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Career in Merchant Navy

The opportunity to travel around the world and the lure of adventure on the high seas, besides the possibility of high remunerations attracts many youngsters to make a career in the Merchant Navy. Merchant Navy is different from the navy in the sense that it offers commercial services, as opposed to the navy, which is largely involved in the defence of a nation. 

Merchant Navy is the backbone of international trade, carrying cargo all over the world. The merchant ships employ a huge number of workers to carry and deliver goods from one country to another. Without the merchant navy, much of the import-export business would come to a grinding halt!

A career in the merchant navy is considered a glamorous job, especially by the people who have been bitten by the travel bug. It offers an opportunity to visit new and exotic places all around the globe. Merchant Navy career is not only monetarily rewarding but also satisfying and a quite challenging.

Merchant Navy Careers

Eligibility Criteria

  • The eligibility for joining merchant navy is finishing class 12 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics
  • Candidates have to be unmarried Indian citizens (male or female).
  • Normal vision is required but glasses up to plus or minus 2.5 may be allowed.
  • Admission is through an entrance followed by a screening test and a main written examination.
  • After clearing the test, there is an interview and a medical test.
  • You also need to complete a ship-training course prior to the employment. The course is generally short-term where the candidates are taught basic security concerns of voyaging.


There are some private institutes, which offer training for merchant navy as well. These institutes prepare students for jobs such as deck cadets and marine engineering jobs.

How to Join Merchant Navy After 12th

After class 12, you are eligible to study the following merchant navy courses:

  • B.Sc. Nautical Science
  • B.E. Marine Engineering
  • B.E. Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering
  • B.E. Petroleum Engineering
  • B.E. Mechanical Engineering
  • B.E. Harbour & Ocean Engineering
  • B.E. Civil Engineering
  • B.E. Electrical & Electronics Engineering
  • B.Sc. Marine Catering
  • Electro Technical Officer Course

How to Join Merchant Navy After 10th

Merchant navy courses that you can pursue after 10th include:

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

Job Prospects

There are enormous employment opportunities in this field. Candidates who have finished the basic course in merchant navy can get jobs very easily through various consultants and placement agencies. Merchant navy fleet consist of cargo ships, container ships, barge carrying ships, tankers, bulk carriers, refrigerators ships, passenger ships, as well as roll off/roll on ships. The possibility of finding employment in cargo ships is more as compared to the others.

Companies that run merchant ships require trained people who can operate and maintain the ships. Some of these companies are: Chevron and Mobil of USA, Wallem Ship Management of Hong Kong, Denholm of UK, K Line, Bibby Ship Management, d'Amico etc. India too has its shipping companies, such as the Shipping Corporation of India, Great Eastern Shipping, Essar and Chowgule Shipping. Trained people are required for the three main departments of the ship: the deck, the engine and the service department.

In India, job opportunities are also available in government and private shipping companies like Shipping Corporation of India, clearing houses, del credere agents etc.

Merchant navy job profiles

  • Deck officer (navigation officer)
  • Electro-technical officer (ETO)
  • Engineer
  • Ratings - ratings are skilled seafarers who help all the officers with daily tasks
  • Catering & hospitality crew (pursers, stewards, chef, housekeeper etc.)

Pay Package


In Merchant Navy, the salary can range from anywhere between Rs.12000 to Rs.8 lakhs per month though the pay structure differ from company to company, city to city, the export-import needs, seniority etc. All crew members and officers are given free meals on board and senior officers can take along their wives for the voyage.

A Junior Engineer on a ship can earn around Rs. 30,000 per month with free boarding and lodging while signed on board the vessel. The next level is of Second Engineer and finally, Chief Engineer on a ship. As you keep getting promoted, your salary increases substantially. A Chief Engineer at sea earns Rs. 1.5 lakhs per month or more net of taxes. It takes about 6-7 years for a Junior Engineer Officer to get promoted to the rank of Chief Engineer, depending on individual capabilities and job opportunities available.

A Third Officer's salary is around Rs. 50,000 per month plus free boarding and lodging while on board.Next levels in increasing order of seniority are Second Officer, a Chief Officer and Captain of a ship. A Captain's pay package is Rs. 2 lakhs per month or more net of taxes. It takes about 8 years for a Third Officer to get promoted to the rank of Captain, depending on individual capabilities and the job opportunities available.

Besides this, imported liquor, cigarettes, canned foods, cosmetics are available on board duty free. They are also entitled to four month leave every year. The interesting fact is that there is no income tax return imposed on the earnings of a merchant navy professional. 

Life in merchant navy can be adventurous for all those with wanderlust. The long periods of solitude notwithstanding, the opportunity to see the world and get paid while doing so, just cannot be argued with.

Merchant Navy Institutes

Indian institutes approved by the Directorate General of Shipping is an attached office of the Ministry of Shipping, Govt. of India and offering courses in merchant navy are:

 1

 C.V. Raman College of Engineering

Bhubaneswar

 2

 AMET University

Chennai

 3

 Balaji Seamen Training Institute

Chennai

 4

 Chennai School of Ship Management

Chennai

 5

 Chidambaram Institute of Maritime Technology

Chennai

 6

 CMC Maritime Academy

Chennai

 7

 Cosmopolitan Technology of Maritime

Chennai

 8

 Hindustan Institute Of Maritime Training Post Sea  Training Centre

Kilpauk, Chennai

9

 HIMT College Hindustan Institute Of Maritime Training  Pre-Sea Training Centre

Kalpakkam (Chennai)

 10

 School of Seamanship and Nautical Technology

Kancheepuram

(Tamil Nadu)

 11

 GKM College of Engineering & Technology

Chennai

 12

 GKM Institute of Marine Sciences & Technology

Chennai

 13

 Indian Maritime College

Chennai

 14

 Indus Seafarers Training Academy

Chennai

 15

 International Maritime Academy

Chennai

 16

 Maritime Foundation

Chennai

 17

 MASSA Maritime Academy

Chennai

 18

 Indian Maritime University (National Maritime Academy)

Chennai

 19

 Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Maritime Science  & Engineering

Chidambaram

 20

 S.B.Vignesh Marine Training Centre

Chennai

 21

 Southern Academy of Maritime Studies

Chennai

 22

 School of Maritime Studies (Vels University)

Chennai

 23

 School of Maritime Studies (Vels University)

Chennai

 24

 Coimbatore Marine College

Coimbatore

 25

 Park Maritime Academy

Coimbatore

 26

 SeaSkills Maritime Academy

Coimbatore

 27

 Marine Training Academy

Daman

28

 Centre for Maritime Education and Training

Dehradun

29

 Mumbai Maritime Training Institute

Dehradun

 30

 Oceanic Maritime Academy

Dehradun

 31

 Agnel Maritime Academy

Goa

 32

 Francon's Marine Academy

Goa

 33

 Institute of Maritime Studies

Goa

 34

 Institute of Petroleum Safety, Health & Environment  Management

Goa

 35

 NUSI Maritime Academy

Goa

 36

 Seascan Marine Services Pvt Ltd

Goa

 37

 Natcom Education & Research Foundation

Gurgaon

 38

 Haldia Institute of Maritime Studies & Research

Haldia

 39

 Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy

Karjat

40

 Indian Maritime University  (Kandla Campus)

New Kandla

 41

 Amer Maritime Training Academy

Kanpur

 42

 Noorul Islam University

Kanyakumari (Tamilnadu)

 43

 U. V. Patel College of Engineering

Kharva (North Gujarat)

 44

 MMTI's Education & Research Trust

Khopoli

 45

 Mohammed Sathak Engineering College

Kilakarai(Tamilnadu)

 46

 Cochin Shipyard Limited

Kochi

 47

 Euro Tech Maritime Academy

Kochi

 48

 Institute of Marine Engineers (India)

Kochi

49

 Indian Maritime University (National Maritime Academy)

Kochi

 50

 Kunjali Marakkar School of Marine Engineering of Cochin  University of Science and Technology.

Kochi

 51

 Univan Maritime Training Academy

Kochi

 52

 College of Maritime Studies & Research

Kolkata

 53

 Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd

Kolkata

 54

 Indian Maritime University, Kolkata Campus [Indian  Institute of Port Management]

Kolkata

 55

 Kolkata Port Trust

Kolkata

 56

 Marine Education Charitable Trust

Kolkata

 57

 Indian Maritime University (MERI)

Kolkata

 58

 Maritime Academy of India

Kolkata

 59

 Mercantile Marine Academy Foundation

Kolkata

 60

 S.E.I. Education Trust

Kolkata

 61

 Seacom Marine College

Kolkata

 62

 Sensea Maritime Academy

Kolkata

 63

 Centre for Maritime Education & Training

Lucknow

 64

 Subbalakshmi Lakshmipathy College of Science

Madurai

 65

 RL Institute of Nautical Science

Madurai

 66

 Mangalore Marine College and Technology

Mangalore

 67

 J. Sons Merchant Navy Institute

Meerut

 68

 Anglo Eastern Maritime Training Centre

Mumbai

 69

 Arya Marine Academy

Mumbai

 70

 Bonzer Academy of Maritime Studies

Mumbai

 71

 Don Bosco Normar Maritime Academy

Mumbai

 72

 Gurship Education Trust Maritime Training Institute

Mumbai

 73

 Indian Register of Shipping

Mumbai

 74

 Institute of Marine Engineers (India)

Navi Mumbai

 75

 International Marine Academy

Mumbai

 76

 International Maritime Training Centre

Mumbai

 77

 Indian Maritime University (LBS College of AMS)

Mumbai

78

 Mangalore Marine College (MMC) [Mumbai Campus]

Mumbai

 79

 Indian Maritime University (MERI)

Mumbai

 80

 Marine Medical Clinic

Mumbai

 81

 Marine Training Academy

Mumbai

 82

 Maritime Training Institute

Mumbai

 83

 Mumbai Maritime Training Institute

Mumbai

 84

 Mazagon Dock Limited.

Mumbai

 85

 Naval Maritime Academy West

Mumbai

 86

 OERC Academy

Mumbai

 87

 Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies

Mumbai

 88

 Seafarers Marine Institute

Mumbai

 89

 School of Synergic Studies

Mumbai

 90

 SCMS Maritime Training Institute

Mumbai

 91

 St. Xavier's Technical Institute

Mumbai

 92

 Suraksha Marine

Mumbai

 93

 Tolani Maritime Institute

Mumbai

 94

 TS Rahaman

Mumbai

 95

 Univan Maritime Training Academy

Mumbai

 96

 ABS Industrial Verification (India) Pvt. Ltd.

Navi Mumbai

 97

 Fleet Management Training Institute

Navi Mumbai

 98

 BP Marine Academy

Navi Mumbai

 999

 MASSA Maritime Academy

Navi Mumbai

 100

 Pentagon Maritime Training & Research Institute

Navi Mumbai

 101

 Ramana Academy of Maritime Studies

Navi Mumbai

 102

 Sagar Gyan Academy

Navi Mumbai

 103

 Setrac College of Offshore Training

Navi Mumbai

 104

 SNS Maritime Training Institute

Navi Mumbai

 105

 Indian Maritime University (TS Chanakya)

Navi Mumbai

 106

 United Marine Academy

Navi Mumbai

 107

 Yak Management & Marine Education Centre

Navi Mumbai

 108

 Yak Educational Trust

Navi Mumbai

 109

 Applied Research International

New Delhi

 110

 Anglo Eastern Maritime Training Centre

New Delhi

 111

 Aquatech Institute of Maritime Studies

New Delhi

 112

 Fosma Maritime Institute and Research Organization

New Delhi

 113

 Oceans XV Educational Trust

New Delhi

 114

 Sriram Institute of Marine Studies

New Delhi

 115

 International Maritime Institute Ltd

Noida

 116

 Orissa Maritime Academy

Paradip

 117

 National Inland Navigation Institute

Patna

 118

 Institute of Marine Education & Research Pvt Ltd

Patna

 119

 Neotia Institute of Technology, Management and  Science

24-Pargans(S) (W.Bengal)

 120

 Maritime Education Training & Research Institute

24-Pargans(S)(W.Bengal)

 121

 Trident College of Marine Technology

24-Pargans(S)(W.Bengal)

 122

 School of Higher Academic and Professional Education

Panchkula (Harayana)

123

 Indian Maritime University [Karaikal Campus]

Pundechery

 124

 Pondicherry Maritime Academy

Puducherry

 125

 Sri Chakra Maritime College

Puducherry

 126

 Marine Officers Training Academy

Pondicherry

 127

 RVS College of Maritime Science and Engineering

Pondicherry

 128

 Sai Ram Shipping Science Institute

Pondicherry

 129

 Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Govt. Polytechnique

Port Blair

 130

 Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies

Pune

 131

 Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education & Training

Pune

 132

 Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies

Pune

 133

 Tolani Maritime Institute

Pune

 134

 Vishwakarma Maritime Institute

Pune

 135

 Commander Ali's Academy of Merchant Navy

Secunderabad

 136

 Srivenkateshwara College of Engineering

Sriperumbadur (Tamilnadu)

 137

 Columbus Maritime Training Institute

Thane (Maharashtra)

 138

 Baba Marine Institute

Thane (Maharashtra)

 139

 Mariner's Academy

Thane (Maharashtra)

 140

 Tamilnadu Maritime Academy

Thoothukudi

 141

 PSN College of Engineering & Technology

Tirunelveli (T.Nadu)

142

 Maritime Training Institute [SCI] Tuticorin Campus

Tuticorin

 143

 Asha International Institute of Marine Technology

Varanasi

 144

 Sri Nandhanam Maritime Academy

Vellore (Tamil Nadu)

 145

 Praveenya Institute of Marine Engineering & Maritime  Studies

Visakhapatnam (AP)

 146

 National Ship Design & Research Centre

Vizianagaram (AP)

International Institute offering course in merchant navy are

  • Association of Marine Electronics and Radio College (AMERC)
Glassglow College of Nautical Studies
Glassglow,
United Kingdom

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