How To Join Merchant Navy?

The Merchant Navy is a non-combatant commercial fleet that deals with transporting cargo and sometimes passengers as well via ocean.

So, its fleet encompasses passenger vessels, carriers, tankers, liners and other special types of vehicles. A career in this field is whole of long voyages and adventure to exotic places.

The great thing about a career in this field is the chance to explore a number of places and also good salary is assured to candidates.

Generally, candidates are recruited for three main positions in Merchant Navy in India and they are Deck Officer, Engineer Officer and Electrical Officer. Here are the details about how to join these positions:

Join Merchant Navy

Deck Officer

Candidates appointed to this position are otherwise called as Navigation Officers. As the name of the position suggests, candidates appointed to this position will be responsible for navigation of vessels and they are also responsible for loading cargo and deck maintenance as well.

Growth prospects: Any candidate appointed to this position will begin as a deck cadet and on completion of the requisite examination and sea time the candidate will become third officer and then will become second officer. Then, he will become Chief Officer and can finally become the Captain of a ship.

Pay Package: As a deck cadet, you can earn an average stipend of Rs. 20,000 per month. At the third and second officer positions, you can earn around Rs. 1.75 lakhs per month. As a chief officer, you can earn Rs.2.8 lakhs per month and a captain of the ship, your salary will become Rs. 3.5 lakhs per month.

How to become a deck officer? If you want to become a deck officer, you can apply to one of the shipping companies for the post of deck cadet.

If selected, you will be sent to pre-sea training for a period of one year. This will be followed by an apprenticeship on board for a period of 18 months.

On completion of these sessions, you will become eligible to apply for exam conducted by the Director General of Shipping.

On successful completion of this examination, you will be qualified for the position of the third officer. On the basis of experience gained and performance, you will be promoted as second officer.

After 18 months, you can take another examination to become Chief Officer. Then, a 12 month service in this position along with a Master’s examination will make you the captain of a ship.

Eligibility requirement: To apply with shipping companies for the position deck cadet, you should have the following educational qualification:

  • 10+2 in Science group with at least 65% of marks in aggregate and should have studied, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics or
  • Candidates with Bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry or electronics with physics as an individual subject in any one of the three years with an aggregate of at least 60% in the final year.
  • You must have studied English at 10th or 12th and should have passed with a minimum of 60% of marks
  • Age must be within 17-25 years
  • You should be physically fit as per ILO Standards and a eyesight of 6/6 and normal color vision.

When you satisfy the above-mentioned qualifications, you can also apply to any Maritime Training Institutions in India for pre-sea training. Most of these institutions will have their own entrance procedures, while most of them admit candidates on the basis of the Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test.

Engineer Officer:

Candidates appointed to this position will be responsible for running engines and their maintenance. When a candidate becomes a chief engineer, he can earn a salary of Rs.3.5 lakhs per month.

Growth Prospects: Generally, candidates appointed for the engineering cadre will begin as Junior Engineer and then they will progress as fourth, third, second and finally chief engineer.

Pay package: When you become a junior engineer with the Merchant Navy, you can get an average stipend of Rs.28000 per month. At the 4th and 3rd Engineer positions, the salary will be around Rs.1.75 lakhs per month and as a second engineer it will be somewhere around Rs.2.8 lakhs per month. When you become Chief Engineer, it will be somewhere around Rs.3.5 lakhs as mentioned earlier.

How to become an Engineering Officer? For candidates interested in becoming a Chief Engineer, the first step is a degree in mechanical engineering. On completion of mechanical engineering course, they will have to apply for a nautical training institution for pre-sea training for a period of 6 months. On completion of the six month period, the candidate will have to take up an examination to become a fourth engineer. If he performs well in this position, he will be promoted as third engineer on board. After serving in this position for 18 months, and again taking an examination will take the candidate to the second engineer position. Again, after 12 months, another examination should be taken to become a Chief Engineer.

Eligibility requirement: To apply for pre-sea training with a Navel institute to become eligible for the position of engineer officer, it is important to fulfill the following qualification requirements:

  • B.E/B. Tech from an AICTE Approved educational institution in Mechanical Engineering with at least 60% of marks.
  • English with at least 60% of marks either in 10th or 12th class
  • Less than 28 years of age
  • Physically fit as per ILO standards with an eyesight of 6/6 and normal color vision.

All the above-mentioned qualifications are important to apply to a nautical or maritime training institution.

Electrical Officer:

The responsibility of an electrical officer is to take care of the operation, maintenance and repairs of all electrical, electronics, automation and refrigeration systems and they will be sailing on the ship to take care of these operations.

Growth prospects: Candidate will begin his career as a trainee electrical officer and then will be promoted to Assistant Electrical Officer and finally will become an electrical officer. All these promotions will be given on the basis of the experience and performance of candidates on board.

Qualification requirement:

  • Candidates with diploma in Electrical engineering with three years of work experience and more than 50% of marks in English at 10th standard can apply.
  • Even, candidates with B. Ein Electrical/Electronics and telecommunication/Electrical and electronics with at least 60% of marks plus at least 50% of marks in English in 10th and 12th standards and a minimum 60 % of marks in 12th in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics are eligible.

Candidates with these qualifications can apply to a maritime training institution, wherein written test, medical test and psychometric test will be conducted for admission.

Once they gain admission, they will be given four months training as per STCW norms. STCW stands for Standard of Training Certification and Watch Keeping, which is mandatory for sea staff.

On completion of this training, the candidate will be posted as a trainee electrical officer and then as an Assistant Electrical Officer and finally as Electrical Officer.

If you are interested in sea voyage and if you love to earn a position in a prestigious field, Merchant Navy is something lucrative for you. In addition, you can also earn attractive pay.

Of course, you will have to be away from your family and will be on the sea most often. So, decide on your likes before applying for a position in the Merchant Navy.

  1. Please visit our webSite for any merchant related query and get free counselling.


  2. Hello, I’m a B.Com. graduate from Delhi University. I want to join the Merchant Navy. Am i eligible for this?

  3. I m in a 12 cls.65 %I had score in 10 class.I would like to join merchant navy. plese give me a right way to join merchant navy.

  4. I am 12th pass and deploma in mech. Engineering for distance edn. I want to join marchant pse inform to me.

  5. Sir, I am Electronics and Communication Engineer. I want to become Electrical Officer. My only bothering issue is my 12th mark. I studied in Kendriya Vidayalay and got very less marks in 12th.
    I am Eligible for Electrical officer post?

  6. I am 12 the pass and I had 76% marks and beside also I complete Oner year Diploma of hotel Management course…
    How can I join marchent Navy waiter please informed me

  7. i am a mechanicl engng graduate n also from a Fisherman background .i want to join merchant navy pls inform me about vacancy in these field

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