How To Join Merchant Navy In India ?

How to Join a Merchant Navy in India

The following can be followed by an aspirant if he/she wants to join the Merchant Navy in India. The candidate can follow the below steps during the school level to prepare themselves to join the Merchant Navy

  • The student must finish Class 12 with the subjects – Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.
  • Maintain normal vision which is required but glasses up to plus or minus 2.5 will be allowed.
  • The student can also need to complete a ship-training course prior to employment. The course is usually short-term where the candidates are taught basic security concerns of voyaging.

How to join a Merchant Navy After 12th

Since Merchant Navy courses are offered under UG, PG, Diploma and Certificate levels, the eligibility criteria for different courses vary. Each degree has a different eligibility crireria depending on the hierarchy of the course.

Here are some common requirements for Merchant Navy courses for different levels,

  • For undergraduate Merchant Navy courses, the aspiring candidates must have completed Class 12 with Science stream in the following subjects – Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as compulsory subjects. For Postgraduate Merchant Navy courses students should clear their graduation in relevant subject with minimum 50% aggregate marks or equivalent CGPA.
  • The minimum age allowed is between 17 to 25 years.

Since there are different types of diploma courses available, the criteria within the category vary.

  • The aspiring candidates should not be over the age of 25 – 28 years.
  • For one-year diploma courses, the student must have passed a 10+2 level of examination with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and English as compulsory subjects.
  • For two-year diploma courses, the students must have passed Diploma in Electronics Engineering/ Marine Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering/ Electrical Engineering/ Shipbuilding Engineering with at least 50 per cent marks.

Maritime Courses

Some of the top courses that can be pursued in order to join Merchant Navy are listed below for your reference,

Certificate Course Maritime Catering

Certificate Course in Maritime Catering is a certification course or holding diploma for a duration of one year which is full-time.

Course Level Certificate
Duration 1 year
Examination Type Semester Type
Eligibility 10+2
Admission Merit-based or Entrance based
Top Recruiting areas Shipping areas, Hospitals, Hotels, Airlines, Motels, Cruise Lines, Guest Houses, Restaurants, Industrial Canteens, Resort
Top Job Profiles Chief Cook, Catering Officer, General Steward, Hotel Manager, Maintenance Manager
Course Fee INR 10,000 to 3 Lakhs
Average Starting Salary INR 1 to 20 Lakhs

Diploma in Nautical Science

Diploma in Nautical Science is a full-time Diploma course for a duration of one year in Nautical Science. Eligibility includes 10+2 with Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry or an equivalent examination with 55% from a recognized board.

Course Level Diploma
Duration 1 year
Examination Type Semester type
Eligibility 10+2
Admission Process Merit-based or Entrance-based
Top recruiting organizations SMEC Automation Private Limited, American Cruise Lines, GMMCO Limited, GE Shipping Co Limited, Crewglobal Marine Services Private Limited
Top recruiting areas Indian Naval Sciences, Port Operations Companies, Weather Forecasting Centers, Educational Institutes
Top job profiles Marine Engineering Instructor, Operation Manager, Trainee Navigating Officer, Teacher, Lecturer
Course Fee INR 2,000 to 3 Lacs
Average Starting Salary INR 2 to 15 Lacs

BE Marine Engineering

B.E in Marine Engineering course is the study that involves the production, design, development and maintenance of sea equipment which are used in boats, ships, submarines or any other water transport.

Course BE Marine Engineering
Full form Bachelor of Engineering in Marine Engineering
Level Gradate
Duration 4 year
Eligibility 10+2
Admission Process Merit-based or Entrance-based
Average tuition fee INR 15,000 to 15,00,000
Job Positions Technical superintendent, Maritime educator, Second marine engineer, Ship manager, Ship operator, Marine surveyor, Chief marine engineer, Port manager etc
Top recruiting areas Research and Deployment centres, Ship building companies, Naval jobs, Harbours and ports, Colleges and Universities etc.
Average salary INR 5,00,000 – 12,00,000

How to Become Merchant Navy Officer Abroad

Many colleges offer Merchant Navy courses since it is a commercial job which can be done from any country. Those who are interested in studying these courses online and look to get placed there should go ahead with it.


In the UK students have great scope who want to join the merchant navy. Students must pass class 10+2 with good academia scores and should have a strong CV.

Some of the courses available include Maritime University Programs, Certificate Maritime Programs, Marine Vocational and Maritime Law Program

Top Colleges

Colleges Average Annual Fees
University of Southampton INR 29.6 L
Plymouth university INR 19.8 L
University of Aberdeen INR 45 L
Southampton Solent University INR 30 L
University of Strathclyde INR 28.6 L


Students who are willing to join the merchant navy must pass class 10+2 with good academia scores and should have a strong CV. They must also have a good score in GRE or IELTS. IELTS is mandatory to international students. 

Some of the courses available in USA that helps students to join the merchant navy include Marine engineering, Maritime engineering and Maritime programs

Top Colleges

Colleges Average Annual Fees
Florida Institute of Technology INR 19.6 L
Maine Maritime Academy INR 11.1L
Maritime College – SUNY INR 25 L
Massachusetts Maritime Academy  INR 36 L
U.S Merchant Marine Academy INR 45 L


Students who are willing to join the merchant navy in Canada must be passing class 10+2 with good academia scores and should have a strong CV. They must have good scores in GRE and international students will have to give IELTS.

Some of the top courses available for a merchant navy career in Canada are Diploma in Marine Technology Marine Engineering, Diploma in Nautical Science and Technician Diploma. 

Top Colleges

Colleges Average Annual Fees
Georgian College INR 8.3 L
University of British Columbia INR 18.8 L
Memorial University of Newfoundland INR 19.1 L
Nova Scotia Community college INR 11.2 L


Students in Australia who wish to join the merchant navy must have good records while passing class 10+2 and should have a strong CV. Students should have a good score in GRE. International students must have IELTS scores.

Some of the courses available in Australia are Seafarer Certificate, Maritime Training, Maritime Engineering and Marine Engineering

Top Colleges

Colleges Average Annual Fees
The University of Western Australia INR 15.6 L
Curtin University INR 14.5 L
Griffith University INR 35.9 L

Benefits of Career in the Merchant Navy

  • Salary: The salary offered to the Merchant Navy is the most attractive benefit given to a sailor. The salary starts from INR 1,50,000 and goes up to INR 7,50,000 and more for Captions and Chief Engineers in tanker ships.
  • Job Security: The job depends on sailing. After sailing for months and covering many trips across the globe, they are given vacation for a few months after which reallocation is done. The job security depends on the company you are associated with.
  • Positive impact of the Career: Since most of the time spent is solitary, the sailors get to learn more about themselves and discover happiness in life. The sailors who are interested in ships and seas get to live their career doing what they love. They also get to travel around the world for free.
  • Unique Experience: The sailors experience something unique which not everybody gets to experience. They sail on the sea for months, watch the night sky and much more. The experience is one of its kind since the merchant navy officers get to travel around the world while sailing, when the boat has anchored on a port. They can get down and explore the country for a few days until the ship sails again.

Skills Required to Join Merchant Navy

Some of the top skill sets essential to join Merchant Navy are tabulated below for your reference,

Passion for Sailing Patience and resilience
Team work Analytical and logical thinking
Planning and decision making Practical knowledge about physics, mathematics, maritime etc.
Interpersonal skills Liking for water adventures

Salary of Merchant Navy Officer

Merchant Navy ranks amongst one of the top most pursued courses as well as career choice for a lot of people. Tabulated below are the salary structure after joining Merchant Navy for your reference.

Average Annual Salary

Name of the organization Average Annual Salary
Govt NA
Private INR 75,000 – INR 75,00,000

Specialization Wise

Specializations Average Monthly Salary
Trainee INR 8 L
Deck Cadet INR 1 L
2nd Officer INR 5 L
3rd Officer INR 7 L
Chief Officer INR 6 L
Captain INR 10 L

Experience Wise

Experience Average Annual Salary
Fresher INR 27 L
Experienced INR 1.2 Crore

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    November 14, 2022

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