How to Break into the Shipyard Industry When You Have No Experience

Do you dream of working around ships? Maybe you even imagine yourself building ships in the future. A career in the marine industry is a great opportunity, but how do you break in when you have no experience? What are marine companies looking for in terms of experience and background? Before you decide on your next steps, here are a few things you can do to get into shipbuilding, even when you’ve had no prior experience.

General Labor

While many shipyard jobs require experience, not all do. If you have a general labor background in another industry, you may be able to land your next opportunity in a shipyard. These jobs generally require a background in warehouse or labor, safety experience, and a high school diploma or GED.

Entry Level Jobs

Similarly, there are other entry-level positions you may qualify for. For example, if you have some experience in fabrication or welding, you may be able to find an entry-level job in a shipyard, even if you don’t start out doing these exact tasks with the ship.


It can also pay to acquire more education in fields generally in demand in shipyards. There are dedicated shipyard academies all over the country, or you can take related classes at your local trade school. Welders, electricians, and pipefitters are always in demand.


One of the most common ways to receive formal training in shipyard jobs is by working as an apprentice. Talk to the local community through your trade school to see if you can be paired with a mentor who can show you the ropes to help you learn what you need to know. This also gives you a resource for your questions as you learn.

Work with a Staffing Agency

Another way to find opportunities within a shipyard environment is to talk to a staffing agency specializing in these placements. They can work with you to find the right entry-level or general labor job to fit your skills and interests.

Are you looking to break into the shipyard industry for your first job? Contact the team at Hutco to see what we’re working on today.