Merchant Navy: Eligibility Criteria, Entrance Examinations, Courses, Top Colleges and Job Profile

A career in Merchant Navy will give you an opportunity to travel the world while living an adventurous sea life. Merchant navy is completely different from the Navy in terms of its operations. Unlike Navy, Merchant Navy offers commercial services and is regarded as the backbone of international trade. A career in merchant navy is rewarding in monetary terms and offers maximum job satisfaction. Here are all the necessary details required to join the glamorous career in merchant navy.

Merchant Navy Courses

The admission in merchant navy courses is done through an entrance exam followed by a screening test and main written exam. Candidates who clear the exam are called for an interview and medical test. The merchant navy courses can be divided into two categories:

Merchant Navy Courses After 12th

  • B.Sc. Nautical Science
  • B.E. Petroleum Engineering
  • B.E. Marine Engineering
  • B.E. Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering
  • B.E. Harbour & Ocean Engineering
  • B.E. Mechanical Engineering
  • B.E. Civil Engineering
  • B.Sc. Marine Catering
  • B.E. Electrical & Electronics Engineering
  • Electro Technical Officer Course

Merchant Navy Courses After 10th

  • Near Coastal Voyage (NCV)
  • Commercial Diving
  • Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS)
  • G.P. Rating

Eligibility for Merchant Navy

  • The minimum qualification eligibility is 10+2 or equivalent exam with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. There are some courses offered which can also be pursued after 10th.
  • Passing the medical fitness test for sea services as per the standard norms is mandatory.
  • Candidate’s eyesight should be 6/6 with no colour blindness.

Other Details

Merchant Navy Entrance Exams

All India Merchant Navy Entrance Test (AIMNET)

This exam is conducted by AIMNET Examination Board, which is further managed by Offshore Shipping Academy. The academy is approved by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. The entrance exam is conducted for admission into B.Sc. Nautical Science, B.Tech Naval Architecture, Diploma of Applied Science (deck watch keeper) by AMSA, G.P. Ratings, B.Tech Marine and MBA (Shipping and Logistic Management).

Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test (IMU CET)

IMUCET is conducted by the Indian Maritime University for admission into undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Marine. It takes place in the month of May, while the registration process begins at the end of March. Only unmarried candidates are eligible to appear in the exam.

Merchant Navy Colleges

  • Indian Maritime University, Chennai
  • Tolani Maritime Institute, Pune
  • Marine Engineering Research Institute (MERI), Calcutta and Mumbai
  • International Maritime Institute, Greater Noida
  • Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies, Mumbai
  • B.P. Marine Academy, Navi Mumbai
  • Training Ship Chanakya, Navi Mumbai
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri College of Advanced Maritime Studies and Research, Mumbai
  • Euro Tech Maritime Academy, Pazhanganadu

Job Prospects

Merchant navy fleets consist of container ships, cargo ships, tankers, bulk carriers, barge carrying ships, passenger ships, refrigerators ships, roll on/roll off ships. With so many job opportunities, Merchant Navy can certainly save a thousand of souls from staying jobless.

Some companies which run merchant ships include Wallem Ship Management of Hong Kong, Chevron and Mobil of USA, Denholm of UK, Bibby Ship Management, K Line, d’Amico, etc. Shipping Corporation of India, Essar, Chowgule Shipping and Great Eastern Shipping are some of the popular Indian shipping companies. You can search for vacancies in these companies.

Job Profile

  • Deck officer (navigation officer)
  • Electro-technical officer (ETO)
  • Engineer
  • Ratings - ratings are skilled seafarers who help all the officers with daily tasks
  • Catering & hospitality crew (pursers, stewards, chef, housekeeper etc.)

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Merchant Navy?

Merchant Navy includes ships which carry goods and people through sea route. Fuel, building materials, fruits, vegetables and all other imported items are carried through merchant navy fleets.

What are the advantages of joining Merchant Navy?

A career in Merchant Navy offers:

  • High income (Tax-Free)
  • Quick promotions
  • Free accommodation and food while on board
  • Long vacations
  • Travel experience

What is the best time to join, after 12th or after graduation?

The merchant navy programme itself is a graduation degree. Once a candidate completes his training, he is awarded a B.Sc. degree in Nautical Science by IMU. So, the best option would be to join the course after 12th class. However, you can also join after graduation.

Can I get financial assistance/loan for the course?

Yes, you can get loans for completing a merchant navy course. Once you get selected, you can enquire the institute you wish to join about the financial assistance options available.

Are there ashore employment opportunities?

Yes, there are. If you plan to give up the career in merchant navy after gaining an experience, there are plenty of options for Chief Engineers and Captains in marine-related industries.

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