Shipyard Orientation

This self-guided, fully-interactive, online orientation engages you in a 3D virtual shipyard!  With your avatar you will explore the shipbuilding industry’s key processes, shipyard departments and workflow.  Learn basic terminology and the functions of major work units as well as safety, confined spaces, weld flash, quality control/quality assurance, environmental compliance, ergonomics, and material flow.  Designed for new employees in all areas of the industry, from administrative to front-line production staff, this course demonstrates how key shipbuilding systems affect organizational performance and the quality of products and services, to enhance cost-savings and production quality.

“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

Occupation Profiles

NCMMA Education Partners

Below is a list of the variousoccupations you will find at many of the shipbuilding companiesthat are part of the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance.Click on the links below for more details about the programsoffered at your local college or university.

  • Carpenters/Joiners

Carpenters and joiners fabricate and install non-structuralbulkheads, partitions, ceilings, furniture, and cabinetry, and alsoinstall similar pre-fabricated components or modules. Thesecomponents may be made of wood, sheet metal, fiberglass, or othermaterials or combinations of materials, and are sometimes of veryfine finish quality, especially on yachts. Carpentryapprenticeships are offered at NWTC.

  • CNC Operator/Programmer

As a computer numerical control technician/programmer operator,you play an important role in today’s modern manufacturingenvironments. You set up and operate computer numerical controlledmachine tools, working from blueprints and set-up sheets. You setup fixturing and tooling, produce and inspect parts, and edit CNCprograms on CNC lathes and machining centers. As a graduate of theMachine Tool-CNC Technician program, you’re also prepared for acareer as a jig and fixture apprentice/trainee, or a manufacturingengineering technician. With additional education and/or workexperience, you may become a journey level machinist, patternmaker, mold maker, tool and die maker, CNC programmer, or machineshop foreperson/supervisor. Programs are available at NWTC.

  • Designer/CAD Modelers

Designers/CAD modelers define the geometry and attributes ofsystems, parts, subassemblies, major assemblies, and final productsusing computer-based design tools, and create drawings for use insystems engineering and production.  Mechanical designprograms are available at NWTC.

  • Electricians

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

  • HVAC

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

  • Hydraulic

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

  • Laminator/Fiberglass/Composites

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

  • Lean

Lean practitioners work with operations to facilitate continuousprocess improvement through the use of tools such as processmapping, 5S, visual management, kabans, etc. Programs are availableat NWTC.

  • Machinist

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

  • Paint Technician

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

  • Plumbers/Pipefitter

Plumbers/pipefitters cut, fit, bend, and weld pipe and pipefittings together to make pipe subassemblies or “spools,” installthese spools and other piping systems components to create pipesystems, and flush and test these pipe systems once installed. Pipesystems carry such things as potable water, ballast water, coolingwater, 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 facilitiesplans and forecasts to support the work.

  • Quality

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

  • Shipfitters/Welders

Shipfitters are responsible for the assembly of the primarystructure of a vessel according to the dimensional requirements ofthe design. If a vessel is steel or aluminum the fitter will usetack welds and temporary bracing as required to hold the structurein place until welded.  Welders are responsible for weldingthe primary structure of a steel or aluminum vessel together afterthey have been fitted. Depending on the shipyard, these twofunctions will either be separate mechanic classifications or asingle 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 andlarge transport equipment used to move and erect large shipassemblies and pieces of equipment such as main engines andgears.