Merchant Navy or Oil Rig which is better?

Merchant Navy or Oil Rig which is better?

The maritime industry comprises the Merchant Navy and oil rigs. The Merchant Navy involves commercial ships transporting goods and passengers globally, while oil rigs extract oil and gas from beneath the ocean floor. Both sectors are vital in their respective roles within the maritime industry.

Merchant Navy

Merchant Navy refers to the commercial fleet of ships engaged in transporting goods and passengers across the world’s oceans. It is a vital component of international trade and plays a crucial role in the global economy.

Oil rigs

Oil rigs, also known as offshore drilling platforms, are structures used for extracting oil and gas from beneath the seabed. These massive structures are typically located in the open ocean or coastal waters and facilitate the exploration and production of valuable energy resources.

Qualification to join Merchant Navy and Oil rigs 

Merchant Navy 

Here are the steps to join the Merchant Navy and embark on an exciting career at sea:

  1. GP Rating: 10th or 12th pass with GP Rating course.
  2. Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS).
  3. B.Sc in Nautical Science.
  4. B.Tech in Marine Engineering.
  5. Graduate Marine Engineering (GME).
Merchant Navy or Oil Rig

Oil rigs

These are the ways through which you can join Oil rigs:

  1. 10th and 12th pass both are qualified to apply 
  2. Industrial Training Institute (ITI) certificate holder 
  3. Diploma
  4. B.Tech 
  • B.Tech Petroleum engineering
  • B.Tech Chemical engineering
  • B.Tech Mechanical engineering
  • B.Tech Marine engineering 

It’s important to note that specific requirements and eligibility criteria may vary, refer to the official guidelines and regulations set by the Directorate General of Shipping or other relevant authorities.

Essential Certifications and Documents for Merchant Navy and Oil Rigs

Prepare for an exhilarating career in the Merchant Navy or on oil rigs as we unveil the crucial certifications and documents that serve as your gateway to these extraordinary journeys.

Merchant Navy 

In addition to the shared essential documents, there are specific paperwork requirements that are particularly crucial for those aspiring to join the Merchant Navy.

  1. Seafarers Identity Document (SID)
  2. Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW)
  3. Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC)
  4. Certificate of Competency (COC)

Oil rigs 

To join oil rigs, there are several essential documents that you will need to have in order

  1. Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET)
  2. Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET)
  3. Hydrogen Sulfide Training (H2S Training)
  4. Medical Certification 

Having these documents and certifications in place demonstrates your preparedness and commitment to safety, ensuring that you are equipped with the necessary skills and qualifications to thrive in the dynamic and challenging world of Oil rigs and the Merchant Navy.

Salary Insights |Oil Rigs and Merchant Navy|

When considering a career in the maritime industry, it’s important to think about salary. Both oil rigs and the Merchant Navy offer attractive compensation packages, but there are differences. Let’s compare salaries and factors that influence remuneration in these careers to help you make an informed decision about your professional journey

Merchant Navy 

The salaries of merchant navy officers at different levels and departments onboard ships vary, depending on factors such as rank, experience, and additional certifications. However, it is important to note that salary structures can change over time, and specific figures may vary.

RankDry ship (Bulk/RO-RO/Container etc.)Tanker Ship (Oil/Chemical/Gas etc.)
Chief Officer$6500–$8500$7500–$9500
2nd Officer$4000–$4800$4000–$5000
3rd Officer$2400–$3600$2600–$4200
Deck Cadet$350–$750$350–$750
Chief Marine Engineer$8000–$10000$9000–$14000
2nd Marine Engineer$6500–$8500$7500–$9500
3rd Marine Engineer$4000–$4800$4000–$5000
4th Marine Engineer$2400–$3600$2600–$4200
5th Marine Engineer$350–$750$350–$750
Electro-Technical Officer$2500–$4500$3500–$5000
Merchant Navy or Oil Rig

Oil rigs 

The salary of an oil rig engineer can be quite lucrative, considering the demanding and challenging nature of their work. If a roustabout is committed to staying in the field, he or she can earn more than $50,000 USD per year and obtain training.


The salary range for oil rig engineers can extend to impressive heights, with senior engineers often commanding six-figure or higher annual incomes. The exact salary can vary based on factors such as location, company size, industry conditions, and individual qualifications. Nonetheless, the sky’s the limit for an oil rig engineer’s earning potential, reflecting the value they bring to the industry and the demanding nature of their work

Merchant Navy or Oil Rig

Merchant Navy vs. Oil Rigs |Differences Unveiled|

Discovering the contrasting roles of merchant navy officers and oil rig engineers highlights the unique work environments, specialized skills, and diverse career paths within the maritime industry.

AspectsMerchant Navy OfficersOil Rig Engineers
Work EnvironmentSail the seas, oversee navigationFocus on offshore drilling and complex machinery
Skills and ExpertiseSeamanship, navigation, regulatory knowledgeDrilling techniques, mechanical systems
CertificationsOfficer of the Watch (OOW), Master MarinerEngineering degrees, industry certifications
Duration of AssignmentsRotational contracts between sea duty and leaveDesignated “hitches” on offshore rigs
Career ProgressionAdvance through ranks, become captains or chiefsGain experience, specialize in specific areas

Leading Companies in the Oil Rig Industry in 2023

The oil and gas industry is vast, and here is a list of some notable companies involved in the oil rig industry:

  1. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC)
  2. Oil India Limited (OIL)
  3. Reliance Industries Limited
  4. Cairn India (Vedanta Limited)
  5. Schlumberger Limited (France)

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and there are many other companies involved in the oil rig industry worldwide.


In the merchant navy, you can have various career paths like an officer, engineer, or work in logistics. This allows you to explore different areas of the industry and find what suits you. You also get to travel to different countries, experience different cultures, and learn valuable intercultural skills.

On the other hand, working on oil rigs can offer higher salaries because it is challenging and potentially dangerous work. You can gain specialized technical skills and valuable experience in the oil and gas industry. It can be an exciting and adventurous experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the merchant navy and oil rigs depends on your interests, career goals, and personal circumstances. Both have their advantages and considerations, so think carefully about what you want before deciding

Bulk Carrier V/S Oil Tanker – Which is Better?Answer

Please leave a question in the comment section if you have any.

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