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Merchant Navy

NOTE: Complete guide to Merchant Navy can be found at

The Merchant Navy is part of a non-combat commercial fleet, which involves carrying cargo and sometimes passengers through sea transportation. A Merchant Navy can be part of passenger's vessels, tankers, cargo liners, carriers and also other special types of vehicles.

What does the Merchant Navy do?

The Merchant Navy is the fortitude and the main source of foreign trade, carrying cargo all over the globe. They are responsible for ship navigation, the safety of passengers, technical management and following international code of conduct related to sea transportation.

What are the skills required?

  • Decision-making skills

  • Calm and Patience

  • Team Working skill

  • Leadership skills

  • Interest in Technology

  • Adaptability

  • Flexibility

Eligibility to join Merchant Navy

Aspirants need to fulfil certain criteria to join the Merchant Navy. The criteria required are:

  • Candidates need to finish class 12 with Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics.

  • Candidates need to be unmarried (it varies) and a citizen of India.

  • Normal Vision is expected but you can also be allowed with glasses up to 2.5 power.

  • Admission is only through an entrance test, subject to screening before the entrance exam.

  • After clearing all the tests, you will have to give an interview followed by a medical test.

Top Colleges offering a course on Merchant Navy

After successful completion of 12th standard, interested applicants may apply for the IMU CET or 9CC CET which comes under the provisions of 9CC Parivartan Scholarship(Link is given on the Top of Homepage). This exam is taken on 27th May and 7th June. There are many Institutes which are approved by the Director-General of Ship transportation and some of the top and major Institutes offering Maritime courses in collaboration with 9CC CET are:

  • International Maritime Institute, Noida

  • MANET, Pune

  • AMET University, Chennai

  • Among many more.

Most of these colleges take students on the basis of marks accrued during 10+2 final exam in combination with 9CC CET and IMU CET. You can also apply for sponsorship based entry on the following conditions:

  • Direct Admission can be taken by applicants if approved by the Director-General of Shipping.

  • Completing the first year of engineering with a mechanical or electrical branch with a minimum aggregate of 60%.

  • 9CC also helps in getting company sponsors candidates for the completion of the Maritime Engineering Course.

What is the Career Scope for them in India?

Qualification as a Merchant Navy is one of the highest paying careers both in India and globally. Most of the import and export business is carried by the Merchant Navy and they are in demand all throughout the year. As the global economy continues to grow, and the trading of goods between countries increases, the demand for the Merchant Navy will be continuous and increasing. A merchant navy can be hired in the following sectors:

  • Marine Insurance

  • Surveying Ships

  • Management of Ports and Harbors

  • Research in Higher Education Sectors

  • Maritime Regulatory Authorities

Candidates who successfully complete Maritime courses and get placed with shipping companies usually start as a deck or engine cadets. Then they can progress to senior navigation officers or marine engineers from there they can be the captain or chief engineer of a ship with experience and performance. The career hierarchy of a merchant navy is:

  • Deck Cadet / Engine Cadet

  • 3rd Officer / 4th Engineer

  • 2nd Officer / 3rd Engineer

  • Chief Officer / 2nd Engineer

  • Captain / Chief Engineer

How much does an officer in the Merchant Navy make?

An entry-level Seafarer with less than a year of experience can earn an average salary of Rs 48,000/mth including compensation, bonus, and overtime. A mid-career Seafarer with 5-9 years of experience can earn depending on the company to company:

  • Deck Cadet / Engine Cadet - 500 USD

  • 3rd Officer / 4th Engineer - 2800 USD

  • 2nd Officer / 3rd Engineer - 4200USD

  • Chief Officer / 2nd Engineer - 8000USD

  • Captain / Chief Engineer - 10000USD

What are the books and study materials available?

Candidates who are aspiring to be a part of the Merchant Navy needs a thorough knowledge of Maritime courses and international laws and regulations. The best books and study materials available are:

  • General Engineering Knowledge, H.D McGeorge

  • IMU-CET Exam Full Package

  • IMU-CET Guide, Captain A.N Rizvi

  • Current Affairs Yearly 2020

  • Manorama Yearbook 2020

  • Revise 10 and 12th Maths, physics, and chemistry thoroughly.

Major Recruiters

The major recruiters for Merchant Navy are as follows:

  • Maersk Line

  • MSC Shipping

  • Fleet Management

  • Anglo Eastern Shipping

  • Great Eastern Shipping

  • Shipping Corporation of India

Interesting fact

Shipping is one of the oldest forms of transportation in the world and around 90% of global trade is managed by the international shipping industry.