Saturday, September 1, 2012

Careers in Merchant Navy

The Merchant Navy is not related with the army but it is a commercial fleet, which deals with transporting cargo by sea. Its fleet consists of cargo liners, passenger vessels, tankers, carriers, as well as other special types of vehicles. A career in merchant navy is adventurous and challenging, it consists of long voyages to distance places. This career option offer excellent pay and promising promotional opportunities with an opportunity to visit new cities in foreign countries.
The main positions available in the merchant navy are navigating officers, radio officers and marine engineers. These people are generally employed by shipping companies on a contractual basis, for a period of six to nine months'. Some time ago, a career in this field was considered purely for men. But nowadays many women are also taking up jobs as ship doctors and radio officers in navy.
In Merchant Navy, major functions are performed at the Deck, the Engine and the Service Department. Many career options are available for any youngster who wants to join the merchant navy. The deck officers job include the chief officer, captain, second officer, third officer and other junior officers. The engine department consists of the radio officer, chief engineer, electrical officer and junior engineers. The service department manages the laundry, kitchen, medical and other services. Jobs are available with shipping companies in India and other countries.


Educational qualification: For admission in Nautical science and Marine engineering courses minimum eligibility is 10+2 or an equivalent examination with physics, chemistry and mathematics. The candidate should also pass a medical fitness test for sea service under standard norms and with eyesight 6/6 with no color blindness.
Candidates wishing to enter the navigational and engineering fields of Merchant Navy need to complete a Bachelors degree in Nautical Science or Marine engineering.

Selection procedure: For admission in the B.Sc. Nautical Science degree of TS Chanakya, Mumbai; and the four-year Marine Engineering degree course at Marine Engineering Research Institute, in Calcutta and Mumbai, known as DMET, one has to appear in the Joint Entrance Examination conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), which assesses the candidate’s knowledge of physics, chemistry and mathematics. The examination is followed by personal interviews/counseling, where the interviewers assess the degree of alertness, and awareness of the external environment, in the candidates and their suitability for a career in the Merchant Navy.

Direct entry to Merchant Navy is also possible - Students who have cleared their 12th with PCM (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics) are eligible to join as Deck Cadets. Student having a bachelor's degree in Mechanical/ Electrical/ Technology Engineering could also join the Merchant navy as an Engine Cadet/ Fifth Engineer/ Junior Engineer. All the direct entry Deck Cadets are required to undergo basic pre-sea training arranged by the recruiting company itself and the direct entry Engineering cadets have to do a Pre-sea course of 9 months duration in Marine Engineering conducted by the MERI.

Job Prospects

Job Prospects

Merchant Navy is the main part of international trade, carrying cargo across the globe. Without the merchant navy, much of the import-export business is not possible. Therefore trained personnel are required for various departments of the ship and this widens the scope for employment in this field.
They are offered jobs in the following major areas :
·         By various shipping companies in the government and private sector.
·         Foreign shipping companies also offer good job prospects.


The starting salary for fresh graduates can be between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 a month. A person gets a variety of benefits such as accommodation, free food, paid leave, two-way free passage and facilities for families. The salary increases with the experience, qualifications and on the job performance. 

Indian institutes offering courses in merchant navy are:

Academy of Maritime Training
135, East Coast Road, Kanathur
Mahabalipuram, Chennai

Mercantile Maritime Academy
2, New Tartala Road

Lal Bahadur Shastri College of Nautical Sciences
Reay Road
Hay Bunder, Mumbai

National Institute of Port Management
Uthandi, Chennai.

Vel's College of Maritime Studies
Pallavaram, Chennai

International Maritime Institute
Greater Noida UP

SeaScan Marine Services Pvt. Ltd
Panjim Directorate of Fire Services
St. IWEZ Fire Brigade Ground
Panjim, Goa

Tolani Maritime Institute
Pune, Maharashtra

T.S. Chanakya Institute
Mumbai, Maharashtra

T.S. Bhadra

T.S. Mekhala


  1. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

    International Maritime Academy

  2. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

    Merchant Navy - International Maritime Academy, Chennai