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Merchant Navy (Merchant Navy)

Updated By Sakunth Kumar on 25 Nov, 2020
Average Duration
6 months-3 years
Average Fee
40 K-3 L INR annual
Exams Accepted
Study Mode

About Merchant Navy

Merchant Navy can be the best field for those candidates who want to earn big and travelling through oceans for months does not bother you. Merchant navy is a fleet of ships that is responsible for transporting heavy goods from one country to another. It is one of the essential parts of international trade as most of the import and export are done through ships.

A career in Merchant Navy can be most beneficial if you are looking for lucrative jobs. This field can be joined through different courses depending on the preference of the candidate. There are three modes of entry into the field varying depending on the courses that one seeks. Candidates can join Merchant Navy at any level starting after class 10 to graduation.

Courses and Fields in Merchant Navy

Here’s a list of some of the popular Merchant Navy courses

B.Tech Marine Engineering

B.Tech Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering

B.Tech Harbour & Ocean Engineering

G.P Rating

Diploma in Marine Engineering (DME)

Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS)

B.B.A. Logistics & Supply Chain Management

Higher National Diploma (Marine Engineering) 

Marine Engineering under Alternate Training Scheme 

BBA Shipping

M.B.A. Shipping & Logistics Management

Higher National Diploma (Nautical Science) 

MBA Shipping Finance

B.E Harbour and Ocean Engineering

B.Tech Ship Building

B.E Marine Engineering

B.E. Mechanical Engineering

ETO (Electro-Technical Officer)

B.Sc Nautical Science

Electro-Technical Officer Course

Merchant Navy Eligibility Criteria

Since Merchant Navy courses are offered under UG, PG, Diploma and Certificate levels, the eligibility criteria for different courses vary. Here are some common requirements for Merchant Navy courses for different levels. 

Requirements for Merchant Navy Bachelor Courses:

  • For bachelor Merchant Navy courses, candidates must have completed Class 12 with Science stream and Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as compulsory subjects. 

  • The minimum marks requirement is 60 per cent. 

  • The minimum age requirement for this is between 17 to 25 years. 

Requirements for Merchant Navy Diploma Courses:

Since there are different types of diploma courses available, the criteria within the category vary. 

  • Candidates should not be over the age of 25 - 28 years. 

  • For most of the one-year diploma courses, one must have passed 10+2 level of examination with PCM and English as compulsory subjects. 

  • For two-year diploma courses, candidates must have passed Diploma in Electronics Engineering/ Marine Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering/ Electrical Engineering/ Shipbuilding Engineering with at least 50 per cent marks. 

Requirements for 6-Months Merchant Navy Courses:

  • The age should be between 17.5 to 25 years. 

  • Candidates who have passed Class 10 with Science, English and Maths as main subjects and at least 40 per cent marks are considered eligible. 

Requirements for Merchant Navy Postgraduate Courses:

  • For MBA courses related to Merchant Navy, the upper age limit is 25 years whereas, for GME the upper age limit is 28 years. 

  • For GME, candidates must hold a BE degree in Naval Architecture/ Mechanical Engineering.

  • For MBA courses, candidates with any bachelor degree from a recognised university are considered eligible. 

Medical Fitness Requirements for Merchant Navy Courses:

  • Candidates applying for any of the Merchant Navy courses must meet the medical fitness requirements. 

  • Candidates must be medically fit including hearing and eyesight. 

  • They must have a normal vision (6/6) in each eye separately. 

  • It is required that the candidates produce a certificate for medical fitness by authorised authorities. 

Merchant Navy Admission Process

Entry to different programmes leading to a career in merchant navy is done mostly on the basis of entrance exams. However, there are other procedures for different entry levels. Check details below:

1. Merchant Navy Admission through Entrance Exams and Merit:

If you want to apply for technical courses for entering the Merchant Navy, then you will have to appear for entrance exams. Exams are conducted for admission to marine engineering programmes after class 12. Following are some popular exams:

  • JEE Advanced
  • MERI Entrance Exam

However, there are a few colleges that also take students on the basis of marks secured in class 12.

2. Sponsorship Based Entry in Merchant Navy Courses:

  • Entry is also possible if you apply to either of the popular maritime institutes for maritime programmes. You can apply for sponsorships at the institutes started by shipping companies to train potential candidates for the merchant navy.
  • The sponsorship to go on a ship will be provided to you by the company through which you apply only if you have completed a course at their institute. You can also apply for multiple sponsorships at different companies.

3. Lateral Entry (LE) into 2nd year of Marine Engineering:

  • Direct Admission can also be taken into the second year of marine engineering programmes approved by the Directorate General of Shipping. There are two ways of securing LE seats in Marine Engineering programmes:
  • After completing the first year of engineering from electrical or mechanical branch with minimum 60% and
  • Pursuing a diploma in electrical, mechanical, marine or ship-building engineering with minimum 60% aggregate marks

Merchant Navy Syllabus

Popular Subjects:


Mechanics of Fluids

Voyage Planning and Collision Prevention

Marine Electrical Technology

Nautical Physics and Electronics Paper

Electrical Machines

Ship Operation Technology

Marine Auxiliary Machine

Principles of Navigation

Marine IC Engineering

Shipping Management

Marine Boiler and System Engineering

Maritime Law

Naval Architecture

Cargo Machine and Marine Communication

Marine Heat Engines and Air Conditioning

Marine Machines and System Design

Environmental Science

STCW and Ship Fire Prevention



After completing the respective programmes in the merchant navy, it is mandatory for all candidates to undergo pre-sea training conducted by the Maritime Training Institute. Be it marine engineering or simply a maritime catering programme, all candidates have to undergo this training before they start working as interns on the ship. The duration of the training can vary from six months to one year depending on the programme that the candidate has pursued.

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Merchant Navy Career Options and Job Prospects

Merchant Navy is one of the most high paying careers in India as well as abroad. Sailors are paid excellent packages as working on a ship is considered to be a difficult job. There are numerous career opportunities in this field and salaries vary depending on the post of the candidates.

Usually, Naval Officers are paid six figure packages. Candidates can apply for these posts by clearing the competency programmes conducted by the Government of India. Following is the salary scope after pursuing a career in merchant navy:



Field Requisite

Average Salary (approx.)

G P Rating

Class 10

4 + 2 months of pre-sea course

Rs. 25,000 to 60,000 per month

Trainee Cadet

Class 12 along with pre-sea Nautical Diploma

1 year pre-sea course

Rs. 25,000 to 85,000 per month

Deck Cadet

Class 12 along with pre-sea Nautical Diploma

18 months of service at sea as deck cadet

Rs. 25,000 to 85,000 per month

3rd Officer/ 2ndOfficer

2nd Mate (FG) Certificate of Competency

18 months of service at sea as 2nd or 3rdofficer

Rs. 1,50,000 to 3,00,000 per month

Chief Officer

1st Mate (FG) Certificate of Competency

18 months of service at sea as chief officer

Rs. 4,00,000 to 6,00,000 per month


Master (FG) Certificate of Competency

4 to 5 years of experience in the industry

Rs. 8,65,000 to 20,00,000 per month


Sailors serving in merchant navy get tax free salaries if they spend 183 days of a year in international waters else the salary is taxable as per the laws of the Government of India.

Merchant Navy, being a field that requires exhaustive traveling, there are well paying off-shore options as well that one can look into after taking an early retirement from the job or on completion of the contract.

Questions Related to Merchant Navy Course

I want to find out about the merchant navy courses that are offered in India and their annual fee structure.

-Vrushabh gadhaveUpdated on July 06, 2021 12:21 PM
  • 1 Answer
Abhik Das, Student / Alumni

Dear aspirant, a list of merchant navy courses that are offered in India at various levels and their annual fee ...


Please tell me which course to choose? I have completed my class 12th and want to pursue a career in Merchant navy

-Nasir ShaikhUpdated on May 28, 2021 10:41 PM
  • 3 Answers
Rahul Raj, Student / Alumni

Dear Student,

In order to find complete information about the Merchant Navy, we advise you to go through the link ...


What is the age limit for joining merchant navy after completing B.Tech Mechanical?

-ArshanUpdated on February 22, 2021 01:07 PM
  • 1 Answer
Diksha Sharma, Student / Alumni

Dear Student,

The age limit for joining the merchant navy after completing B.Tech Mechanical is 28 years. You can ...


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FAQs about Merchant Navy

What are the top colleges offering Merchant Navy courses ?

Following are some of the top colleges offering Science courses : Gargi College (New Delhi) , St. Joseph's College (Calicut) , Stella Maris College (Chennai) , St. Stephen's College (Delhi) , Ramnarain Ruia College (Mumbai). You can explore these colleges on our website to check if they offer Merchant Navy or not.

What is the average fee for the course Merchant Navy ?

The average fee for Merchant Navy is INR 10,00,000 per year.

What is the duration of the course Merchant Navy ?

Merchant Navy is a 4.5 year course.

Get details of best colleges for Merchant Navy.