Top 10 differences between GME & Mechanical Engineering


  • Choosing the right engineering path is a crucial decision, and in this blog, we’ll guide you through the important distinctions between two intriguing options: Mechanical Engineering or Graduate Marine Engineering.
  • Whether you’re an aspiring engineer or simply curious about these fields, our exploration of Mechanical Engineering and Graduate Marine Engineering will illuminate the unique opportunities and challenges each offers, empowering you to chart your course toward a rewarding engineering career.

Mechanical Engineering vs. Graduate Marine Engineering

Graduate Marine Engineer

  • Graduate Marine engineers are professionals who work on ships and other maritime vessels, ensuring they run smoothly and safely.
  • Graduate Marine engineers are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to work in the maritime industry as qualified marine engineers, maintaining and operating various types of ships and ensuring their proper functioning while at sea.
Marine Engineer onboard

Mechanical Engineer 

  • A mechanical engineer is someone who designs and works on machines and mechanical systems. They use science and math to make things like engines, heating systems, and manufacturing machines. They make sure these things work well and are safe.
  • Mechanical engineers can work in different industries like cars, airplanes, energy, and more. They help create and improve the machines we use every day.
Engineer working on a project

Mechanical Engineering vs. Graduate Marine Engineering

Graduate Marine Engineering 

  • Graduate Marine Engineering (GME) is a one-year course designed for people who want to become marine engineers. It teaches them the necessary skills and knowledge to work on ships and marine vessels.
  • There are 26 graduate marine engineering colleges approved by DG Shipping.
Number of Seats in GME Colleges (26 colleges)Number of Students in GME CollegesNumber of Students that got placed

Best GME Colleges in India | 2023 

Mechanical Engineering 

  • A Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Mechanical Engineering is an undergraduate degree program that focuses on mechanical engineering principles and practices. 
  • B.Tech Marine Engineering is a four-year undergraduate degree.
  • It is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the field of mechanical engineering, which is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, analysis, and production of mechanical systems and machinery.
Technician checking fault

The number of mechanical engineer graduates each year is approx 6-7lakh but only 40% got a job.

“More than 60% of engineering graduates remain unemployed”Times of India 

Colleges for Mechanical Engineering

  • IIT (Indian Institute of Technology)
  • NIT (National Institute of Technology)
  • IIIT (Indian Institute of Information and Technology)
  • Private Engineering Colleges

Hierarchy and Salary of GME in Merchant Navy

Graduate Marine Engineer

Rank Salary(Dry Vessel)Salary (Tanker Vessel)
Chief Engineer8,000$-10,000 $9,000$-14,000 $
2nd Engineer6,500$-8,500 $7,500$-9,500 $
3rd Engineer4,000$-4,800 $4,000$-5,000 $
4th Engineer 2,400$-3,600$2,600$-4,200 $
Engine Cadet350$-750 $350$-750 $

It may take approximately 8 to 14 years for an engineer to progress from an Engine Cadet to the rank of Chief Engineer. This timeline includes the required sea time, acquiring necessary certifications, and gaining experience at each rank. 

Hierarchy and Salary of an Engineer working in Public Sector Undertaking through GATE

  • In India, engineers often aspire to work in Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and private sector companies through the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). 
  • PSUs offer job security and competitive salaries, while private sector positions may provide higher compensation but are often more competitive. 
Engineer at discussion
RankSalary per month (Rs)Service
Executive Director 1.5-3 LakhsSelection
Group General Manager1.2-2.8 LakhsSelection
General Manager1.2-2.8 LakhsSelection
Deputy General Manager1-2.6 LakhsSelection
Chief Engineer/Manager90,000-2.4 Lakhs4 Years
Superintending Engineer/ Manager80,000-2.2 Lakhs5 Years
Senior Officer/ Executive Engineer70,000-2 Lakhs4 Years
Officer/ Asst. Executive Engineer60,000-1.8 Lakhs2 Years

Hierarchy and Salary of an engineer working in the Private sector

  • In the private sector, the hierarchy and salary structure for engineers can vary widely depending on the industry and specialization. Engineers in private companies typically follow a hierarchical progression from entry-level positions to more senior roles, with corresponding salary increases. 
Engineer at work
RanksPositionAvg. Salary (Rs)
Chief EngineerChief engineering office & head of the department60 Lakhs
VP of EngineeringVice president of engineering & engineering executive 50 Lakhs
Director of EngineeringPrincipal engineer & lead engineer23 lakhs
Engineering ManagerProgram manager & senior engineer6 Lakhs
Individual ContributorsProject manager, quality engineer, manufacturing engineer & data engineer4 Lakhs
Entry LevelsJunior Engineer, asst. Engineer & intern3 Lakhs

Merchant Navy or Oil Rig which is better?

Difference between a Graduate Marine Engineer vs. Mechanical Engineer

Work Environment

  • Marine Engineer: Works in a unique and challenging environment on ships and maritime vessels, often facing harsh weather conditions and exposure to sea life.
  • Mechanical Engineer: Operates in a variety of settings, including offices, factories, and research and development facilities. The work environment is typically less extreme compared to marine engineers.


  • Marine Engineer: Salary is more influenced by the type of vessels they work on, contract duration, and company policies. Earnings can vary significantly throughout the year.
  • Mechanical Engineer: Tends to have a more stable income, with salary fluctuations being less dependent on the type of projects or contracts. Income can be relatively consistent year-round.


  • Marine Engineer: Often spends extended periods away from family due to ship contracts, leading to a less social life during these periods.
  • Mechanical Engineer: Typically enjoys a more regular daily routine and can stay with their family daily, resulting in a more social lifestyle.


  • Marine Engineer: May have longer holidays or extended leave periods between contracts, allowing them to stay at their native place or take extended vacations.
  • Mechanical Engineer: Typically has fewer extended holidays and may need to relocate for work opportunities more frequently.

Work Schedule

  • Marine Engineer: Often has an irregular or unpredictable work schedule due to the nature of ship operations.
  • Mechanical Engineer: Generally follows a fixed work schedule, which is more structured and predictable.

Can mechanical engineers join the merchant navy?

Marine Engineer at work

Answer– Yes, mechanical engineers can pursue a career in the merchant navy by following several steps. First, they need to pass an entrance exam, such as the Graduate Marine Engineering (GME) entrance test, to gain admission to a maritime institution or college.

After enrollment, they undergo a one-year Graduate Marine Engineering (GME) course, followed by a cadetship for hands-on experience. Subsequently, they work towards obtaining a Marine Engineer Officer (MEO) Class 4 Certificate of Competency. 

Once qualified, they can begin their career as marine engineers in the merchant navy.


In conclusion, the choice between Graduate Marine Engineering (GME) and Mechanical Engineering is a significant decision for aspiring engineers. GME offers a unique marine environment, while Mechanical Engineering offers versatility. Consider your interests, career goals, and lifestyle preferences to make an informed choice for a fulfilling engineering career.

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amrit singh bisht

how to join gme