Merchant Navy Training, Selection Process & Age Limit
A merchant navy or merchant marine or mercantile marine is the fleet of merchant vessels that are registered in a specific country. On merchant vessels, seafarers of various ranks and sometimes members of maritime trade unions are required by the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) to carry Merchant Mariner’s Documents.
King George V bestowed the title of the “Merchant Navy” on the British merchant shipping fleets following their service in the First World War; since then a number of other nations have also adopted use of that title or the similar “Merchant Marine.” The following is a partial list of the merchant navies or merchant marines of various countries. In many countries the fleet’s proper name is simply the capitalized version of the common noun (“Merchant Navy”)
Indian Merchant Navy
The birth of the modern Indian Merchant Navy occurred before independence from the United Kingdom, when in 1919 SS Loyalty sailed from India to Britain. Today, India ranks 15th in the world in terms of total DWT. India currently supplies around 12.8% of officers and around 14.5% of ratings to the world seafaring community. This is one of the highest of any country. India trains its officers similar to coast guards with all equipment including combat training. They are trained to protect their vessels at all cost from pirates.
Fields in Merchant Navy:
- Tech Marine Engineering
- Sc Nautical Science
- Tech Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering
- Tech Harbour & Ocean Engineering
- Tech Ship Building
- Marine Catering
- Electro Technical Officer Course
Merchant Navy Eligiblity Criteria
- Minimum Qualification Required: 10+2 (Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry)
- Minimum Marks Required: 55% to 70% (varies from college to college)
Merchant Navy Admission Process:
Entry to different programmes leading to a career in merchant navy is done mostly on the basis of entrance exams. However, there are other procedures for different entry levels. Check details below:
Admission through Entrance Exams and Merit:
If you want to apply for technical courses for entering Merchant Navy, then you will have to appear for entrance exams. Exams are conducted for admission to marine engineering programmes after class 12. Following are some popular exams:
- IMU CET
- JEE Advanced
- MERI Entrance Exam
However, there are a few colleges that also take students on the basis of marks secured in class 12.
Sponsorship Based Entry:
- Entry is also possible if you apply to either of the popular maritime institutes for maritime programmes. You can apply for sponsorships at the institutes started by shipping companies to train potential candidates for the merchant navy.
- The sponsorship to go on a ship will be provided to you by the company through which you apply only if you have completed a course at their institute. You can also apply for multiple sponsorships at different companies.
Lateral Entry (LE) into 2nd year of Marine Engineering:
- Direct Admission can also be taken into the second year of marine engineering programmes approved by the Directorate General of Shipping. There are two ways of securing LE seats in Marine Engineering programmes:
- After completing the first year of engineering from electrical or mechanical branch with minimum 60% and
- Pursuing a diploma in electrical, mechanical, marine or ship-building engineering with minimum 60% aggregate marks
Merchant Navy Syllabus
|Mechanics of Fluids||Voyage Planning and Collision Prevention||Marine Electrical Technology|
|Nautical Physics and Electronics Paper||Electrical Machines||Ship Operation Technology|
|Marine Auxiliary Machine||Principles of Navigation||Marine IC Engineering|
|Shipping Management||Marine Boiler and System Engineering||Maritime Law|
|Naval Architecture||Cargo Machine and Marine Communication||Marine Heat Engines and Air Conditioning|
|Marine Machines and System Design||Environmental Science||STCW and Ship Fire Prevention|
After completing the respective programmes in the merchant navy, it is mandatory for all candidates to undergo pre-sea training conducted by the Maritime Training Institute. Be it marine engineering or simply a maritime catering programme, all candidates have to undergo this training before they start working as interns on the ship. The duration of the training can vary from six months to one year depending on the programme that the candidate has pursued.
Career Options and Job Prospects
Merchant Navy is one of the most high paying careers in India as well as abroad. Sailors are paid excellent packages as working on a ship is considered to be a difficult job. There are numerous career opportunities in this field and salaries vary depending on the post of the candidates.
Usually, Naval Officers are paid six figure packages. Candidates can apply for these posts by clearing the competency programmes conducted by the Government of India. Following is the salary scope after pursuing a career in merchant navy:
|Profile||Qualification||Field Requisite||Average Salary (approx.)|
|G P Rating||Class 10||4 + 2 months of pre-sea course||Rs. 25,000 to 60,000 per month|
|Trainee Cadet||Class 12 along with pre-sea Nautical Diploma||1 year pre-sea course||Rs. 25,000 to 85,000 per month|
|Deck Cadet||Class 12 along with pre-sea Nautical Diploma||18 months of service at sea as deck cadet||Rs. 25,000 to 85,000 per month|
|3rd Officer/ 2ndOfficer||2nd Mate (FG) Certificate of Competency||18 months of service at sea as 2nd or 3rdofficer||Rs. 1,50,000 to 3,00,000 per month|
|Chief Officer||1st Mate (FG) Certificate of Competency||18 months of service at sea as chief officer||Rs. 4,00,000 to 6,00,000 per month|
|Captain||Master (FG) Certificate of Competency||4 to 5 years of experience in the industry||Rs. 8,65,000 to 20,00,000 per month|
Sailors serving in merchant navy get tax free salaries if they spend 183 days of a year in international waters else the salary is taxable as per the laws of the Government of India.
Merchant Navy, being a field that requires exhaustive traveling, there are well paying off-shore options as well that one can look into after taking an early retirement from the job or on completion of the contract.