Merchant Navy Career – Overview, Admission, Training – Institutes


Merchant Navy – A career in the Shipping Industry offers the chance of a unique and adventurous lifestyle packed with exciting career prospects. With the ocean as your backdrop and the most advanced and sophisticated ships in the world as your workplace, there really is nothing to compare with a life at sea.


Opportunities exist in navigation, engineering and catering & hospitality for enthusiastic and hard working people. Once qualified you will be rewarded with generous pay and leave periods. Merchant navy fleet consist of cargo ships, container ships, barge carrying ships, tankers, bulk carriers, refrigerators ships, passenger ships as well as many others

To meet the requirement of trained man-power there are pre-sea and post-sea training institutes under the Directorate General of Shipping, Ministry of Surface Transport.On successful completion of training at these institutes the candidates are eligible to take up jobs on board Indian/foreign vessels.


Also See : Merchant Navy Entrance Exam Syllabus, all you need to know


Maritime Training Institutes

(i) Lal Bahadur Shastri College of Advanced Maritime Studies & Research, Hay Bunder, Tank Road Mumbai-400033.
is one of the largest institutes in Asia in terms of student turn over;offers post-sea training to the Marine officers of both deck and engine in 32 various courses;

the training conforms to Standards for Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW’) 95 standards;
Has state-of-Art training equipment and infrastructure facility to keep pace with modern trend in shipping industry;

(ii) Marine Engineering and Research Institutes (MERI),P-19 Taratola Road Calcutta –700088./Hay Bunder Tank Road Mumbai-400033.

The institute at Calcutta, which has a capacity of 120 students per year provides 4 years degree course in Marine Engineering;

MERI, Mumbai, which also has annual capacity of 120 students per year provides 6 months courses in Mechanical Engineering to candidates possessing degree in mechanical engineering prior to sailing on board;

Both the institutes are equipped with State-of-art, training equipments and facilities to meet the requirements of Marine Engineering Training.

(iii) T. S. Chanakya, Karave Navi Mumbai-400706.

The shore based academy was earlier known as T. S. Dufferin and later as T. S. Rajendra;
The institute conducts two types of courses :-

1. 3 years degree course in Nautical Science with an intake capacity of 80 cadets per course under aegis of University of Mumbai.

2. 3 months pre-sea training course with an intake capacity of 120 cadets per course.


Admission Requirement

Admission to MERI and T. S. Chanakya are through a joint entrance examination conducted by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at national level.

For the 3 months pre-sea cadets course, the candidates have to be sponsored by various shipping companies.

For 6 months Trainee Mechanical Engineering course, candidates possessing degree in mechanical engineering have to be sponsored by shipping companies.

For post-sea training course at LBS College of Advanced Maritime Studies & Research, the marine officers themselves approach the institutes for updating their technical competency according to the needs of STCW’ 95 and other stipulation laid down by IMO and Government of India.


Frequently Asked Questions regarding Merchant Navy career


1) Is the Merchant Navy a good career choice?

Ans – Merchant Navy is absolutely a good career choice, especially for the persons who are well-disciplined, and have lot of courage and bravery.

2) What is the average salary of a merchant navy in India?

Ans – For employees under 10 years of experience, the average salary of a merchant navy is around INR 3.4 lakhs per year, in India. But the salary of this career ranges from INR 0.1 lakhs to 17 lakhs per year.

3) Is a merchant navy career difficult?

Ans – Yes, the career of a merchant navy is too much tough and challenging, and needs a lot of perseverance to stay and pursue this career.

4) Can girls join merchant navy?

Ans – Yes, girls can also join merchant navy. Though previously, this career was mainly restricted to boys, but now girls are also allowed to join merchant navy.

5) Which courses am I allowed to study after class 12th while choosing a merchant navy career?

Ans – Courses one can study after 12th while choosing a merchant navy career are –

i) B.E. Marine Engineering

ii) B.E. Marine Engineering

iii) B.E. Petroleum Engineering

iv) B.E. Petroleum Engineering

v) B.E. Harbour & Ocean Engineering

vi) B.E. Mechanical Engineering

vii) B.E. Electrical & Electronics Engineering

viii) B.E. Civil Engineering

ix) Electro Technical Officer Course

x) B.Sc. Marine Catering

6) How to become a merchant navy?

Ans – To become a merchant navy, candidates need to qualify entrance exams like Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test (IMU CET), All India Merchant Navy Entrance Test (AIMNET), JEE Advanced.

7) What is the eligibility to become a merchant navy?

Ans – The eligibility criteria to become a merchant navy are –

i) Candidates need to pass class 12 board exam in the science stream, having Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics as subjects, with a minimum of 60% marks.

ii) Candidates need to have a normal clear vision, though eye power upto plus or minus 2.5 is allowed in some cases

iii) Candidates need to qualify for all the stages of the entrance exam, including the medical test round.

8) Do I need to learn swimming for the merchant navy career?

Ans – No, it is not mandatory to know swimming to apply for the merchant navy career.

9) What is the age limit to apply for the merchant navy career?

Ans – The age limit to apply for the merchant navy career ranges from 17 years to 25 years.

10) Is mathematics compulsory for the merchant navy career?

Ans – Yes, to apply for merchant navy career, candidates need to have mathematics as a compulsory subject in the class 12 board exam.


Also See : 

Merchant Navy Entrance Exams and Admissions in India