1. Home
  2. >>
  3. Blog
  4. >>
  5. Merchant Navy as a Career Option

Merchant Navy as a Career Option

Merchant Navy is the backbone of international trade, carrying cargo across the globe. Without the merchant navy, much of the import-export business would grind to a halt. The Merchant Navy is operated by both public & private sector shipping companies. The merchant ships are maintained by experienced navigators crews and marine engineers. As the job involves travelling for considerably longer duration, the life of those who work in Merchant Navy is distinctly different from usual.

Merchant Navy is a non-combatant commercial fleet. This domain deals with ferrying a huge amount of goods, and occasionally, passengers, by sea. The major tasks are performed in three basic areas of a ship: the Deck, the Engine and the Service department. Merchant navy should not be confused with Indian Navy, which is tasked with defending the nation on the seas and oceans. Around 90% of world trade is carried by the international shipping industry. There are over 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations, and manned by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.

Without shipping the import and export of goods on the scale necessary for the modern world would not be possible. Seaborne trade continues to expand, bringing benefits for consumers across the world through competitive freight costs. It can also be termed as second line of defence. Thanks to the growing efficiency of shipping as a mode of transport and increased economic liberalisation, the prospects for the industry's further growth continue to be strong.

A career in merchant navy gives you an opportunity to travel around the world. A career at sea will make you stand in an excellent stead, no matter how quickly the world changes. The opportunity to work with cutting-edge technologies and develop practical and technical skills will make life enjoyable and exciting.

As a youngster, if you are dreaming to join merchant navy, here are few opportunities in this career path:

  • At Deck: Captain, Chief Officer; Second, Third and Deck Cadet Trainee
  • Engine Department: Chief Engineer, Second, Third, Fourth and Engine Cadet Trainee

If you have an adventurous mind and like to travel and explore, then merchant navy could be the perfect career option for you. Both highly satisfying and challenging, a job in merchant navy also has an excellent salary structure. Here are few more reasons to consider merchant navy as a career:

  • It makes you responsible at an early age;
  • Confluence of Cultures
  • Enhances Professionalism
  • Extended Vacations
  • Lucrative Pay-Packages
  • Tax Benefits
  • Destinations Galore
  • Opportunity to interact with different people and culture from different countries;
  • This career promises fast growth;
  • There is job security with choice of working period;
  • Excellent accommodation facility on ship and no expenses for lodging.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Students who have completed Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in Class 12 are eligible to join merchant navy.
  • 10 + 2 (‘A’ Levels) with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics with minimum 60% marks in PCM or B.Sc. Graduates with 60% marks in the final year
  •  Minimum 50% marks in English at 10 + 2 or 10th level is must.
  • Admission is offered through a CET IMU entrance examination, which is followed by a screening test and a written test.
  • After the clearance of these tests, an interview and a medical test are conducted.
  • Before coming on-board, the aspirant has to undergo a ship-training course.

Medical fitness

  • Medically fit with eyesight 6/6, without external aids. No colour blindness.
  • Eye sight: Candidates will have to undergo a full Medical Test conducted by DG Approved Doctors only.


  • Not exceeding 25 years as on the date of commencement of training (subject to DG’s guidelines).

Responsibilities at the Ship:

As an officer, you will either work in the deck or engineering department. Exact duties depend on the rank. Some responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring and maintaining safety at the ship;
  • Checking weather and navigation reports;
  • Supervising the operation and taking appropriate actions, if required;
  • Coordinating for safe loading, storage and unloading of cargo;
  • Maintaining legal and operational records;
  • Using a range of satellite and radar systems to navigate the vessel.


Stay Connected