How to Make a Career in Merchant Navy?

8 minute read
merchant navy

Merchant Navy force is a particular industry which is completely occupied with business exercises including transportation of load and travellers through ocean courses. Fittingly named as “Shipper Marine”, Merchant Navy is a significant piece of the worldwide delivery division and is a vital part of any country’s economy. It is one of the trending courses after Engineering that you must consider, owing to its handsome pay package and job novelty. As most of the world’s business exercises are brought out through the ocean routes, the field of dealer naval force gets high prestige all over the globe. It is a worldwide industry with a few nations cooperating on various sorts of vessels. In this article, you are going to learn about the details and prospects of a career in the Merchant Navy. So gear yourself and let’s dive into the blog.

Merchant Navy

The Merchant Navy force alludes to the business division of oceanic transportation. It has no inclusion in military assistance, but instead the delivery of load and individuals across ocean courses on board freight boats, big hauliers, and luxury ships. The oceanic business remains at the core of worldwide associations and economies as a part of the world exchange between countries. The business offers job opportunities both adrift and onshore. They provide some of the best career options after completing schooling. These courses are designed to perforate the knowledge and build the entire team of the naval force. Vendor ships utilize an immense number of labourers to start merchandise with one nation then onto the next. The experts dealing with these business ships are called sailors or marines. Positions on board trader boats can ordinarily be separated into four offices:

  • Deck division/route
  • Building office
  • Electro-specialized office
  • Stewards office/accommodation. 

When joining the trader naval force, it is fundamental for students to have a basic knowledge of each one of these divisions and the central duties of their offices. 

Also Read: Marine Engineering

Merchant Navy Eligibility

There are a few basic eligibility criteria that an applicant must fulfil to apply for the courses. Here are a few of them:

  • The basic qualification for joining the dealer naval force courses is completing class 12 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. This is applicable for Bachelor’s degrees and most diploma courses.
  • Applicants must be unmarried Indian residents (male or female) within the age limit of 28.
  • Good Vision is desirable but glasses with lens power up to 2.5 might be permitted. 
  • Applicants need to take a boat instructional class before doing a commercial movement. The course is commonly momentary where the students are acquainted with the essential security norms of travelling.

Medical Requirements

Apart from educational requirements, here are Medical Fitness Requirements for Merchant Navy Courses:

  • Candidates applying must be medically fit including hearing and eyesight. 
  • They must have a normal vision (6/6) in each eye separately. 
  • It is required that the candidates produce a certificate for medical fitness by authorised authorities.

Join Merchant Navy

There are quite a few ways for students to enter a Merchant Navy course. Students can pick an admission route as per their convenience and the type of job they seek with the Merchant Navy. Here are some of the prominent methods:

Selection Tests

To apply for specialized courses in the Merchant Navy, Students usually appear for some selection tests. These tests ensure a place for the students in prominent Institutes Following is some well-known tests: 

  • AIMNET (All India Merchant Navy Entrance Test)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Marine Engineering (PGDME)
  • IMU CET 
  • JEE Advanced 
  • MERI Entrance Exam 
  • TMI SAT 

Sponsorship Based Entry

Students can get sponsored entry to Merchant Navy courses if they apply to the well-known institutes for marine programs. They can apply for sponsorships at big marine organizations. If these organisations see potential in students, they provide them sponsorship for education as well as to work with the shipper naval force. 

Lateral Entry (LE) into the second year of Marine Engineering

Direct Admission can likewise be taken into the second year of marine designing projects endorsed by the Directorate General of Shipping. There are two different ways of making sure about LE seats in Marine Engineering programs: 

  • Completing the first year with Mechanical or Electrical Engineering.
  • Having a Diploma in related Engineering courses with a minimum score of about 60%.

How to Join the Merchant Navy after 12th in India?

After following the aforementioned requirements and criteria, students can apply for the courses in the following colleges to join the merchant navy in India.

  • Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI)
  • Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies- Mumbai
  • International Maritime Institute (IMI) Delhi
  • Vels Academy of Maritime Studies Chennai
  • Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education and Training (MANET) Pune
  • Institute of Technology & Marine Engineering (ITME) Kolkata
  • B.P. Marine Academy Navi Mumbai
  • TS Rahaman Mumbai
  • Indian Maritime University (IMU) Chennai
  • Coimbatore Marine College (CMC) Coimbatore

How to Join Merchant Navy after 10th?

In order to join the merchant navy after class 10, here are the following courses you may pursue:

  • Near Costal Voyage (NCV)
  • Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS)
  • Comercial Diving
  • G.P. Rating

Merchant Navy Colleges

As marine trade is an integral part of the economy of all developing and developed nations, there are specialised courses available in top universities around the world. Here are some of the popular options: 

Edith Cowan UniversityAustralia
Aarhus University, School Of Marine And Technical EngineeringDenmark
The University of StrathclydeUK
British Columbia Institute Of Technology, Pacific Marine Training CampusCanada
Griffith UniversityAustralia
Fleetwood Nautical CollegeUK
Hiroshima National College Of Maritime TechnologyJapan
Australian Maritime CollegeAustralia
The University of New OrleansUSA
Manukau Institute of TechnologyAustralia

Merchant Navy Courses 

Arising predominantly in the Science stream, here are some of the courses which facilitate a career in the Merchant Navy:

B.Tech Marine EngineeringDiploma in Marine Engineering (DME)Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS)B.Tech Harbour & Ocean Engineering
General Purpose Rating CourseMBA Shipping FinanceB.Sc Nautical ScienceB.E Marine Engineering
B.E. Mechanical EngineeringB.Tech Ship BuildingB.E Harbour and Ocean EngineeringElectro-Technical Officer Course
B.B.A. Logistics & Supply Chain ManagementHigher National Diploma (Marine Engineering) Marine Engineering under Alternate Training Scheme M.B.A. Shipping & Logistics Management
BBA ShippingHigher National Diploma (Nautical Science) ETO (Electro-Technical Officer)B.Tech Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering

Merchant Navy 6-month Course

The merchant Navy 6-month course is called the GP Rating. It stands for General Purpose Rating and is a 6-months course. After completion of the course, candidates may join Merchant Navy ships as Deck or engine crew. After serving efficiently and performing well on the ship, their rank and salary can also increase. The age requirement for pursuing GP Rating is 17 to 25 years. Candidates to wish to pursue this course must have passed the 10th standard with a minimum of 40% from a Recognized board.

Subject and Syllabus

The Syllabus and Subjects covered in Merchant Navy Courses are as follows.

  • Marine Boiler and System Engineering
  • Maritime Law
  • Naval Architecture
  • Mechanics of Fluids
  • Ship Operation Technology
  • Marine Auxiliary Machine
  • Principles of Navigation
  • Marine IC Engineering
  • Shipping Management
  • Voyage Planning and Collision Prevention
  • Marine Electrical Technology
  • Nautical Physics and Electronics Paper
  • Electrical Machines
  • Cargo Machine and Marine Communication
  • Marine Heat Engines and Air Conditioning
  • Marine Machines and System Design
  • Environmental Science
  • STCW and Ship Fire Prevention

Merchant Navy Official Website

The official website of the Merchant Navy is Through this, you can apply online for the Indian Merchant Navy. The merchant navy online form is a simple google form of 3 pages. Here, you need to fill in the general and educational information. Once you have completed the application form, you can also download your admit card directly from the website. You can take the online test and receive the result on the same website. 

Types of Merchant Navy Cargos

If you are planning to start your career in the sea, then you should be aware of the types of cargo carriers you will be getting into. Choosing the type of bulk carrier plays a big role in your professional career as a merchant navy.

  • Bulk Carrier – This type of carrier mainly delivers unpacked bulk of cargo thatincludes ore, coal, cement, and other such materials.
  • Reefer Ship – These ships are mostly temperature controlled as they transfer perishable items such as vegetables, dairy products, fish, and meat.
  • Roll on/off Ship – These ships have advanced ramps structred to drive in and out vehicles such as cars, trucks, rail road cars and more. They are in-charge of moving vehicles and other transport equipments.
  • Oil Tanker/Chemical Tanker – Porbably one of the most in-demand and equally tough cargo ship is the oil tanker or the chemical tanker. There are two types of oil tanker. One carries crude oil and the other carries different petroleum products.
  • LNG Carrier – The ships in-charge of carrying Liquified Natural Gas are some of the highest paying ships for merchant navys.

Merchant Navy Ranks

There are several departments and ranks in the merchant navy. Depending on which field you wish to pursue, you can take the merchant navy course. Ship officers usually work in two departments- Deck and Engineering. 

For deck officers, there are around 7 positions:

  • Captain
  • Chief Officer
  • Second Officer/ Mate
  • Deck Cadet
  • Bosun
  • Able seaman

For engineers, there are 5 positions:

  • Chief Engineer
  • Second Engineer/ Assistant Engineer
  • Third Engineer/ Second Assistant Engineer
  • Fourth Engineer/ Third Assistant Engineer
  • Fifth Engineer/ Fourth Assistant Engineer

Other than these, there are also catering and housekeeping staff.

Job Prospects

There are various career opportunities in this field and salaries differ depending on the post of the candidates. Merchant navy officers are usually employed by commercial shipping companies to work on seagoing vessels, such as tankers, cruise liners, hovercraft, and cargo ships. Candidates initially work as trainees or Deck Cadets. The other positions on the Merchant Navy are Captains, 2nd/3rd Officers, and Chief Officer.


The salary after completing a merchant navy course depends on the position, experience, and extra education. Sailors serving in the merchant navy get tax free salaries if they spend 183 days of a year in international waters, otherwise, the salary is taxable as per the laws of the GOI. The following are a few of the careers and salaries of a merchant navy graduate.

Job ProfileAvaerge Salary (Per Month)
Deck CadetINR 25,000 to 85,000
3rd Officer/ 2ndOfficerINR 1,50,000 to 3,00,000 
Chief OfficerINR 4,00,000 to 6,00,000 
CaptainINR 8,65,000 to 20,00,000 

Merchant Navy is a unique career option in itself. Here are some more options for all science students out there: Career Options after 12th Science PCM Other than Engineering


Is merchant navy a good career option?

If you want to earn while travelling and love voyages, merchant navy is a good option for you which also comes with a handsome salary package. The only con is that people have to stay away from their homes for many days at a stretch.

What is the age limit for the merchant navy?

The age limit is 17 to 25 years.

How long is the Merchant Navy job?

People working in the merchant navy work for 6-7 months at a stretch which can increase owing to uncertainty. They are given vacations for 5-6 months.

Is swimming necessary for the merchant navy?

Swimming is not compulsory but can be useful for people working in the merchant navy.

Numerous opportunities lie waiting out on the sea for students who want a career in the Merchant Navy. While being highly rewarding both financially and professionally, this career option is apt for those who harbour a passion for the seas. If you are also an inquisitive student browsing through such amazing career opportunities, have a little chat with our experts at Leverage Edu. They can help you sort through the plethora of opportunities available throughout the world with their years of experience in the field of education. Register for a free e-meeting to avail of these services today!

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  1. As a Management gratuate student , today i was thinking about the can i pursue career in merchant navy and your page gave me so much knowledage with basic detection that i have ever seen .

  1. As a Management gratuate student , today i was thinking about the can i pursue career in merchant navy and your page gave me so much knowledage with basic detection that i have ever seen .