Naval Architecture is a discipline of the applied sciences field focused on floating structures, with an estimated practicing population of 40,000 worldwide. One who practices naval architecture is known as a naval architect. As vessels operate in a complex environment, often at the turbulent transition of air and sea mediums, numerical analysis can be difficult or impossible. For this reason, naval architecture is often described as much as an art as a science. The sheer size of some vessels, as well as the requirement to be self-contained when at sea, often makes the practice of naval architecture a co-ordinated effort of many specialists. As a result, naval architects possess the broad knowledge of electronics, marine engineering, stability, ship operations, economics, materials, drafting, construction methods, et al., as is necessary to co-ordinate and accommodate various design requirements.
Naval architects typically have a 3 year diploma or 4 year bachelor of science from an accredited college or university.