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Merchant Navy: educational qualification, eligibility criteria, and Career opportunities.

Would you like to travel by ship or do you prefer the sea? And what if you can make it a part of your career?


If you join the merchant navy, you can do it as part of your work. People in the merchant navy are hired by commercial shipping corporations to supervise the shipping of products across continents and nations.

In a peninsular nation like India, there are numerous seaports. Additionally, a lot of locally produced goods are shipped by rivers to neighboring nations. To transport the commodities from one location to another, a merchant navy officer and his crew are required.

What is Merchant Navy?

In several nations, the Merchant Navy is sometimes referred to as the Merchant Marines. It refers to the fleet of commercial ships that are registered in a particular nation. Passenger ferries, container ships, tankers, small tugs, and cruise ships are among the variety of vessels. It is a wholly private industry that deals with the shipping of both commodities and people.

Since the vast bulk of trade in the globe is conducted via maritime routes, the Merchant Navy industry is much more significant than other industries. For those who have the travel itch and wish to explore the world while working, a career in the merchant navy is regarded as a glamorous one.

It enables you to visit new and far-flung places all around the world. A career in the merchant navy is not only satisfying and hard but also financially rewarding.

Merchant Navy

Scope of Merchant Navy in India:

In the next years, there will be a growing need for officers in the merchant navy. There will be lots of chances in the shipping business in the years to come because of India's rising economy.

The Merchant Navy, as previously said, is the foundation of global commerce. As a result, there are many chances in this area in India as well. Along with domestic and international shipping lines and businesses, government and private shipping organizations provide excellent employment opportunities.

For the positions of ship operation and maintenance, this business needs bright and talented newcomers.

Eligibility Requirement for Merchant Navy:

In order to apply for the courses, a candidate must meet a few minimal qualifying requirements. Here are a number of them:

Educational Requirements

  • Completion of class 12 in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics is the prerequisite for enrolment in dealer naval force courses. This holds true for most diploma programs and bachelor's degrees.

  • Candidates must be Indian citizens who are unmarried and under the age of 28.

  • Although glasses with lens powers up to 2.5 might be allowed, good vision is preferred.

  • Before performing a commercial movement, applicants must complete a boat instruction course. The course is typically a brief introduction to the fundamental travel security standards.

Medical Requirements:

  • All applicants must be in good health, including their hearing and vision.

  • They need to be able to see normally (6/6) in each eye separately.

  • The candidates must have a certificate of medical fitness issued by recognized authorities.

The following things will be examined during the medical exam:

  • Height and weight Eyesight and skin

  • Skeletal System

  • Lymphatic and Cardiovascular system

  • Ears, nose, speech, and throat

  • Respiratory, Digestive, and Genitourinary system

According to the regulations outlined by DG Shipping, every seafarer is required to submit to medical examinations, as may be necessary, including periodic eye exams as well as pre-sail and periodic medical examinations.

Recruitment Exams:

The majority of the time, students take some selection exams to apply for specialized courses in the Merchant Navy. These exams guarantee pupils a spot at prestigious institutions. Here are a few popular tests:

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Marine Engineering

  • All India Merchant Navy Entrance Test

  • MERI Entrance Exam


  • JEE Advanced


Skills needed to join the Merchant Navy:

1. Teamwork - A strong sense of teamwork is a need for candidates. Additionally, as the Merchant Navy demands its employees to interact with staff members at all levels, they should be strong communicators.

2. Aptitude - The candidates should be exceptionally skilled in mathematics, chemistry, and physics, as well as have an aptitude for mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering.

3. Dealing with emergencies - Candidates must be capable of handling emergencies while remaining composed and patient in all circumstances.

4. Planning Capabilities - People who want to work in the Merchant Navy need to be responsible and able to plan their job.

5. Technology-savvy - Ideal applicants should be adept at the calculations necessary for navigation. They ought to be able to keep up with the technological developments taking place in the field.

6. Communication skills - A candidate with strong communication skills will be able to work well with team members and reach choices as a group to support one another.

Reasons to join Merchant Navy:

You should think about joining the merchant navy for the reasons listed below:

1. The Merchant Navy might be a terrific job choice for those who are attracted by living an adventurous life.

2. This profession's compensation packages and pay rates are its most alluring feature.

3. You'll experience a range of crisis circumstances and unanticipated incidents throughout your career in the Merchant Navy. You'll be able to think critically and handle pressure better as a result.

4. You must spend lengthy periods of time working aboard a ship to perform this job. As a result, you can also take extended vacations. You can take a vacation of four to five months after completing your contract, which may last six to eight months, before beginning a new one.

5. Working in the merchant navy improves mariners' sense of professionalism and adaptability. Along with knowing the value of many cultures and customs, this aids the individual in understanding and performing better as a team member.

6. You will get the possibility to collaborate with international co-workers while on a ship. You will experience many cultures as a result of this.

7. If you work on a ship that travels abroad for more than 183 days, your salary as a commercial mariner is entirely tax-free.

merchant navy

Types of Cargo for the Merchant Navy:

You should be informed of the kinds of cargo carriers you will be working with if you intend to begin a career in the maritime industry. The kind of bulk carrier you choose will have a significant impact on your professional career in the merchant navy.

1. Reefer Ship - These vessels transport perishable goods like produce, dairy products, fish, and meat and are often temperature-controlled.

2. Bulk Carrier - This category of carrier primarily transports bulk, unpackaged cargo, such as ore, coal, cement, and other similar items.

3. LNG Carrier - For commercial navy ships, transporting liquefied natural gas is among the highest-paying ship types.

4. Chemical/Oil Tankers - The oil tanker or chemical tanker is perhaps one of the most in-demand and rugged cargo ships. Oil tankers come in two different categories. One transports crude oil, while the other transports various petroleum products.

5. Roll on/off Ship - These ships are equipped with cutting-edge ramps that allow cars, trucks, railroad cars, and other types of vehicles to drive in and out. They are responsible for managing moving trucks and other transport tools.

Job Opportunities:

In this sector, there are numerous career options, and earnings vary according to the positions that applicants are applying for. To work on seagoing vessels like tankers, cruise liners, hovercraft, and cargo ships, commercial shipping corporations typically hire merchant navy officers. Candidates first serve as cadets or trainees. Captains, 2nd/3rd Officers, and Chief Officer are the other posts in the Merchant Navy.


Following completion of a merchant navy course, pay is based on rank, experience, and additional education. If they spend 183 days or more of the year in international waters, merchant navy sailors' salaries are tax-free; otherwise, they must pay taxes in accordance with GOI regulations. Here are a few jobs and wages for recent graduates of the merchant navy.



​Deck Cadet

INR 25,000 to 85,000

​2nd Officer/ 3rd Officer

​INR 1,50,000 to 3,00,000

​Chief Officer

​INR 4,00,000 to 6,00,000


​INR 8,65,000 to 20,00,000

An exciting career in the merchant marine may be right for you if you enjoy the travel and adventure of your profession. It presents opportunities for personal development exposes you to many cultures, and gives you practical work experience.

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