Occupation Profiles

NCMMA Education Partners

Below is a list of the various occupations you will find at many of the shipbuilding companies that are part of the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance. Click on the links below for more details about the programs offered at your local college or university.

  • Carpenters/Joiners

Carpenters and joiners fabricate and install non-structural bulkheads, partitions, ceilings, furniture, and cabinetry, and also install similar pre-fabricated components or modules. These components may be made of wood, sheet metal, fiberglass, or other materials or combinations of materials, and are sometimes of very fine finish quality, especially on yachts. Carpentry apprenticeships are offered at NWTC.

  • CNC Operator/Programmer

As a computer numerical control technician/programmer operator, you play an important role in today's modern manufacturing environments. You set up and operate computer numerical controlled machine tools, working from blueprints and set-up sheets. You set up fixturing and tooling, produce and inspect parts, and edit CNC programs on CNC lathes and machining centers. As a graduate of the Machine Tool-CNC Technician program, you're also prepared for a career as a jig and fixture apprentice/trainee, or a manufacturing engineering technician. With additional education and/or work experience, you may become a journey level machinist, pattern maker, mold maker, tool and die maker, CNC programmer, or machine shop foreperson/supervisor. Programs are available at NWTC.

  • Designer/CAD Modelers

Designers/CAD modelers define the geometry and attributes of systems, parts, subassemblies, major assemblies, and final products using computer-based design tools, and create drawings for use in systems engineering and production.  Mechanical design programs are available at NWTC.

  • Electricians

Electricians fabricate, install, and test electrical components and systems.  This included cable pulling, termination, and hookup, and can include fiber optics.  Electrical systems include primary electrical power generation and distribution, machinery control systems, navigation systems, and weapons control systems. Electrical programs are available at NWTC.

  • HVAC

HVAC mechanics fabricate, install, and test HVAC components. This can include the fabrication of sheet metal ducting components.  Programs are available at NWTC.

  • Hydraulic

Hydraulic mechanics install and test hydraulic components and systems. This can include some pipe fitting (see below).  Programs are available at NWTC.

  • Laminator/Fiberglass/Composites

Laminators fabricate molded composite parts combining resins and cloth made of various materials such as fiberglass, Kevlar, and carbon fiber.  Processes can range from wet hand layup, to wet bagging, to resin infusion, to pre-preg.

  • Lean

Lean practitioners work with operations to facilitate continuous process improvement through the use of tools such as process mapping, 5S, visual management, kabans, etc. Programs are available at NWTC.

  • Machinist

A machinist fabricates metal components to high levels of precision using specialized machine tools and may also assemble some types of machinery. Programs are available at NWTC.

  • Paint Technician

A paint technician prepares and cleans surfaces for the application of protective and finish coatings, and then applies and inspects these coatings. In a shipyard this work can include the blasting and painting of very large ship modules or blocks and the fairing and painting of entire hulls. Marine coatings often require a great deal of special care in preparation and application.

  • Plumbers/Pipefitter

Plumbers/pipefitters cut, fit, bend, and weld pipe and pipe fittings together to make pipe subassemblies or "spools," install these spools and other piping systems components to create pipe systems, and flush and test these pipe systems once installed. Pipe systems carry such things as potable water, ballast water, cooling water, lube oil, fuel oil, hydraulics, and high pressure air. Programs are available at NWTC.

  • Production Control

Production control is responsible for planning, scheduling, issuing, and monitoring the performance of production work. Production control also generates the human resource and facilities plans and forecasts to support the work.

  • Quality

Quality personnel inspect in-process and completed work in accordance with standards and specifications established internally and/or by the customer to assure the work is being completed according to process and quality requirements. Programs are  offered through NWTC.

  • Shipfitters/Welders

Shipfitters are responsible for the assembly of the primary structure of a vessel according to the dimensional requirements of the design. If a vessel is steel or aluminum the fitter will use tack welds and temporary bracing as required to hold the structure in place until welded.  Welders are responsible for welding the primary structure of a steel or aluminum vessel together after they have been fitted. Depending on the shipyard, these two functions will either be separate mechanic classifications or a single mechanic classification. Programs are offered at NWTC.

  • Warehouse/Material Handlers

The warehouse and material handlers receive, store, pick, kit, and deliver material to production as it is required.  Material handling is also responsible for operating cranes and large transport equipment used to move and erect large ship assemblies and pieces of equipment such as main engines and gears.


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