Home Education How can you join the Merchant Navy in India?

How can you join the Merchant Navy in India?


The marine industry has been a sought-after career option for years. Merchant navy involves the commercial aspect of the marine industry. Transportation of cargo and passengers through sea routes is done by merchant navy fleet. This fleet includes cargo ships, passenger ships, containers, tankers, bulk carriers etc.

The merchant navy employs highly-trained and strong-willed candidates. If you aspire to join merchant navy, you have to make sure that you are physically and mentally healthy. Spending so much time at sea requires you to stay calm and collected. There are several areas of your personality that you need to work on before you can apply to the merchant navy. This is not just an opportunity to travel to the most exotic locations but also a huge responsibility. This is why the candidates have to undergo rigorous training before they can set foot on the ship.

Reasons to join the merchant navy

If you seek an adventurous life, this is one of the best careers for you. There are several reasons why the merchant navy is a lucrative career option for people. The thrill and adventure of living at sea make it a popular choice. People who do not wish off to slag off their days stuck in a routine 9 to 5 job can choose merchant navy as a career.

  • Excellent compensation is one of the main reasons why people choose the merchant navy.
  • It is also a great learning experience.
  • You learn to deal with unforeseen challenges and see a growth in your character.
  • You get to travel all over the world and explore new cultures.

Even with its challenges, the merchant navy is one of the best careers that one can pursue. The exposure that being in the merchant navy provides is unmatchable. If you wish to live a life full of challenges, read on to learn about how you can join the merchant navy.

Eligibility criteria:

Only the most dedicated and well-rounded individuals are selected by organizations. Since a lot of responsibility lies on the crew, it is essential that they are highly-trained and mentally healthy to deal with pressure. To join merchant navy in India, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • The candidate has to complete class 12 with physics, chemistry and maths as the main subjects.
  • They should be citizens of India.
  • They should have a normal vision. (Relaxation up to -2.5 is allowed in some cases).
  • They are required to qualify the entrance test, followed by a written examination.
  • A complete medical test of the candidate is conducted to ensure that they are fit to be away from land for such extended time periods.
  • You have to undergo a training course that prepares you to survive on a ship before getting onboard.


Candidates who wish to join the merchant navy have to undergo proper maritime training from a reputed institute. The courses that are offered by institutes for preparing students to be employed in the Indian merchant navy are listed below.

Courses after class 10th-

  • Diploma in Nautical Science
  • Commercial Diving
  • Near Coastal Voyage (NCV)

Courses after class 12th-

  • E. Marine engineering
  • Sc. Nautical Science
  • E. Petroleum engineering
  • E. Mechanical engineering
  • E. harbour and ocean engineering

There are several other engineering degrees that you can take up to pursue a career in the merchant navy. After the completion of these courses, you have to qualify for the entrance examination of the merchant navy. This is followed by a thorough medical assessment to see how well you would be able to survive on the merchant ships for such long periods.


After the completion of your degree, you can choose any department that you specialize in. There are several technical and non-technical positions offered that you can choose based on your skill-set. The most important job positions offered by the merchant navy include:

  • Navigation/deck officer
  • Engineers
  • Hospitality crew
  • Seafarers
  • Radio engineers
  • Electro-technical officer (ETO)

All of these positions are only offered to candidates who have undergone their training from a certified institute. Candidates who can efficiently maintain and operate the ship are selected by various government and private organizations.

You can only join merchant navy after undergoing proper training from a highly reputed institute. One of the finest institutes offering maritime training to the students in India is the International Maritime Institute. They have an updated syllabus that meets the international standards of the merchant navy. They also equip their students in handling the latest technology. Students from IMI get access to the best employment opportunities in the industry.  They properly train their students for the challenges that lie ahead of them and help them secure a bright future for themselves.