is assembled. They have a very important job in the respect that they certify each stage of construction.

Plumbing onboard a ship is clearly vastly different to domestic work. The layout of piping throughout the ship is detailed in drawings which this trade must be able to interpret. Plumbers that work on shipping projects also need good knowledge of valves and systems.

Structural Fabrication 
A significant part of the shipbuilding project is the structural integrity and particularly the hull. As well as working with metals, structural fabricators need to read engineering drawings. Shipyard structural fabricators use advanced engineering techniques to machine metal components to create strength.

Many of the ship’s systems are reliant on electrical power, so taking responsibility for the cables onboard the ship is a skilled job. It’s not just lighting, navigation, equipment, and radars are an integral part of a naval ship and therefore shipyard electricians have an important job.

There are so many more jobs that need to be carried out in a shipbuilding project, but we can’t list them all. From industrial painters to welders and industrial cleaners, it is a hugely important industry for the UK economy.

We are proud to help provided resources to every shipyard in the UK from Cammell Laird to Portsmouth to Belfast. We have stacks of opportunities for candidates who are committed, skilled and reliable.

Unsure if you have the right skills or qualifications to find work? Come and talk to our team today and join a fast-paced growing sector today.