All You Need To Know About Careers In Merchant Navy

Image Credits: Freepik

The Merchant Navy is an essential part of the maritime industry, responsible for transporting cargo and passengers by sea. It significantly affects the international shipping industry and a nation’s economy. Goods are transported across the oceans by a variety of commercial ships, including container ships and oil tankers. The merchant fleet is in more demand as industries expand, and the future of the merchant navy as an industry appears bright.

A popular career option, the Merchant Navy offers lucrative employment and financial stability. However, it entails coping with hard physical demands and spending 6–8 months at sea away from family. Although it demands a lot of hard work and extended time at sea, serving in the merchant navy grants individuals international prominence in the commercial shipping industry. A job in the merchant navy can be a fantastic fit for you if you’re seeking handsome remuneration and are up for challenges.

careers in merchant navy
Image Credits: Freepik

Leading institutions all over the globe provide specialized degrees in maritime trade since it is crucial to the economy of both emerging and wealthy nations. Several well-liked choices for studying abroad include:
Edith Cowan University, Australia

Aarhus University, School Of Marine And Technical Engineering, Denmark

The University of Strathclyde, UK

British Columbia Institute Of Technology, Pacific Marine Training Campus, Canada

The University of New Orleans, USA

However, if choose to study in India, some popular options include:
Chidambaram Institute of Maritime Technology, Chennai

Tolani Maritime Institute, Mumbai

Institute of Technology & Marine Engineering, Kolkata

International Maritime Institute, Delhi

Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education and Training, Pune

The merchant navy has a variety of departments and rankings that provide employment prospects. You can select a merchant navy course that fits your intended field based on your preferences. Deck and Engineering are the two primary departments for ship officers. Captain, Chief Officer, Second Officer/Mate, Deck Cadet, Bosun, and Able Seaman are the seven roles available for deck officers. On the contrary, there are five roles available for engineers: Chief Engineer, Second Engineer/Assistant Engineer, Third Engineer/Second Assistant Engineer, Fourth Engineer/Third Assistant Engineer, and Fifth Engineer/Fourth Assistant Engineer. Additionally to these positions, there are openings for catering and housekeeping personnel.

The merchant navy offers a variety of career opportunities, with variable salary scales based on the posts. Commercial shipping firms employ officers from the merchant navy to work on vessels such as tankers, cruise liners, hovercraft, and cargo ships. Candidates frequently begin their careers as apprentices or Deck Cadets and can advance to positions like captains, 2nd/3rd officers, and chief officers.

A few career opportunities are discussed below:

Deck Officer

Deck officers, also referred to as navigation officers, play a vital role in making decisions related to steering, manoeuvring, navigation, and communication on a ship. They use GPS systems to guide the ship and closely monitor weather reports to ensure safe navigation. The responsibilities of navigation officers include ship navigation, strategic planning, cargo handling, and ensuring the smooth delivery of goods. Deck officers hold various ranks, with the chief officer/mate being the highest in seniority, followed by the 2nd officer/mate, 3rd officer/mate, and Deck Cadet.

Marine Engineers

Marine engineers are essential members of a ship’s crew, tasked with maintaining and overseeing the ship’s machinery and systems. They play a crucial role in the operation of propulsion, fuel, and waste systems, ensuring the ship’s smooth functioning. Marine engineers must be practical, resourceful, and possess a genuine interest in mechanical and electrical systems to tackle any challenges. These skilled professionals ensure the ship’s machinery operates efficiently and safely, contributing to successful voyages and maritime operations.

In addition to deck officers and marine engineers, ship crew assistance is a critical demand in the maritime sector. These devoted crewmen support the officers and perform several physically demanding and labour-intensive duties on deck.

There are skilled workers in the engine department, including fitters, motormen, wipers, and trainee fitters or wipers. They are in charge of ensuring the proper functioning and upkeep of the ship’s engine systems.

The saloon department is equally important and is run by individuals like stewards, trainee cooks, and head chefs. They make sure that the ship’s quarters and dining room are effectively handled and maintained.

As career advancements are achieved, one may reach the position of Senior Engineering Officer, where the responsibility includes leading a team of experienced engineering personnel both at sea and during port operations.

Import-export activity has increased dramatically as society throughout the world transitions to a consumer-driven one. Shipping businesses are essential to these activities, which results in a constant need for merchant navy specialists, especially officers. Depending on the degree of expertise, the merchant navy offers lucrative wage packages ranging from INR 35,000 to 6,00,000 per month.


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