What qualifications do I need to be in the Merchant Navy India?

The Merchant Navy offers exciting career opportunities around the world, including maritime training, maritime research, ship management, and shipbuilding. From navigating vast oceans to managing complex logistics, ship management is critical to global trade and transportation. Our industry’s focus on maritime research and training is essential to the smooth running of business throughout the shipping lanes.

Candidates seeking a career in this field must meet specific qualification requirements to begin a fulfilling career in the Merchant Navy. Merchant Navy eligibility criteria include factors such as age, education, physical fitness, and medical certificates. This article will tell you all about how to become a Merchant Naval Officer and various other considerations.

Merchant Navy Qualifications: Requirements and Qualifications

Before understanding the  Merchant Navy qualifications, it is important to note that candidates may be required to pass an entrance exam to become a Merchant Navy Officer. These are required to assess a candidate’s suitability for internship programs and diplomas. A rigorous selection process ensures that only qualified personnel are allowed to participate in maritime training programs and maritime research. The main requirements and qualifications for candidates seeking a career in the Merchant Marine are: 

Merchant Marine Qualification 

To qualify for the Merchant Marine, an aspiring candidate must have completed 10th-grade or 12th-grade education. A strong educational foundation is critical to acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary for maritime training. Whether you attend a research institute, university, or academy, having a solid academic foundation is essential to success in this field.

Physical Fitness 

Physical fitness plays an important role in determining suitability for the Merchant Navy. Naval officers in merchant ships must have good eyesight and hearing to ensure the safety of their ships’ operations. Therefore, candidates are required to undergo a medical examination to assess their physical abilities.

Age Limits and Nationality Requirements

Age limits for joining the Merchant Navy vary by rank and position within the branch. Generally, to meet the eligibility criteria for the Merchant Marine, an Indian individual must be between the ages of 17 and 25. The upper age limit for joining the Merchant Navy as a deck officer or marine engineer is 28 years. For officer positions such as deck officer and engineer officer, the upper age limit is usually around 25 to 30 years. Higher age limits, typically up to 35 years, may apply to ranks or non-executive positions. Merchant Marine provides numerous opportunities for professional development and allows individuals to advance from training positions to higher ranks based on performance, experience, and qualifications.

Steps to join the Indian Merchant Navy  

To join the Indian Merchant Navy, you need to follow some steps.

  1. Complete her 10+2 education with core subjects in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
  2. Take an entrance exam like IMU CET or All India Merchant Marine Entrance Test (AIMNET) or seek sponsorship from a shipping company.
  3. Clear medical examination by a qualified doctor.

These steps are essential and will help you advance your career in the merchant navy qualification. After completing the training, you can take the entrance exams listed above or find out about funding opportunities from shipping companies. Additionally, you may consider enrolling in a marine institute or academy to further your career in the shipping industry. These institutions, including the Indian Naval Academy (INA) and the International Maritime Institute (IMI), provide specialized training and education to aspiring seafarers.

Another option to consider is to look for opportunities with the Indian National Maritime Registry (INR), which offers a variety of programs and certifications to advance your qualifications in this field. These exams and sponsorships serve as an introduction to the Merchant Navy. It is mandatory to undergo a medical examination by a licensed physician before joining. These tests ensure that you meet the physical fitness requirements for working at sea.

How to join the Merchant Navy after completing 10th or 12th class

Ambitious individuals can boost their journey by joining a maritime readiness training institute. These educational institutions provide the necessary training for those who want to pursue a career in the merchant navy and gain valuable experience in the shipping industry. These institutions offer a variety of courses that provide students with the skills and knowledge needed for a career in the maritime industry. However, for those aiming for higher ranks, such as officers and engineers, completing the 12th class is a prerequisite for admission to the Naval Academy. Important points to consider when considering eligibility to join the Merchant Navy after 10th or 12th Class are: 

10th Class

Individuals must graduate from high school (10th Class) and complete the Navy Reserve. You can join the military after registering at the sea training centre. These institutions provide ambitious individuals with the training and preparation necessary to attend the Naval Academy and pursue a career in the maritime industry. These institutions offer courses that cover various aspects of naval training, such as INR (International Navigation Regulations) and other essential skills needed to succeed in a  career at sea. We also offer specialised courses in navigation, seamanship, and marine technology. After completing these courses, candidates can join a shipping company as a seafarer or deck officer cadet.

Grade 12

Graduating from high school (Grade 12) is important for those aiming for higher positions in the Merchant Navy. After completing their secondary education, students can enroll in a maritime school where they can complete a comprehensive training program. These academies offer degree programs such as the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Marine Science and Marine Engineering, which are required for officer-level positions on ships. Some of these educational institutions in India are: 

Delhi Maritime Academy, New Delhi,

offers a Bachelor of Marine Science (DNS), Marine Engineering, a Diploma in Shipbuilding Technology, and more.

Tolani Maritime Institute, Pune

They offer courses like Bachelor of Technology in Marine Engineering, Bachelor of Maritime Science, Diploma in Maritime Science (DNS), Electrical Technical Officer (ETO), etc.

Maritime Institute, Goa

Marine Engineering We offer courses such as a Graduate Diploma in Marine Engineering (GME) and a Diploma in Marine Engineering (DME).

Samundra Institute Of Maritime Studies, Lonavala

It offers courses such as Diploma in Marine Science (DNS), Bachelor of Marine Engineering, Graduate School of Marine Engineering (GME), and Electrical Engineering Officer (ETO).

Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy, Karjat

It offers Diploma in Marine Science (DNS), Diploma in Marine Engineering (GME), and Electrical Technical Officer (ETO) courses.

Skills Required to Join the Merchant Navy 

Certain skills are essential to qualify for a career in the Merchant Navy. The key skills that aspiring candidates should have are: 

Strong Communication Skills

Effective communication is critical when working with a diverse crew onboard a ship. The ability to clearly communicate information and understand the instructions of others ensures smooth operations and promotes teamwork.

Problem-Solving Skills

Unexpected situations can arise when traveling, and it is important to think quickly and find solutions. Candidates with strong problem-solving skills will be able to efficiently meet challenges and ensure the safety and efficiency of the vessel.

Leadership Skills

Strong leadership skills are extremely useful in emergency situations and when leading a team. People who can take responsibility, make decisions under pressure, and lead others effectively contribute to a well-functioning crew.Gaining hands-on experience through a maritime training program also develops the necessary skills. Through practical work on board ships, you will be able to apply your theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios and further develop your expertise.

Popular  Merchant Marine courses and their fees 

Popular courses are as follows.

1 B.Sc.Nautical Science

This course provides students with a solid foundation in navigation, seamanship, and maritime operations. You can acquire the skills necessary to work as a ship staff member.

2 Marine Engineering

This course is designed to train you in various aspects of marine engineering, including the maintenance, repair, and operation of marine machinery. Prepares students for a career as a marine engineer on board a ship. 

3 Diploma in Nautical Engineering

This diploma program covers topics related to navigation, cargo handling, meteorology, and ship stability. We provide students with the practical training and knowledge necessary to work as deckhand cadets. It may vary depending on the institution and course length.

Typical ranges are: 

  1. B.Sc. Nautical Engineering: INR 200,000 to 500,000 INR  
  2. Marine Engineering: INR 400,000 to 10,000,000 INR 
  3. Diploma in Nautical Engineering: INR 200,000 to 600,000 INR and 


These figures are approximate. Please note this in particular. It may vary depending on the university or research institution. Scholarships and sponsorships are also available for eligible candidates pursuing Merchant Marine courses. 

Popular Specializations at Merchant Navy  

Merchant Navy offers a variety of specializations that cater to a variety of interests and skills within the maritime industry. Here are some popular specializations.

Deck Department Specialty 

This specialty within the Merchant Marine includes positions such as navigator and captain. These professionals are responsible for ensuring the safe navigation of commercial ships and monitoring the ship’s direction. It plays an important role in maintaining the smooth flow of marine activities.

Engine Branch Specialty 

Engine Branch is another popular specialty in the Merchant Navy. We offer positions such as marine technicians and electrical personnel. These professionals are responsible for the maintenance and operation of a ship’s engines, ensuring that the engines function efficiently during various operations.

Specialisation in Catering and Hospitality 

An important aspect of commercial shipping is onboard catering and hospitality services for crew and passengers. Our maritime catering experts will ensure that everyone on board is well-fed and their nutritional needs are met. They also take care of other aspects of hospitality, creating a comfortable environment for everyone.

Whether you choose to work on deck, work on engines, or focus on catering services, there are many opportunities in this field. Deck Department and Engine Department Selection in the Merchant Marine The  Merchant Navy offers two main departments for aspiring seafarers: the Deck Department and the Engine Department. Each department has its own tasks and career opportunities. When choosing one of these departments, you should consider your personal interests, aptitude, and career goals.

Deck Department 

  1. Responsible for navigation, cargo handling, and overall ship operations.
  2. Deckhands play an important role in ensuring the safe navigation of ships.
  3. They oversee vessel construction, deck equipment maintenance, and safety protocols.
  4. If you love being on a ship, working closely with navigation systems, and managing cargo operations, the Deck Department may be the ideal choice for you.

Mechanical Department 

  1. Responsible for the maintenance of engines and mechanical and electrical systems onboard ships.
  2. Engineers are responsible for maintaining all mechanical components in optimal condition.
  3. They are responsible for repairs and perform regular maintenance to ensure the smooth operation of ships.
  4. If you have a knack for engine troubleshooting, operate complex mechanical systems, and prefer a hands-on approach to marine operations, the Engine Department may be a better fit for you.

Merchant Marine Salary: Career Development and Job Profile 

Merchant Navy salaries vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including rank, experience, ship type, and employer policies. Here are some key points to consider regarding pay and career  opportunities in the industry: 

Salary Variation 

 Merchant Navy salaries vary based on various aspects. This includes the individual’s rank, level of experience,  type of ship they work on, and their employer’s specific policies. Generally, the salary and allowances of an Indian naval officer range from INR 60,000 per month to INR 2,000,000 for him.

Career Growth 

The Merchant Navy offers excellent career opportunities for individuals who are willing to put in the effort. As you gain experience and expertise, you can advance to higher ranks, such as chief engineer or captain. Such a promotion comes with not only more responsibility but also a higher salary.

Job Profiles 

Within the Merchant Navy, different job profiles offer different pay levels. Below are the top job categories and their average starting salaries.

GP Rating

This entry-level position typically provides a solid foundation for a career in the Merchant Navy. The average starting salary for GP reviews ranges from 3 LPA to  7 LPA.

Deck Officer

The Deck Officer is essential to navigation and maintaining safety on board. Average starting salary ranges from  8 LPA to 10 LPA, depending on rank.

Technical Officer

The Technical Officer is responsible for the smooth operation of the machinery and systems on board the vessel. The average starting salary varies between  12 LPA  INR and 30 LPA INR, depending on the rank.


We hope this article answers your questions about joining the Merchant Navy. If you are considering joining  Merchant Marine, it is important that you thoroughly research and understand  Merchant Marine’s suitability and qualifications for your desired role. Remember that a career in the merchant navy qualification dedication, hard work, and a passion for life at sea. If you meet the required criteria and are ready to embark on this demanding but rewarding career, please consider the opportunities available in this field.

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