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4 Ways to Become a Deck Officer in Merchant Navy

Last updated on September 2nd, 2022 at 12:16 pm

The role of a deck officer is really crucial onboard ships. They are responsible for the safe navigation, manoeuvering, handling safety equipment onboard, cargo carried by vessel, communications, etc. All these duties are divided among the officers of the deck department under the supervision of the Master/Captain.

Deck Officer at Watch
Deck Officer at Watch

The job profile of a deck officer is very vast and not just limited to one thing. The majority of young aspiring seafarers in our country want to join the deck side, but most of them are not aware of the nature of work, or the right colleges/courses through which they can become deck officers. 

There are thousands of maritime colleges these days offering a variety of courses and promising safe and secure careers at sea. But very few of them actually deliver on that promise, whereas most of them just leave their candidates hanging after course completion.

It is very important to pursue the right course through a genuine college in order to have a successful career in the shipping industry. But, unfortunately, a large majority of young candidates these days get carried away by the false promises and glamorous lifestyle showcased by these institutes and forget to inquire about the colleges before joining them. 

That is why it is very important for an aspiring seafarer to research each and every aspect of the maritime industry before making up his/her mind to join this field. In this blog, we list some of the courses through which candidates can become deck officers and pursue a respectable and prosperous career at sea. 

1. Diploma in Nautical Science Leading to BSc Degree

1. Diploma in Nautical Science Leading to BSc Degree for becoming deck officer

Diploma in Nautical Science is a one-year undergraduate program that consists of 2 semesters and provides an opportunity for class 12th students to become deck officers. The one-year pre-sea training is followed by 18 months of sea time training, during which the cadets are given a stipend, and free boarding and lodging. Upon completing 18 months of pre-sea, the candidate obtains an Advanced Nautical Technology Certificate. Subsequently, you are eligible for 2nd mate CoC examinations for the post of 3rd Officer conducted by the Mercantile Marine Department of the Government of India. 

Path to become a deck officer

DNS ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA  

The eligibility criteria for the DNS course are as given below: –

AGE The maximum age is 25 years, and the minimum age is 17 years on the date of commencement of the course. A relaxation of 5 years for SC/ST and 2 years for women candidates.
Educational qualifications At the 10+2 level, A minimum of 60% in aggregate (min 70% in AEMA and 65% aggregate) in PCM subjects is necessary to apply for a DNS course.  A candidate who has completed B.Sc in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry or Electronics (with Physics) from a recognized university, with an average of more than 50% marks in the final year and more than 60% as a PCM aggregate at 10+2 level.  A candidate who has completed a B. Tech degree from a university recognized by UGC with a minimum of 50% in the final year and more than 60% marks in PCM at the 10+2 level.
English Candidate should have obtained not less than 60% marks in English as a separate subject, at either 10th or 12th standard or in the Degree course conducted by a recognized Board/University. No relaxation for SC/ST candidates in English.
Physical fitness and Medical Criteria Candidates should be physically fit with 6/6 eyesight without visual aids and no color blindness or night blindness, as specified by DG Shipping.

Best Colleges for Diploma in Nautical Science: 

  1. Anglo-Eastern Maritime Academy
  2. Tolani Maritime Institute
  3. Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies
  4. International Maritime Institute (IMI), Noida 

2. BSc in Nautical Science

2. BSc in Nautical Science

BSc in Nautical Science is a 3-year programme for students who have cleared their class 12th. This course gives the opportunity to serve as a deck officer on ships. Upon successful completion of this course, candidates have to complete 12 months of onboard training. The career progression of a candidate pursuing BSc in Nautical Science is given below.

 

 

  • BSc in Nautical Science Eligibility Criteria:

The minimum eligibility criteria for BSc in Nautical Science course set by DG Shipping is as given below. Many colleges have additional eligibility criteria and selection procedures apart from the standards set by DG Shipping.

AgeThe maximum age is 21 years and the minimum age is 17 years on the date of commencement of the course. A relaxation of 5 years for SC/ST and 2 years for women candidates.
Educational qualifications10+2/equivalent (PCM – a minimum of 60% aggregate) & English – a minimum of 50% in 10th/+2. Note: In the case of SC/ST candidates. There will be a 5% relaxation in eligibility marks; however, it will not apply to English Marks.
EnglishThe candidate should have obtained not less than 50% marks in English as a separate subject, at either 10th or 12th standard. No relaxation for SC/ST candidates.
Physical fitness and Medical CriteriaThe candidate should be physically fit with 6/6 eyesight without visual aids and no color blindness or night blindness, as specified by DG Shipping.

Best Colleges for BSc in Nautical Science: 

  1. Tolani Maritime Institute
  2. T.S. Chanakya

3. HND Nautical Science 

3. HND Nautical Science for becoming a deck officer

The term HND stands for Higher National Diploma. This is a 2-year course conducted between an Indian Institute and a UK-based institute in association with each other. The first year of the course is conducted in an Indian institute whereas the second year is conducted in a UK-based institute. Cadets have to complete a minimum of 15 months of sea time onboard after which they become eligible to qualify for the Deck officer of the watch certificate of competency examinations in the UK. After clearing the examinations conducted by the MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency), the cadet is awarded the 2nd Mate UK license. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Academic Standards: A pass in 10+2 or its equivalent examination with preferably minimum of 60% aggregate in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics group, and preferably at least 50% in English at 10th or 12th standard
  • Medical Standard: Candidate should be physically fit for sea service under standard norms, with minimum unaided vision 6/6 in each eye, and with no colour blindness.

Colleges Offering HND Courses:

  1. AMET University in collaboration with South Tyneside College, UK.
  2. International Maritime Institute, Noida in collaboration with Glasgow College of Nautical Studies, Scotland. 

4. GP Rating

4. GP Rating

The programme lasts for six months. This is a Pre-Sea Training course. (What is Pre-Sea? Pre-sea training is a course that we take before sailing on a ship) The GP Rating program will prepare cadets for two major positions in the maritime industry: deck crew and engine crew.

Individual courses are provided for the Deck and Engine Rating programmes. However, GP Rating combines the two and educates the candidate for both Deck and Engine Rating components.

Cadets will be provided information and abilities connected to subjects such as ship mechanics, swimming, fire prevention and safety technology, first aid, fundamentals of the sea, and so on as a part of the training.

This course is conducted twice a year, with classes beginning in January and July of each year.

Once the GP rating training is finished, the rating can join a ship as a deck or engine rating and work in the deck/engine department under the supervision of senior staff onboard ships.

Promotion prospects for GP Rating on the Deck side.

Promotion prospects for GP Rating on the Engine side.

After completing the required sea time of 36 months they can sit for the 2nd mate exam or MEO Class IV exams. Upon successfully clearing these exams they can board a vessel as an officer. The salary mentioned below is a rough figure just for reference. Click here in case you want to know about the salary offered in Merchant Navy in detail.

Flow Chart Explaining career after GP Rating

  • Qualification for GP Rating Courses

When it comes to qualifying requirements, they look at three primary areas during admission: academic qualifications, medical/physical standards, and the candidate’s age.

 Qualifications in AcademicsMedical/Physical StandardsAge regulations
For individuals who have passed their tenth classA minimum of 40% from a recognised board is required in English, Science, and Mathematics in the 10th or 12th grades.As per Merchant Shipping guidelines, candidates must be physically and medically fit. They must be capable of seafaring. Both eyes must have a vision of 6/6. (Unaided vision). Furthermore, the candidate should not be color-blind.It must be between the ages of 17.5 to 25.
For individuals who want to do a pre-sea GP rating course for Fitters/WeldersPass a two-year Industrial Training Institutes course certified by DVET (Department of Vocational Education and Training) / NCVT (National Council of Vocational Training) as a Fitter / Machinist / Mechanic / Welder / Turner with a least 40 percent total mark in the final year of ITI and a minimum 40 percent in English in 10th / 12th.The candidate must be physically and medically fit. Both eyes must have a vision of 6/6. (Unaided vision)Between the ages of 17.5 and 25
  • Best Colleges for GP Rating:
  1. T.S. Rahaman
  2. Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies (GEIMS)
  3. National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) Goa 

In this blog, we have listed some of the genuine courses offered by reputed colleges in our country, through which you can achieve your dream of becoming an officer of the watch on a navigation bridge. Although, the journey of becoming a deck officer is not an easy one especially for candidates pursuing GP Rating. It requires a lot of patience, persistence, and hard work. We at merchant navy decoded are always there to support and guide you throughout your journey. 

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Thomas Edison

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Mohammad Gauhar
Mohammad Gauhar
6 months ago

Sir after complete Mechanical engineering can DNS is best for future or not.

Praneet Mehta
Admin
6 months ago

Mohammad Gauhar, after completing mechanical engineering you can go for GME, there’s no point of going for DNS as it is entirely different.
here, you can read all the necessary information about GME:
https://www.merchantnavydecoded.com/graduate-marine-engineering/

– Team merchant navy decoded

Abhishek sharma
2 days ago

Yes