salary in merchant navy

Merchant Navy Salary

Last updated on July 28th, 2023 at 11:02 am

Merchant navy salary

Merchant Navy is the commercial sector of shipping that is responsible for the transport of goods, which amounts to almost 90% of the world trade. It plays a huge part in the growth of the global economy, carrying cargo as well as commercial waterborne traffic, which includes passengers too. Without Merchant Navy, the transport of crude oil, clean petroleum products, LPG, and many raw materials in bulk, would not be possible. Life at sea is full of challenges, hardships, and risks, that’s why the salary in merchant navy is also quite high.

But do not join this field blindly just by having a look at the lucrative salaries being offered, Merchant Navy is much more than what you may be able to see from the outside. The countless hours of rigorous work, erratic sleep schedule, rough weather conditions, and loneliness are some of the things that most people don’t talk about. So do thorough research about this profession and the nature of work before you make up your mind to become a seafarer.

In the following article, we’ll discuss the different job profiles in merchant navy along with the salaries they earn. The article will also guide you through the additional perks seafarers enjoy, and the skills you require to start earning higher salaries by quickly climbing up the ranks.

Rank Wise Distribution of Salary in Merchant Navy

Merchant Navy salary depends on the company that you’re working with and the type of vessel you’re sailing in. It also depends on your rank. If you’re from GP Rating then the maximum salary that you can expect is around 2000$ per month. On the other hand, if you’re an officer in the engine or deck side, then the maximum salary can be as much as 15000$ or more at the ranks of Captain or Chief Engineer.

Merchant Navy Salary For GP Rating

merchant navy salary for gp rating

1.Salary Ratings in the Deck Department

merchant navy salary for deck ratings
RankAverage Salary Per Month
Bosun1200 – 2000$
Pumpman1200 – 2000$
Deck Fitter1200 – 2000$
Able-Bodied Seaman (AB)1200 – 1500$
Ordinary Seaman (OS)750 – 900$
Trainee OS350 – 500$

2.Salary Ratings in the Engine Department

salary in merchant navy for engine ratings
RankAverage Salary Per Month
Fitter1200 – 2000$
Motorman1200 – 1500$
Wiper750 – 900$
Trainee Fitter/Wiper350 – 500$

3.Salary Ratings in Saloon Rating

merchant navy salary for saloon rating
RankAverage Salary Per Month
Steward750 – 1000$
Chief Cook1200 – 2000$

Salary in Merchant Navy For Deck Officers

merchant navy for deck officers
RankJob DescriptionDry ship  (Bulk/RO-RO/Container etc.)Tanker Ship(Oil/Chemical/Gas etc.)
Captain A Captain or a Master is responsible for the overall functioning of a vessel and holds the ultimate command over it.8000–10000$9000-14000$
Chief OfficerA Chief Officer is responsible for the cargo operations, he/she is also in charge of the management of deck crew, safety & firefighting operations, environmental protection, and serving as the vessel security officer. In addition to all this, he is also a bridge watchkeeper.6500–8500$7500–9500$
2nd OfficerA 2nd Officer is the ship’s navigator and on occasion the medical officer, he is also a bridge watchkeeper and the designated communication officer.4000–4800$4000–5000$
3rd Officer3rd Officer is in charge of the firefighting apparatus and lifesaving appliances and is sometimes also referred to as the Ship’s safety officer, he is also a bridge watchkeeper.2400–3600$2600–4200$
Deck CadetA Deck Cadet works directly under the chief officer and assists him in all his duties and jobs such as cargo operations, mooring operations, ballasting/de-ballasting, navigation watch, etc.350–750$350–750$

Salary in Merchant Navy For Engineers

merchant navy salary for engineer officers
RankJob DescriptionDry ship  (Bulk/RO-RO/Container etc.)Tanker Ship(Oil/Chemical/Gas etc.)
Chief EngineerThe Chief Engineer’s major responsibility is to guarantee the safe and effective functioning of the engine department.8000–10000$9000-14000$
2nd EngineerThe major responsibility of a 2nd Engineer is to oversee the daily operation and maintenance of all machinery on board, including the ballast system and firefighting equipment.6500–8500$7500-9500$
3rd Engineer3rd Engineer serves as the 2nd Engineer’s understudy, maintains the sea and port watchkeeping, maintains the boiler and performs the cooler water tests, maintains the engine logbook and other engineering records.4000–4800$4000–5000$
4th Engineer4th Engineer is in charge of the purifier, compressor, and machinery other than the primary engine, auxiliary engine, and boilers.2400–3600$2600–4200$
5th Engineer5th Engineer is a trainee under the 2nd Engineer, he/she assists the senior engineers in their respective duties and assists 2nd Engineer in his night rounds.350–750$350–750$
Electro-Technical OfficerResponsible for the electrical and technical aspects onboard.2500$-4500$3500$-5000$

Perks in Merchant Navy

perks in merchant navy
  • Free lodging and meals at the port of call.
  • Free food and drinks during the voyage.
  • Allowance for expenses in foreign countries.
  • Risk allowance paid by some shipping companies that are forced to sail in pirate-infested waters.
  • Full medical coverage for self and dependents.
  • Annual leave with paid air tickets to a destination of choice.
  • Accident Insurance.
  • Life Insurance.
  • Benefits from the Indian government including Non-Resident Indian (NRI) status that exempts income from foreign companies from income tax.
  • Special housing schemes for seafarers.
  • Memberships to seafarers’ clubs.

Skills Required to Get Faster Promotions-

A merchant navy officer is required to have the following skills, in order to quickly rise up the ranks and start earning higher salaries at a young age-

  • Decision-making skills: Decision-making skills are about your ability to make good choices during critical situations. Every Master or Chief Engineer has to make really tough decisions sometimes to safeguard other crew members and the ship. 
Decision-making skills
  • The ability to remain calm in difficult situations: Performing well under pressure is both a personal and a professional quality and can become the difference between an average employee and an excellent one.

  • Teamworking skills and the ability to lead, motivate and inspire confidence in others: This is the most important quality required for working together and running a ship.
The ability to remain calm in difficult situations
  • Written and verbal communication skills: A merchant navy officer should be confident and fluent in his verbal and written communication skills as they have to deal with different people from all nationalities such as agents, cargo surveyors, loading masters, etc. They also have to communicate regularly with the owners of the vessel and the company superintendents through emails so they need to be really professional and precise with their drafting. 
Teamworking skills and the ability to lead
  • Knowledge of mechanical and electrical systems (for engineer officer roles): A marine engineer should be well versed with the entire machinery of the engine room. He should be confident in overhauling machinery by himself and should have proper knowledge about all the valves, pumps, pipelines, and machinery fitted in the engine room.
 of mechanical and electrical systems
  • An interest in technology: Being eager to learn and showing interest is an important quality for being a good Chief Engineer or a Captain.
an interest in technology
  • Confidence, enthusiasm, and self-reliance: Being on a ship for more than six months, away from your family and all pleasures requires a lot of confidence and patience.
confidence in a merchant navy officer

Click here to read more about- Promotions onboard ship.

Merchant Navy is known for offering lucrative salaries to its employees and all the rank wise salaries have been listed in this blog. While this profession can be really harsh at times with seafarers having to stay away from their families for very long periods of time but, it can also be really rewarding if you manage to navigate through the tough times with courage and determination.

We have given all the necessary information above, but at the end of the day it’s completely in your hands to decide the course of your future and how much you’re willing to sacrifice for it.

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.

-Michael Jordan

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1 year ago

Good read.

Praneet Mehta
1 year ago
Reply to  Akshith

Glad 🙂

4 months ago
Reply to  Praneet Mehta

Thanks u so much sir for giving lots of knowledge about merchant navy

Praneet Mehta
4 months ago
Reply to  Junaid

Hello Junaid,
Thankyou for your appreciation and we will make more informative content like this.

Team Merchant Navy Decoded.

Jannath hussain
Jannath hussain
3 months ago

Can i join the

Praneet Mehta
3 months ago

Hello Jannath Hussain,
If your criteria will be match then yes you can join Merchant Navy. It is depend on your qualification.
So, just match your criteria where you will be eligible.

For full information about Merchant Navy, how to join?, where to apply? how to apply ? and wants guidance to joining Merchant Navy as Engineer then Experts will guide you in proper direction so for that you need to go through our ASK YOUR QUERY PORTAL

Team Merchant Navy Decoded


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