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Merchant Navy


This is the most lucrative career for those who love ships and travelling, and don't wish to hold a 9 to 5 desk job. A career in the merchant navy involves trading in commercial items like live stocks, liquid cargo, general cargo, oil tankers, chemical tankers and the like all over the world via sea-routes. As a result of this, it is considered as the backbone of international trade. This also serves as the difference between Merchant Navy and Indian Navy where the latter is engaged in defending the nation with its naval power. Those in the Merchant Navy get the opportunity to explore and get themselves acquainted with different locations, people and their culture. Though the career offers high remunerations, it is a tough job as one has to stay at sea for months at a time. In spite of this, a career in the Merchant Navy is considered to be a highly satisfying one, especially if one is interested in travelling all around the world.

Career Opportunities in Merchant Navy

  • Deck Department
    As a deck cadet one is involved in the maintenance of the ship and responsibility of lifesaving appliances like boats and jackets, firefighting appliances and structural integrity of the deck. Other activities include monitoring the cargo, pilotage paperwork, communication, monitoring the entry as well as exit points of the ship for security reasons. The work of navigation also forms an important aspect of a deck cadet's working contract.
  • Engine Department
    As a part of the engine department, one is involved in maintaining the mechanical as well as electrical instruments and machinery of the ship. One would be operating as well as upholding the support system present on the ship above as well as below the deck.Working with engines, navigation and communication equipments, ventilation system, etc. constitute some areas of work as an engineer in the Merchant Navy.
  • Architecture Department
    The professionals in the architecture department hold the responsibility of designing, constructing as well as repairing ships and other marine vessels and offshore structures. They usually work in collaboration with a team of engineers and integrate their activities for the successful accomplishment of ship construction. They are the ones who ensure that a safe, economic as well as seaworthy design is created.
  • Catering Department
    This department is the one responsible for preparing and serving the meals to the passengers as well as the crew. They are also the ones involved in housekeeping. These include chief cook, trainee cooks, and stewards. They are in charge of the food stores and keeping the ship clean and uncontaminated. The strength of this department varies according to the size of the ship and number of passengers.

How to Pursue a Career in Merchant Navy

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
Path 1
Clear Class XII in Science Stream (with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics)Pursue B.Sc in Nautical Science/ Marine CateringPursue M.Sc in Nautical Science/ Marine Catering-
Path 2
Clear Class XII in Science Stream (with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics)Pursue B.Tech in Marine EngineeringPursue M.Tech(Marine Engineering) or M.B.A (Shipping and Logistics)-

Important Facts

  • Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics with 60% aggregate.
  • 50% in English are mandatory.
  • There are medical standards to be met as well.

Leading Institutes

Top Merchant Navy Institutes in India
College Location Website
Indian Maritime University Multiple Campuses
International Maritime Institute, Greater Noida Greater Noida
Delhi Academy of Merchant Navy New Delhi
Neotia Institute of Technology Management and Science Kolkata
R.L. Institute of Nautical Sciences Madurai
Vels University Chennai
Coimbatore Marine College Coimbatore
International Maritime Academy Chennai
Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) Cochin
Haldia Institute of Maritime Studies and Research West Bengal
AMET University (Academy of Maritime Education and Training) Kanathur, Chennai
Department of Marine Science, Goa University Goa
Department of Marine Science, Bhavnagar University Gujarat
School of Marine Sciences, Bharatidasan University Tamil Nadu
Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University Tamil Nadu
Top Merchant Navy Institutes in the World
Institution Location Website
Massachusetts Maritime Academy United States
South Tyneside College United Kingdom
Webb Institute United States
California Maritime Academy United States
Maine Maritime Academy United States

Merchant Navy Entrance Exams

College Tentative Date Important Elements Website
Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test (IMU CET) June Physics, Chemistry, Maths, English, GK, Aptitude
JEE Main (Paper 1) April Physics, Chemistry, Maths
JEE Advanced May Physics, Chemistry, Maths

Work Description

Merchant Navy officers are hired on various categories of vessels in the commercial shipping industry.
The job of merchant navy officers involves:
  • Sailing the ship with the help of variety of satellites and radar networks and apparatus
  • Scanning weather and sailing information
  • Synchronizing the secure lading, depot and dispatching of freight
  • Surveying the ship to ensoure that the health and security measures are in place
  • Checking and regulating security, firefighting and life-saving apparatus
  • Watching and sustaining all the electrical apparatus on board to ensure the security and efficacy of the ship.
  • Dealing with the job of marking and giving training and assisting trainee officers
  • Staying abreast of advancements in nautical methods, commercial and governmental matters

Pros & Cons of a Career in Merchant Navy

  • It is a highly respectable career that is guaranteed to earn you the admiration of other people.
  • The compensations for this career are sizeable thus it is a lucrative career.
  • It allows one to travel all across the world and gain a variety of wonderful experiences.
  • One gets substantial leaves when not on duty (4-6 months every year), so it allows one to compensate for the time spent away from family.
  • A career in the Merchant Navy requires one to spend long periods of time at sea, and away from the family. Since this kind of work is strenuous for both the body and the mind, it is not meant for everyone.
  • The conditions at sea are not always favourable so it can be a somewhat dangerous job.
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