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HomeTrendingMerchant Navy Courses in India: How to Join?

Merchant Navy Courses in India: How to Join?

Hi Readers! The merchant navy is an impressive, globally significant industry that is vital in driving worldwide commerce. This article takes a closer look at its intricacies, exploring the sector’s invaluable contribution to economies and the experience and expertise it requires. India has rich maritime history has given rise to numerous merchant navy professionals serving domestically and internationally. How to join a merchant navy course in India? The process can be revealed by understanding the courses, syllabi, and criteria required.

Merchant Navy: About

The merchant navy, often called “Shipper Marine,” is intrinsically tied to an economy’s internal and external trade. But what sets it apart from other industries?

 The merchant navy is all about freight and passenger transportation over marine routes. It forms an integral part of the global distribution industry, making it an indispensable tool in international trade. But beyond the dry, sterile statistics and business jargon, what exactly is the merchant navy? What does a typical day in the life of a merchant navy personnel look like?

Essentially, the life of a merchant navy professional is all about ensuring smooth sailing. Quite literally! They manage, operate, and maintain the merchant ships, providing everything from safe and timely deliveries to navigation, communication, and machinery operations running like a well-oiled machine.

How to Join Merchant Navy After 12th? 

The Merchant Navy is a collective term for the commercial shipping industry. It offers a variety of career opportunities for people interested in working on ships or in related sectors. To join the Merchant Navy, one has to meet merchant navy qualification depending on the role and level of entry. Some of the standard eligibility criteria are:


The minimum age for joining the Merchant Navy is 16 years for ratings and 17 years for officers. The maximum age limit varies depending on the rank and company, but it is usually between 25 to 35 years.


The educational qualification required for joining the Merchant Navy depends on the course type and the entry-level.

Ratings, one has to pass 10th or 12th standard with English, Mathematics, and Science as compulsory subjects.

For officers, one has to pass 12th standard with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as mandatory subjects and secure at least 60% marks.

Some specialized courses, such as marine engineering or nautical science, one must clear an entrance exam and a medical test.

Physical and Medical Fitness:

The Merchant Navy demands a high level of physical and medical fitness from its personnel. One has to undergo a thorough medical examination by a certified doctor before joining the Merchant Navy. Some of the common medical standards are:

  1.  Normal vision (6/6) in each eye without glasses or contact lenses. Color blindness is a disqualification for deck officers and engineers.
  2.  No history of major illness or surgery that may affect the performance or safety of oneself or others on board.
  3.  No physical disability or deformity that may hamper normal functioning or mobility on board.
  4.  No history of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction.

Nationality and Passport:

To join the Merchant Navy, one has to be a citizen of India and possess a valid Indian passport. One may also need to obtain other documents such as a Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC), proof of identity and sea service, and a Seaman’s Book, a record of all the ships one has worked on.

Also Read: 

How to become a merchant navy officer? 

Authority in the Merchant Navy: Not a Walk in the Park

Working in a merchant navy isn’t for the faint-hearted. It requires a certain level of expertise, authority, and discipline. The positions within this industry are distinct, and each role carries a heavy responsibility, from the captain or the chief engineer to the ship’s cook.

Trust in the Merchant Navy: Steering the Ship of Commerce

Trust forms the bedrock of this sector. Given the magnitude of responsibilities and risks, people entrust their lives and goods to this industry. Whether it’s the shipload of goods navigating rough seas or the captain steering the vessel, trust keeps the merchant navy’s wheels turning.

Merchant Navy Courses in India

Merchant Navy Courses in India offer a wide variety of courses for those who are interested in maritime activities. Some of the main courses include:

  • Diploma in Nautical Science
  • B.Sc. in Nautical Science
  • B.Sc. in Marine Engineering
  • B.S. in Maritime Science
  • MBA in Shipping
  •  Likewise, there are several other subject-specific courses and advanced degrees as well, all aimed at creating qualified and efficient merchant navy professionals who can contribute remarkably to the national and international shipping sector.

How to Join?

Now, the most relevant question arises – how to join? Picking the right course is vital, but knowing the admission criteria, merchant navy qualification  and the entry process is equally significant.

Merchant Navy India: Eligibility

As a starter, candidates should have passed their 10+2 exams, preferably with a background in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. In addition, they need to be medically fit and should not be color blind. Physical fitness is of prime importance in the merchant navy field.

 What about the age limit? Candidates should generally be between the ages of 17 and 25.

Entrance Examinations

Candidates have to qualify in specific entrance examinations like IMU-CET (Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test) or the examinations conducted by various other maritime institutes. Additionally, they also need to clear a medical fitness test.

After Selecting a Course

After selecting a suitable course, future aspirants must undertake the course for the stipulated period and then proceed to an apprenticeship under a shipping firm. The long journey ends with a certification issued by the Ministry of Shipping, India.

Merchant Navy India : Top Colleges 

The career in merchant navy is a lucrative and rewarding career option for those interested in sailing, traveling, and exploring the world. Merchant navy officers are responsible for the safe operation, maintenance, and navigation of various ships carrying cargo and passengers across the oceans. The profession offers a range of opportunities for career advancement, financial stability, and personal growth.

In India, many colleges offer courses and training programs for aspiring merchant navy officers. Some of the top colleges are:

Indian Maritime University (IMU):

IMU is a central university that offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs in maritime studies, engineering, management, and law. IMU has six campuses across the country and conducts a common entrance test (CET) for admission to its courses.

Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI):

TMI is a private institute affiliated with Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani. The institute offers B.Tech in marine engineering and B.Sc in nautical science programs approved by the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS). TMI also has a state-of-the-art campus with modern facilities and infrastructure.

Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS):

SIMS is a private institute that offers pre-sea and post-sea training programs for deck and engine cadets, ratings, and officers. It has a world-class campus with advanced simulators, laboratories, and workshops. SIMS also has a strong placement record with leading shipping companies.

Vels Academy of Maritime Studies (VAMS):

VAMS is a private institute that offers diploma, degree, and postgraduate diploma programs in nautical science, marine engineering, and shipbuilding. The institute has a well-equipped campus with experienced faculty and industry exposure. VAMS also assists in obtaining sponsorship and placement from reputed shipping companies.

Merchant Navy: Salary Structure

The demand for merchant navy officers is expected to grow in the coming years as global trade and commerce increase. According to the latest data from the DGS, India has about 1.5 lakh seafarers who are employed on various types of ships around the world. The average salary of a merchant navy officer depends on multiple factors such as rank, experience, type of ship, company, and nationality. However, some of the approximate salary ranges are as follows:

  1. Deck Cadet: Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 40,000 per month
  2. Third Officer: Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh per month
  3. Second Officer: Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh per month
  4. Chief Officer: Rs. 4 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh per month
  5. Captain: Rs. 8 lakh to Rs. 12 lakh per month
  6. Engine Cadet: Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 40,000 per month
  7. Fourth Engineer: Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh per month
  8. Third Engineer: Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh per month
  9. Second Engineer: Rs. 4 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh per month
  10. Chief Engineer: Rs. 8 lakh to Rs. 12 lakh per month

Final Thoughts

Merchant Navy is a challenging and exciting career option for those passionate about the sea and a sense of adventure. Any Merchant navy officers enjoy a high status, respect, and recognition in society and the industry. Merchant navy officers also get to travel to different countries, experience diverse cultures and meet new people.

Enrolling in a Merchant Navy course in India and successfully building a career requires detailed knowledge of the courses and proper planning. Are you ready to embark on this meaningful and adventurous voyage?



David Scott
David Scott
Digital Marketing Specialist .


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