Explore the Vast Seas: A Career in the Merchant Navy

Career at Merchant Navy source: naidunia
Career at Merchant Navy
source: naidunia

All careers are not for everyone. And a career in merchant navy, though it comes with promises of high remuneration, is not for everyone too. But if you have in you to travel the world, sail the high seas and meet new people, this is a career you can consider after class 12.

Career description – Merchant Navy:

Merchant navy, as the name suggests, is involved in commercial services, as opposed to the navy that is involved in defence of a nation. Majority of international trade, which involves transports of goods in container cargo from one country to another all over the world, is dependent on shipping. Very large and sophisticated ships thus traverse the world’s seas with goods ranging from oil, cement, food items and so on. A lot of manpower is required to operate and maintain these ships. Trained professionals are hired for three main areas of the ship- for the deck, engine and the service department.

Merchant navy, as the name suggests, is involved in commercial services, as opposed to the navy that is involved in defence of a nation. Majority of international trade, which involves transports of goods in container cargo from one country to another all over the world, is dependent on shipping. Very large and sophisticated ships thus traverse the world’s seas with goods ranging from oil, cement, food items and so on. A lot of manpower is required to operate and maintain these ships. Trained professionals are hired for three main areas of the ship- for the deck, engine and the service department.

Job prospects – Merchant Navy:

Jobs are offered by various shipping companies both in the public and private sector. Big international shipping companies also hire many from India.

Job roles – Merchant Navy:

There are different job roles for those in the merchant navy. In the deck department, there is a need for the captain, chief officer, second officer, third officer and other junior officers who are in the task of navigating the ship. The engineering department which consists of the complete maintenance of the ship’s technical and engineering facilities consist of the chief engineer, second engineer, third engineer, junior engineers and electrical and radio officers. Professionals are also required for the service department.

Eligibility criteria for Merchant Navy:

There are several criteria one needs to fulfil for a career in merchant navy. You need to pass class 12 with physics, chemistry and mathematics as subjects. You need to be an unmarried male or female. Normal vision is required, however a power up to +/- 2.5 is allowed. The admission procedure consists of an entrance tests, a screening test and then written examination. One you clear all this, there is an interview and a medical test. Before joining a job, one needs to also undergo a short ship-training course which teaches one the basics of the job.

Colleges to Study Merchant Navy:

Several institutes approved by the Directorate General of Shipping, under the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India offer courses in the merchant navy. These could broadly be divided into marine engineering courses or courses in nautical science. Some of the reputed institutes are Tolani Maritime Institute, Pune, Chennai School of Ship Management, Tamil Nadu, Marine Engieering and Research Institute, Kolkata, Vels Academy of Martime Studies, Chennai, College Of Engineering (Andhra University), Visakhapatnam and GKM College of Engineering & Technology, Chennai.

Salary of a Merchant Navy Officer:

A third officer draws a salary of Rs 50,000 per month. It takes around 8 years for a third officer to be promoted to a captain. A captain earns Rs 2 lakh or more per month. Junior engineer earns around Rs 30,000 a month with free boarding and lodging. It takes about 6-7 years for a junior engineer to be a chief engineer. A chief engineer draws a salary of Rs 1.5 lakh or more per month. Those working in the merchant navy are also entitled to four months of paid leave every year. Since food and accommodation is taken care of, a huge portion of the salary is saved. Other benefits include holiday travel, bonus and other perks. Since the job often involves staying extended periods outside the country, one can also avail tax benefits available to a NRI.

A career in the merchant navy comes with a lot of sacrifices. Staying away from one’s family for months at a stretch can be difficult. But for those with an adventurous bent of mind who do not want a regular office life, this is a career option worth considering.

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