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Merchant Navy

The Merchant Navy plays a crucial sector of the global shipping industry, facilitates the transportation of goods and passengers across the seas. Comprised of civilian vessels and skilled seafarers, it serves as a backbone for international trade following maritime regulations. With its diverse workforce and vital role in connecting nations, Merchant Navy propels economic growth and ensures the smooth flow of commodities worldwide.

What is the Merchant Navy?

Merchant Navy is a term used for a type of navy that transfers cargo from one place to another overseas. The cargo can be in loose form like grains or a container. Not only that but even gases can be transferred from one place to another via Gas Carriers. Merchant Navy term coined in England when they used ships for trade. Since then it has expanded and now become the lifeline of the global supply chain. We are going to discuss all the aspects of the Merchant Navy from career opportunities to skills required and salary offered. 

Is Merchant Navy Good Option for a Career ?

The Merchant Navy is one of the best career professions you can choose if you want to have a good salary with the opportunity to roam the world for free. However, a career in the merchant navy is not as easy as it looks. There are many ups and downs in the Merchant Navy that will toss you around in life just the ship in the presence of waves. There will be times when you will be onboard a ship for more than 8 months. There are many ways through which you can join the Merchant Navy.

  1. Navigation Department 
  2. Engine Department
  3. Rating Department

Navigation Department

There are many ways through which you can get into the navigation department. You can either go for a Diploma in Nautical Science or pursue a B.Sc in Nautical Science. The starting position would be a Deck Cadet and after promotions, you can become a Captain of a Ship.

Engine Department

Just like the Navigation Department there is the engineer that runs the engine of the ship. You can be one of them by pursuing a B.Tech in Marine Engineering, Graduate Marine Engineering, or a Diploma in Marine Engineering. 

Rating Department

This Department doesn’t have an Officer Position but still, it plays one of the biggest roles in maintaining the welfare of the crew and ship as well. Once you complete the required sea time you can apply for CoC. If you want to be a part of this amazing Department then you can go for GP Rating after 12th or even 10th. 

Why Merchant Navy is Important ?

1:- Contribute to Global Supply Chain

Merchant Navy has become an inseparable part of the global supply chain contributing almost 90% of the global supply chain including importing and exporting fruits, grains, and even cars. Without Merchant Navy, half of the world will starve and half of the world will freeze.

2:- Economical Backbone 

Apart from that Merchant Navy also contributes a lot to the GDP of a country. It is one of the main sources of income for some countries, for instance, Egypt for its Suez Canal. A strong Merchant Navy means a good economy. 

3:- More than Trade

Merchant Navy has ships that contribute to the environmental study, oil extraction, surveys, and retrieval of Objects from the ocean.

Who Can join Merchant Navy

Joining the Merchant Navy involves various eligibility criteria that can depend on the specific role you are interested in and the country in which you are applying. However, there are some general requirements that are commonly applicable across most roles and countries:

  1. Educational Qualifications: The minimum educational requirement is often a high school diploma or its equivalent, with a strong emphasis on subjects like Mathematics, Physics, and English. For officer roles, a degree or diploma in nautical science or marine engineering is typically required.

  2. Age Limit: There is usually a minimum age limit (often 17 or 18 years) and sometimes a maximum age limit for entry-level positions. The specific age limits can vary depending on the company and the country.

  3. Medical Fitness: Candidates must meet rigorous medical fitness standards, including eyesight requirements. A medical examination by an approved doctor is necessary to ensure fitness for sea service.

  4. Training and Certifications: Before joining, candidates may need to undergo basic training courses approved by the maritime authority of the respective country. These courses cover basic safety, firefighting, first aid, and other essential skills.

  5. Nationality and Legal Requirements: Depending on the country and the shipping company, there may be nationality or legal requirements. Some companies might require you to hold a passport from a specific country or have the legal right to work in that country.

  6. Personal Attributes: Soft skills such as teamwork, communication, leadership, and the ability to cope with the physically and mentally demanding nature of the job are crucial.

  7. Language Proficiency: English is the international language of the maritime industry, and proficiency in English (both spoken and written) is often required.

  8. Security Clearance: In some cases, a security clearance might be required, depending on the nature of the goods transported or the areas of operation.

Merchant Navy Benefits

The benefits of Merchant Navy begin from the very first day you step on the ship. As soon as you step on board you will be called a sailor so let’s see what perks sailors get. 

1:- Working and traveling simultaneously

Merchant Navy is one such profession that will allow you to travel around the world while working and earning. There’s not any country that you would not get a chance to visit while being in the Merchant Navy. 

2:- High Salary

Merchant Navy is one of the professions that pay one of the highest salaries in the world. In the Merchant Navy, your salary can start from ₹30,000 per month and reach up to ₹15,00,000 per month without any tax. 

3:- Exciting Job 

One of the perks of being in the Merchant Navy is that you won’t get bored in this profession unlike in a regular 9 to 5 Job. Every day in the Merchant Navy brings new challenges and new adventures. 

4:- Personal Growth

Working on ships provides ample opportunities to meet new people, work with them, and lead them as their leader which helps a lot in the personal growth of a person. 

5:- Work-Life Balance

There’s a misconception that in the Merchant Navy, you can not get a work-life balance unlike any other profession. But that’s entirely wrong, if work-life balance is your goal then there’s no better option for you than the Merchant Navy.

Table of Contents

Merchant Navy Courses

If you want to join the Merchant Navy there are a lot of options available for you from one year Diploma to 4 year B.Tech. Whether you want to join the Navigational Department, Engine Department, or GP Rating there is a course that will suit your qualifications, age, and will not be heavy on your pockets. We will learn about these courses one by one.


After 10th GP Rating 6 months
After 12th  Diploma in Nautical Science B.Sc in Nautical Science B.Tech Marine Engineering  1 Year 3 Year 4 Year
After Graduation Graduate Marine Engineering Electro-technical Officer  1 Year 1 Year(4 Theory+8 Training)

Merchant Navy Syllabus

The Merchant Navy exam includes various topics across all subjects whether be it english, physics, maths or even GK, you will find at least one question in the Merchant Navy Exam or interview. To get a good score in the Merchant Navy exam you need to prepare these topics.
Subject Syllabus
  1. Antonyms and Synonyms
  2. Jumbled Sentences
  3. Comprehension
  4. Parts of Speech 
  5. Phrasal Verbs and Idioms 
General Aptitude
  1. Critical Reasoning
  2. Data Interpretation
  3. Speed, Distance & Time
  4. Height & Distance 
  5. Quantitative Aptitude
Physics  +2 States Board and CBSE Syllabus
Chemistry +2 States Board and CBSE Syllabus
Mathematics +2 States Board and CBSE Syllabus

1. Age

Diploma in Nautical Science 17 – 25 
B.Sc in Nautical Science 17 – 25
B.Tech Marine Engineering 17 – 25 
Graduate Marine Engineering Not more than 28
Electro-technical Officer  Not more than 30 
GP Rating 18 – 25 

2. Qualifications

COURSES Qualifications
1 ) Diploma in Nautical Science
  1. In 12th, more than 60% in PCM (70% for AEMA)
  2. More than 50% in English in 10th or 12th 
2)   B.Sc in Nautical Science
  1. In 12th, more than 60% in PCM
  2. More than 50% in English in 10th or 12th
3) B.Tech Marine Engineering
  1. In 12th, more than 60% in PCM
  2. More than 50% in English in 10th or 12th. 


  1. Candidate with 3 3-year Diploma in Mechanical Engineering can take lateral entry in the 2nd year of B.Tech Marine Engineering. 
  2. More than 50% in English in 10th or 12th is required. 
4)  Graduate Marine Engineering
  1. Candidates must have a Degree in Mechanical or Naval Architecture with more than 55%. 
  2. Mora than 50% in English in 10th or 12th. 
5)  Electro-technical Officer 
  1. In 12th, more than 65% in PCM. 
  2. More than 50% in English in 10th or 12th. 
  3. Candidates must have a 3-year Diploma or 4-year Graduation in Electrical or any other related Engineering. 
6)  GP Rating
  1. In 10th, more than 40% in Science/English/Maths. 
  2. In 12th, more than 40% in any stream with 40% in English. 
  3. More than 40% Marks in ITI final year & more than 40% in English. 

3. Merchant Navy Medicals

Physical Standards 1) Candidates should be physically fit for sea service under the standard norm.
2) NO COLOR BLINDNESS, Partial Colour Blindness is also not acceptable.
3) The D.G. Shipping Medical Certificate must be issued by D.G. Shipping Approved Doctors, under the specified medical examination requirements.

Eligibility Calculator
Confuse about which college to join? Use our Eligibility Calculator to discover colleges you are qualified for. It will help you in;

College Recommendation:- You will get colleges completely based on your profile and past results.
BMI Analysis:- It also calculates your BMI and gives recommendations on health and educational grounds.
Complete College Details:- You can check the complete details of the colleges you are eligible for.

Merchant Navy Salary

Working in the Merchant Navy can pay really well. When you start out, your monthly salary might range from around ₹30,000 to ₹70,000. But as you get more training and move up the ranks to become a Captain or Chief Engineer, your salary can skyrocket to as much as ₹15,00,000 per month, and the best part is, you don’t have to worry about taxes.


How to Join Merchant Navy?

Joining Merchant Navy involves a series of steps: first you need to complete high school, then select a specialization, undergo training and certification, apply for jobs, go through the selection processes, pass a medical examination and finally join a ship. This career requires continuous professional development and each step contributes to building a successful career at sea.

You can join the Merchant Navy after the 10th, 12th, and even after graduation.

Merchant Navy

Merchant Navy after 10th

You can join the Merchant Navy even after the 10th by pursuing a GP Rating Course. However, if you have a chance you should go for the Merchant Navy after the 12th PCM, but if you want to join the Merchant Navy after the 10th then you have just one way that is through GP Rating. Many colleges conduct the course for GP Rating, for instance, NUSI Goa, and Seven Islands

Graduate Marine Engineering

Merchant Navy after 12th

After the 12th, there are 2 Departments and many ways through which you can join the Merchant Navy. If you have done PCM then you can either go for Diploma in Nautical Science and B.Sc in Nautical Science for the navigational department or B.Tech Marine Engineering for Engine Department.

Merchant Navy

Merchant Navy after Graduation

If you are a student who’s in the last year of his Mechanical or Electrical Engineering and wants to join the Merchant Navy then you can cheer up as you can go for Graduate Marine Engineering or Electro-technical Officer after Mechanical and Electrical Engineering respectively. These are the courses specifically designed for graduated students to join the Merchant Navy

Merchant Navy Recruitment 2024, 4000 Vacancies

You must have come across some articles that state that there are 4000 or 5000 vacancies in the Indian Merchant Navy. However, the truth is that there is no such thing as a vacancy in the merchant navy and you can’t apply for the merchant navy directly through any vacancies. So, how to check whether the organization is legit or not? There are 4 things that you can follow to check whether the maritime institute is a scam or not.

  • Check the list of institutes approved by DG Shipping. 
  • Get complete information about the college from other resources and check if any legit site has written something about that college or not. 
  • Check the past placement record of the college.
  • Take feedback about the college.  

Steps to Join the Merchant Navy

Step 1: The steps to joining the Merchant Navy begin with researching the company and learning about the eligibility criteria. So, the first step would be to learn about the Eligibility Criteria and whether you are fulfilling them or not. 

Step 2:The next and most important step is to choose through which path you want to join the Merchant Navy. 

Step 3: The next step would be the preparation for the IMU-CET which is a compulsory exam if you want to join the Merchant Navy after the 12th through B.Tech, B.Sc or DNS. 

Step 4: The next is Sponsorship or entrance exams of colleges and companies. Many companies recruit students before the IMU CET Test so you need to be vigilant about it. 

Step 5: If you pass in interviews then you will be asked to go medical test at DG Certified Doctors. 

Step 6: Once you clear your medicals you can enroll in any DG Certified Maritime Institute or in a recommended institute by your company. 

Step 7: Then comes the STCW Courses that you need to apply before going to ship. 

Step 8: If you are in B.Tech Marine Engineering without sponsorship then you need to take part in on-campus placement. 

Step 9: Once you complete your training and Pre-Sea Courses you can go on board with the company you are sponsored wit

What are the Skills Required to Join Merchant Navy

Sailors are continuously engaged in different kinds of work that require various skills, so, we will see what soft skill you must have to sail through rough oceans smoothly. 

  • Decision Taking Ability

One of the most useful skills that will help you make decisions quickly in tense situations. On a ship even a small decision can be fatal for the whole crew and ship that’s why it is so important to lead the crew in the right direction by making the right decisions. 

  • Mathematical Ability 

It is one such soft skill that many people do not consider important. However, without mathematical knowledge, you can’t run the ship, you can calculate the bunkering, and cargo handling. Overall it is the base of a good and successful seafaring career. 

  • Technical Knowledge of Machinery 

You can’t become a good Captain or Chief Engineer if you don’t even know about the work you are responsible for. You must have a certain knowledge about your work and the different machinery under your control. 

  • Management Skills 

Once you reach a certain level in the Merchant Navy or anywhere, this is one skill that you need to have if you want to be a good leader. A good captain always thinks about his crew before himself. 

  • Ability to work in a team

Merchant Navy is all about teamwork, if you can work in a team then you will learn and grow at a tremendous rate. Even employers look for a person who can manage and work in a team. 

Choosing Between the Deck Department and Engine Department in the Merchant Navy


Both Departments enjoy ample amount of salary. Many people think that Deck Departments get more salary than Engine Departments however, that’s not entirely true. Both of these departments have an almost equal amount of salary with a difference of a couple of dollars. 

Job Profile

Many people have this misconception that the life of a Deck Officer is quite easy with not much work. However, whenever a ship meets with an accident deck officers are the ones who are held responsible for the damage and sometimes even charged with a legal case. So, even if the work of the Deck Department is not that physical but it is definitely more mentally exhausting.


Sometimes people get this idea that in the Deck Department, you get to become a Captain but they always forget that the salary of Chief Engineer and Captain is almost similar. More than that the number of ranks from Cadet to top-most rank is also the same, so, it does not matter which department you choose, it’s your work that matters. 

Career Growth and Job Profiles in Merchant Navy

Career Growth in the Merchant Navy is comprised of different ranks and responsibilities which we will learn below. 

Job Profile for Deck Department

Rank Job Profile
Captain  A Captain or a Master is responsible for the overall functioning of a vessel and holds the ultimate command over it.
Chief Officer A 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.
2nd Officer A 2nd Officer is the ship’s navigator and on occasion the medical officer, he is also a bridge watchkeeper and the designated communication officer.
3rd Officer 3rd 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.
Deck Cadet A 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.

Job Profile in the Engine Department

Rank Job Profile
Chief Engineer The Chief Engineer’s major responsibility is to guarantee the safe and effective functioning of the engine department.
2nd Engineer The 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.
3rd Engineer The 3rd 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.
4th Engineer 4th Engineer is in charge of the purifier, compressor, and machinery other than the primary engine, auxiliary engine, and boilers.
5th Engineer The 5th Engineer is a trainee under the 2nd Engineer, he/she assists the senior engineers in their respective duties and assists the 2nd Engineer in his night rounds.

Merchant Navy FAQs

The best course for joining the Merchant Navy is Diploma in Nautical Science which you can go for after class 12th.

You can join the Merchant Navy after the 10th, 12th, or even after graduation but you need to make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria of the course for which you are going.  

Swimming is the most basic skill that you should know for the Merchant Navy, but even if you don’t know swimming, you will be taught once you get into the maritime institute. 

Merchant Navy Officers have one of the most amazing jobs in the world i.e. to run the ship. 

The salary in the Merchant Navy can start from ₹30,000 to ₹70,000 per month and with the proper experience and timely promotion, it can reach up to ₹15,00,000 per month at the rank of Captain or Chief Engineer. The best part is you don’t have to worry about taxes at all. 

The salary in the Merchant Navy depends on the type of ship, experience, and rank of a Seafarer. The salary in the Merchant Navy can reach up to ₹18,00,000 per month on LNG Carriers

The lowest salary in the Merchant Navy starts from ₹30,000 to ₹70,000 depending on the company and ship the sailor is sailing in.