“I took a job as a welder in a shipyard, and wound up with a career as a “Shipbuilder.” I now have 24 years of experience in an industry I can enthusiastically recommend to any person seeking a career that is as unique as it is exciting. Work isn’t work when it’s fun, and building ships is fun!”
– Daryl Lanaville
Manager of Planning, Marinette Marine Corporation
NCMMA Education Partners
Below is a list of occupations you will find at many of the shipbuilding companies that are part of the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance. Click the links for more information about the programs offered at NWTC.
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.
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 setup 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, patternmaker, mold maker, tool and die maker, CNC programmer, or machine shop foreperson/supervisor. Programs are available at NWTC.
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 fabricate, install, and test electrical components and systems. This includes cable pulling, termination, and hookup, and can also include fiber optics. Electrical systems include primary electrical power generation and distribution, machinery control systems, navigation systems, and weapons controls systems. Electrical programs are available at NWTC.
HVAC mechanics fabricate, install, and test HVAC components. This can include the fabrication of sheet metal ducting components. Programs are available at NWTC.
Hydraulic mechanics install and test hydraulic components and systems. This can include some pipe fitting (see below). Programs are available at NWTC.
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, wet bagging, to resin infusion.
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.
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.
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/pipefitters cut, fit, bend, weld pipe and pipefittings together to make pipe subassemblies or ‘spools’. They install the spools and other piping components to create pipe systems, followed by flushing and testing the pipe systems. The pipe systems carry such things as potable/ballast/cooling water, lube/fuel oil, hydraulics, and high pressure air. Programs are available at NWTC.
Production control is responsible for planning, scheduling, issuing, and monitoring the performance of production work. Production control also generates the human resource, facility plans, and forecasts to support the work.
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 are responsible for the assembly of the primary structure of a vessel according to the dimensional requirements of the design. If a vessel is made of steel or aluminum, the fitter will use tack welds and temporary bracing 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.
The warehouse and material handlers receive, store, pick, kit, and deliver material to production as 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.