how to Join Merchant Navy after Class 12

How to Join Merchant Navy after 12

Last updated on March 10th, 2023 at 11:15 am

Has your search to join merchant navy after class 12 made you stumble upon our blog? If yes, consider yourself lucky because we’ll answer just that question for you. From information on courses, entrance exams, up to the eligibility requirements, covering everything you need to know to join the merchant navy after your class 12th and make a successful career in it.

Merchant Navy as a Career

merchant navy after 12

Class 12th students who have a knack for travelling, and are looking to make a career in commercial shipping can easily choose Merchant Navy as a career option. This is because there are a number of technical and non-technical job options in merchant navy. One can work as a Chief Engineer, Captain, Able-Bodied Seamen, Chief Cook, Steward, Deck Cadet, or a first mate to name a few.

However, there is high competition in this field with the number of officer positions being far less than the number of applicants. Therefore, it requires focus along with having a clear goal to finally get selected and become a part of the maritime workforce.

Steps to Join Merchant Navy after Class 12

There are a few steps to follow, before one decides to join the maritime workforce-

1. Decide-

The best time to make a firm decision to join the merchant navy is when a student is still in school. Once you’ve made your decision you can join the respective courses for a smooth entrance into the maritime field.

merchant navy after 12

2. Choose the Right Subjects-

Keep in mind that to join as an officer one has to have a background in science. Therefore, it is required that you clear your class 12th with Physics, Chemistry, and Math along with English. Any additional knowledge about marine instruments, technical terminology, ships, etc. too works in the benefit of the candidate.

Commerce and Arts students can still join, but as ratings, not officers.

merchant navy subjects

3. Entrance Exams-

Students who want to join merchant navy after class 12 need to pass the Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test (IMU CET) and then acquire a good rank.

If you’re currently preparing for IMUCET, read our blog- How to Prepare for IMUCET? 

Along with IMUCET, students also have to clear their sponsorship exams. Sponsorship refers to getting selected by a company to work aboard their ship after the completion of your pre-sea training course. Students need to appear for sponsorship exams specific to the companies and then later clear the interview. It is the best way to join the merchant navy, because it will ensure that you’ll get onboard after completing your course.

It is suggested to first clear your sponsorship exam and then appear for IMUCET and earn a good rank.

4. College Selection-

Before choosing a college you need to do thorough research to find the best DG Shipping approved college for yourself. Choosing the right college can either make or break your career in the merchant navy. Luckily, you do not have to take the pain of doing your own research because we here at Merchant Navy Decoded have already done rigorous in-depth research for you. We have created a list of colleges as per the courses, which will be mentioned below.

merchant navy colleges
merchant navy colleges

Courses to Join Merchant Navy after 12

To Join as a Deck Cadet in Merchant Navy after 12-

1. Diploma in Nautical Science

diploma in nautical science
Course LevelDiploma
Duration1 year
Eligibility10+2 passed from a recognized board with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and English as subjects.
Age LimitCandidates should not be more than 25 years of age.

Click here to read about the course details, colleges, career progression, and steps to join.

2. BSc. Nautical Science

bsc nautical science to join deck side
Course LevelGraduate
Duration3 years
Eligibility10+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.
Age LimitThe 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.

Want to join the deck side but are still unable to choose which course to go for? Read our following blog – Which is better: BSc Nautical Science or DNS? Click here to read more about bsc nautical science colleges.

To Join as an Engineer in Merchant Navy after Class 12-

Btech Marine Engineering

btech marine engineering
Course LevelGraduate
Duration4 years
EligibilityCandidates who have completed their 10+2 education in science stream from a recognized board where they have studied Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics compulsorily and have secured a minimum overall aggregate of 55% are eligible. Candidates who have a 3-year diploma are also eligible through a lateral entry scheme.
Age LimitFor the general category, the age of the candidate should be between 18 and 25 years on August 1, 2021. For SC/ST candidates, there is a relaxation of 5 years in the upper age limit.

Click here to read more about B.E./B.Tech Marine Engineering- detailed information, eligibility, colleges, etc.

To Join as a Rating after Class 12-

1. GP Rating Course

gp rating course
Course LevelCertificate
Duration6 Months
EligibilityA minimum of 40% from a recognised board is required in English, Science, and Mathematics in the 10th or 12th grades.
Age LimitThe candidates must be between 17 to 25 years of age when the course starts.

Click here to read about GP Rating in detail- eligibility, colleges, fees placement, career progression, etc. 

Read here- Top 3 colleges for GP Rating

To Join the Catering Department after Class 10 or 12-

  1. Saloon Rating Course
chief cook
chief cook
Course LevelCertificate
Duration6 Months
EligibilityPassed class 12th from a recognized board
Age LimitThe age of the candidate should be between 17½ to 25 years of age.

Merchant Navy Medical Test

merchant navy medical test

Before joining any maritime course, the colleges demand their students to clear a medical examination. Students are required to get their medicals done from a DG Shipping approved Doctor. The medicals involve examining your blood pressure, eyesight, hearing, etc. Along with measuring your height, weight and testing for any diseases like diabetes and kidney problems. 

All these tests are done in order to ensure that the student is physically fit and sans any diseases that might pose a problem in the future. As working on ships while sailing worldwide, means limited access to medical facilities. Therefore, it is better to examine and check for any underlying diseases that might pose a threat to your life, or create any problems that might result at the end of your career as a seafarer. 

How to Get an Education Loan for Merchant Navy Courses?

Many of us are unable to finance our maritime education because belonging to the middle class, we sometimes lack the adequate funds required to finance our degree. In such a situation an Education Loan comes to our rescue.

There are a few requirements to become eligible to get an education loan-

  1. One should be a citizen of India and should be between 18-35 years of age during the loan application.
  2. You can get a loan for B.Tech Marine Engineering, BSc Nautical Science, DNS (Diploma in Nautical Science), but not for GP Rating course.
  3. The only exception is Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies, where you can get an education loan for your GP Rating course.

Read our blog- How to take an Education Loan for Merchant Navy Courses? To understand the detailed process of applying for an education loan.

Although, merchant navy can be a challenging career, but if you’re someone who likes a challenge, is eager to learn, open to new experiences, and staying away from family for long periods of time is not a huge problem for you, then this is the career for you! All you have to do is follow the steps given above and choose the right course for yourself after you complete your class 12th.

To get more information about the salaries for each rank in merchant navy, read our blog- Merchant Navy Salary.

See you onboard!

5 3 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Venkatesh p Venkatesh. P
Venkatesh p Venkatesh. P
11 months ago

I am finished in diploma Marine Engineering 3years course

Praneet Mehta
11 months ago

Hi Venkatesh for any queries related to Merchant Navy, information and guidance, WhatsApp us at +91 7417349336.

Sahbaj faridi
Sahbaj faridi
11 months ago

Thankyou sir

Praneet Mehta
11 months ago
Reply to  Sahbaj faridi

Your welcome 🙂

11 months ago

thanks sir but ihave a doubt im appearing 12th class now and waiting for result imu cet is in 29 nmay so sir plz tell me after imu cet what i do even i selected in a best college but not any sponsharship exam

Praneet Mehta
11 months ago

Hi Abhisek, for any queries and guidance related to Merchant Navy, WhatsApp us at +91 7417349336.