What is the Merchant Navy
The Merchant Navy, often simply referred to as the “Merchant Marine” in the United States, is a fleet of commercial ships and vessels that are engaged in various maritime activities, primarily for transporting goods, cargo, and passengers across international waters. Unlike the naval forces of a country, which are primarily responsible for defense and security, the Merchant Navy focuses on the transportation of goods and people for trade, commerce, and other commercial purposes.
Ships in the Merchant Navy can range from cargo vessels, container ships, bulk carriers, and tankers to passenger liners, cruise ships, and even specialized vessels for offshore activities like oil and gas exploration. The Merchant Navy plays a crucial role in facilitating global trade by transporting raw materials, finished products, and other essential commodities between different countries and continents.
Professionals who work in the Merchant Navy include seafarers, such as officers, engineers, deckhands, and crew members, who are responsible for operating and maintaining the vessels. These individuals spend extended periods at sea, often enduring challenging conditions, to ensure the safe and efficient transportation of goods and passengers across the world’s oceans.
Career in Merchant Navy: An Overview
If you’re intrigued by a career that revolves around transporting goods and passengers across maritime routes, then the Merchant Navy might be your calling. Often referred to as the “Shipper Marine,” this specialized industry is at the heart of global trade and plays a vital role in economies worldwide.
With its attractive remuneration packages and distinct employment opportunities, joining the Merchant Navy has become a sought-after choice, particularly after engineering studies. Given that a significant portion of global economic activities happens on the open seas, the naval sector boasts a robust international reputation.
Merchant Navy: Navigating a Global Career
The Merchant Navy offers a unique and adventurous career path for those with a passion for travel and a fascination with maritime operations. As a merchant naval officer, your responsibilities span across the globe, encompassing tasks such as cargo handling, ship navigation, vessel maintenance, boat cleaning, and cultural exploration. This career is especially appealing to individuals who have a strong wanderlust and a desire to explore different corners of the world. However, this path demands a significant sacrifice—the extended periods spent away from family and loved ones.
Typically, merchant naval officers work intensively for approximately 6 to 7 months, followed by an extended break of 4 to 5 months. One of the most enticing features of this occupation is its tax-free nature. Due to the requirement of spending at least six months outside of India, individuals in this profession are granted Non-Resident Indian (NRI) status, which can have favorable financial implications.
Embarking on a Career in the Merchant Navy: Key Steps
Aspiring seafarers who are eager to explore the maritime world and traverse the high seas often seek entry into the Merchant Navy program. Enrolling in a merchant navy school equips candidates with specialized knowledge about the intricate operations of ships. The table below provides a concise guide on how to initiate your journey into the merchant navy:
|Educational Qualification||Obtain the required educational qualifications, typically including completion of 10+2 with science subjects (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics).|
|Age Criteria||Fulfill the age criteria, usually between 17.5 and 25 years, as specified by the maritime institute.|
|Entrance Exams||Appear for relevant entrance exams such as IMU CET (Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test).|
|Medical Fitness||Undergo a thorough medical examination to ensure physical fitness and meet medical standards set by the industry.|
|Choose Course||Select a suitable course, whether in navigation (deck) or marine engineering.|
|Training Institutes||Join a recognized maritime training institute to undergo rigorous training and education in the chosen field.|
|Sea Service Training||Complete mandatory sea service training as part of the curriculum, typically lasting 6 to 12 months.|
|Certifications||Acquire necessary certifications like STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) to comply with international standards.|
|Preparatory Courses||Attend preparatory courses for merchant navy entrance interviews and aptitude tests.|
|Placement||After successful completion, secure placement as a deck officer or marine engineer on merchant vessels.|
|Eligibility||Completion of 10+2 or at least a graduate degree in a relevant field.|
|Specialization||– B.Tech Marine Engineering, B.Tech Ship Building, Diploma in Nautical Science|
|Age Limit||Minimum: 17 years-Maximum: 25 years|
|Entrance Exams||– Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test (IMU CET)<br>- JEE Advanced – All India Merchant Navy Entrance Test (AIMNET)|
|Job Opportunity||School, College, Educational Institute, Professional College, etc.|
|Average Starting Salary||Rs. 3.50 – 5 LPA|
|Highest Salary||Rs. 63 LPA|
How to Join Merchant Navy After the 10th?
If someone aspires to join the Merchant Navy after completing their 10th standard, they should attain a minimum grade point average of 40%. This requirement is applicable only to specific courses, and admission is determined through a series of examinations and evaluations. The process involves passing an initial exam, followed by a screening test and a written examination. After the 10th standard, students can choose from various courses within the merchant navy, such as:
- Deck Rating Course
- Diploma in Marine Engineering (followed by DME pre-sea training)
- Engine Rating Course
- GP Rating Course
- NCV Course
- Saloon Rating Course
How to Join the Merchant Navy after the 12th?
Pursuing a career in the Merchant Navy after completing high school is an achievable goal. Individuals can enter the Navy by meeting specific examination and percentage criteria for this educational level. If considering a career in the merchant navy after completing the 12th grade, the following factors should be taken into account:
- The candidate should have achieved at least 60% in the class 12 examinations with Physics, Mathematics, or Chemistry as subjects.
- Unmarried status is a requirement for both males and females.
- Applicants should fall within the age range of 17 to 25.
- Physical fitness and a fitness certificate are essential for enrollment.
- An entrance exam, followed by a screening test, written examination, interview round, and medical examination, are part of the admission process.
- Successful completion of the ship training course is mandatory.
How to Join Merchant Navy Eligibility Requirements
Eligibility requirements for joining the Merchant Navy include:
- Having studied physics, math, or chemistry in class 12th and obtaining a minimum of 60% marks.
- Proficiency in the English language, with a requirement of 50% in English subjects.
- Being unmarried at the time of joining, applies to both men and women.
- Meeting specific vision requirements depending on the chosen course.
- Adhering to age criteria of being between 17 and 22 years old.
- Maintaining good physical fitness for the merchant marine.
Steps of How to Join Merchant Navy in India
Aspiring candidates looking to join the merchant navy in India can follow these steps:
- Successfully pass the class 12 board examinations with a minimum of 60% or equivalent CGPA, focusing on Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
- Clear the JEE and IMU CET entrance tests, followed by an interview and medical examination.
- Enroll in a BSc Nautical Science program at a reputable nautical science institution.
- Complete an 18-month cadet onboard training before applying for the Indian government’s competence exam.
- Begin the journey as a Third Officer, with opportunities for rank upgrades and promotions by consistently excelling in yearly tests.
How to Join the Merchant Navy in India?
To embark on a career in the merchant navy in India, prospective candidates can follow these stages during their academic journey:
- Successfully complete Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as mandatory subjects.
- Maintain normal vision, with allowances for glasses with a prescription of plus or minus 2.5.
- Attend a ship-training course before employment to learn fundamental travel security considerations.
How to Join Merchant Navy Medical Requirements
Entering the merchant navy involves fulfilling specific medical prerequisites. The following health criteria should be met:
- General Constitution: The candidate’s weight should be above 42 kg, and their height should not exceed 150 cm. The chest should be at least 5 centimeters larger.
- Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT): No harm should be present in any of these areas.
- Other Medical Disorders: No significant medical conditions in the lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, skin, speech, or neurological systems should hinder entry.
- Skeletal System: No joint or muscle limitations, chest or joint deformities, aberrant spine curvature, or fractures with pins are allowed.
How to join Merchant Navy: Maritime Courses
Several maritime courses can be pursued to enter the Merchant Navy, including:
- B.Tech in Marine Engineering
- B.Sc in Nautical Science
- Diploma in Nautical Science
- B.E in Marine Engineering
- GME (Graduate Marine Engineering)
- DNS (Diploma in Nautical Science)
- B.Sc in Ship Building and Repair
- Electro Technical Officer Course (ETO)
Certificate Course Maritime Catering
A Certificate Course in Maritime Catering is a one-year full-time certification course or diploma program. Here are the details of the certificate course:
|Examination Type||Semester Type|
|Course Fee||INR 10,000 to 3 Lakhs|
|Admission||Merit-based or Entrance based|
|Average Starting Salary||INR 1 to 20 Lakhs|
|Top Job Profiles||Chief Cook, Catering Officer, General Steward, Hotel Manager, Maintenance Manager.|
|Top Recruiting Areas||Hospitals, hotels, airlines, motels, cruise lines, guest houses, restaurants, industrial canteens, resorts, shipping zones.|
Diploma in Nautical Science
Diploma in Nautical Science is a one-year full-time Diploma study in Nautical Science. Here are the details of the diploma course:
|Examination Type||Semester Type|
|Course Fee||INR 2,000 to 3 Lacs|
|Admission||Merit-based or Entrance based|
|Average Starting Salary||INR 2 to 15 Lacs|
|Top Job Profiles||Marine Engineering Instructor, Operation Manager, Trainee Navigating Officer, Teacher, Lecturer|
|Top Recruiting Areas||Indian Naval Sciences, Port Operations Companies, Weather Forecasting Centers, Educational Institutes|
|Recruiters||SMEC Automation Private Limited, American Cruise Lines, GMMCO Limited, GE Shipping Co Limited, TMC Shipping Private Limited|
BE Marine Engineering
The B.E. in Marine Engineering course involves the study of the manufacture, design, development, and maintenance of sea equipment used in boats, ships, submarines, or other water transportation. Here are the details of the bachelor’s course:
|Course Level||BE Marine Engineering|
|Full Form||Bachelor of Engineering in Marine Engineering|
|Examination Type||Semester Type|
|Average Tuition Fees||INR 15,000 to 15,00,000|
|Admission||Merit-based or Entrance based|
|Average Starting Salary||INR 5,00,000 – 12,00,000|
|Top Job Profiles||Maritime Educators, Second Marine Engineer, Ship Manager, Ship Operator, Marine Surveyor, Chief Marine Engineer, Port Manager, and more.|
|Top Recruiting Areas||Research and Deployment Centers, Ship Building Companies, Naval Jobs, Harbours and Ports, Colleges and Universities, etc.|
How to join Merchant Navy: Subjects & Syllabus
Here are the subjects and syllabus to follow for those interested in joining the Merchant Navy after classes 10 and 12:
- Near Coastal Voyage (NCV)
- Commercial Diving
- Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS)
- GP Rating
After the 12th to join as a Deck Officer:
- B.Sc. Nautical Science
- Diploma in Nautical Science (Leads to a BSc Nautical Science)
After the 12th to join as an Engineer:
- B.E. Petroleum Engineering
- B.E. Marine Engineering
- B.E. Naval Architecture, and Offshore Engineering
- B.E. Harbour & Ocean Engineering
- B.E. Mechanical Engineering
- B.E. Civil Engineering
- B.Sc. Marine Catering
- B.E. Electrical & Electronics Engineering
- Electro-Technical Officer Course
List of Top Best Colleges to Join Merchant Navy
|Name of Colleges||Location|
|Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education and Training (MANET)||Pune|
|Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies||Mumbai|
|Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI)||Pune|
|International Maritime Institute (IMI)||Delhi|
|Vels Academy of Maritime Studies||Chennai|
|B.P. Marine Academy Navi||Mumbai|
|Coimbatore Marine College (CMC)||Coimbatore|
|Institute of Technology & Marine Engineering (ITME)||Kolkata|
|Indian Maritime University (IMU)||Chennai|
How to join Merchant Navy: Salary 2023
The Merchant Navy offers attractive salary options. Here are the details:
Average Annual Salary:
- Government: NA
- Private: INR 75,000 – INR 75,00,000
Experience Wise Salary:
- Fresher: INR 27 lakh
- Experienced: INR 1.2 Crore
Specialization Wise Salary:
- Trainee: Rs. 8 lakh
- Deck Cadet: Rs. 1 lakh
- 2nd Officer: Rs. 5 lakh
- 3rd Officer: Rs. 7 lakh
- Chief Officer: Rs. 6 lakh
- Captain: Rs. 10 lakh
Skills Required to Join Merchant Navy 2023
Here are some essential skill sets required to join the Merchant Navy:
- Collaborative Effort
- Enjoying Aquatic Activities
- Interpersonal Abilities
- Making Plans and Making Decisions
- Patience and Fortitude
- Practical understanding of Physics, Mathematics, and Navigation
- Rational and Analytical Thinking
- Sailing Enthusiasm
Frequently Asked Questions
Q-1: What colleges offer courses in the Merchant Navy?
Ans: Several colleges provide courses in Merchant Navy, including C.V. Raman College of Engineering, AMET University, Balaji Seamen Training Institute, Chennai School of Ship Management, Chidambaram Institute of Maritime Technology, Indian Maritime College, International Maritime Academy, and more.
Q-2: What is the average salary of a Merchant Navy Officer?
Ans: The average monthly salary of a Merchant Navy Officer ranges between INR 1,00,000 and 7,00,000 INR.
Q-3: Is the income in the Merchant Navy tax-free?
Ans: Yes, income earned by sailors in the Merchant Navy is tax-free if they spend at least 183 days of the year in international waters. Otherwise, their salary is taxable according to the regulations of the Government of India.
Q-4: What are the different job profiles in Merchant Navy?
Ans: The various job profiles in Merchant Navy include Trainee Cadet, Deck Cadet, 2nd Officer, 3rd Officer, Chief Officer, and Cadet.
Q-5: Is working in Merchant Navy a good career choice?
Ans: Yes, pursuing a career in Merchant Navy is a lucrative option and is regarded as one of the prominent professions today.
Q-6: What is the usual salary of a Merchant Navy Captain?
Ans: A Captain in the Merchant Navy typically earns a monthly remuneration ranging from Rs. 8,65,000 to Rs. 20,00,000.
Q-7: How long do merchant navy officers remain onboard a ship?
Ans: Merchant navy officers typically stay onboard a ship for a minimum of 4 months after signing on, until they are relieved by replacements. If replacements are unavailable, officers might remain onboard even during anchoring.
Q-8: How do Merchant Navy officers manage to have sustenance for extended periods without accessing land?
Ans: Merchant Navy ships are stocked with provisions such as meat, rice, muesli, bread, etc., which are stored in chilled conditions, enabling them to be used over prolonged periods.