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How to Become a Merchant Navy Officer

Update on 2024-04-11

How to Become Merchant Navy Officer - Career, Admission, Fees, Course, Colleges & Salary

If you are one who loves to travel across the world through oceans then being a merchant navy officer is the career you must be passionate about, Who is merchant navy officer, what are their responsibilities, what are the criteria of being a merchant navy officer, and How to become a merchant navy officer? Read this article you will have all your answers regarding “How to Become Merchant Navy Officer”

About the Merchant Navy:

Merchant Navy is a group of large ships which is mainly used for transporting goods from one place to another through oceans. It is one of the essential parts of international trade about 90% of the trade of importing and exporting is done through the merchant navy. In the past few decades, the merchant navy has evolved a lot as a career option. It is one of the great opportunities to earn and travel at the same time.

Work Responsibilities of Merchant Navy Officer:

There are types of job roles for merchant navy officers to perform, one can choose the work responsibility they want to do:

Executive Officers/The Captain: It is the top-level job profile. The Captain is handed over with many job roles such as assigning organizational duties, navigation, and maintaining discipline.

The Chief Mate: The job role of the chief mate is to assist the captain and look after the managerial work at the ship. They also have the responsibility of cargo planning and deck work.

The Second Mate/The Third Mate: Maintenance of equipment and assists in the cargo work is the responsibility of the second mate.

Engineering Officers: The one who supervises the engine room rating and performs practical tasks.

Third Engineer/Fourth Engineer Officer: Maintaining the engineering room auxiliary and maintaining the boiler room equipment.

Radio Officers: The one who operates, repair, and maintains the radio devices on the ships.

Steps to Become a Merchant Navy Officer:

Answers to "How to become Merchant Navy officer" is to become a merchant navy officer a person needs to follow these steps listed below:

  • After class 10th opt for PCM.
  • Complete graduation.
  • Sail for at least 36 months. 
  • Get a job in a reputed Merchant Navy Company.
  •  After class 10th opt for PCM or Commerce with Maths.

Who wishes to become a merchant navy officer should choose PCM with English as the main subject. For being a merchant navy officer candidates have to study physics for at least one year.

  • Complete graduation.

Candidates need to complete their graduation for working in the merchant navy, there are many nautical courses which candidates can opt for their graduation. 

  • B.E./B.Tech. Marine Engineering
  • GME Course
  • B.SC. Nautical Science
  • DME course (Diploma Marine Engineering)
  • GP Rating course
  • Deck Rating course
  • Engine Rating course
  • Saloon Rating Course
  • NCV course
  • STCW Basic Safety Training
  • Diploma in Nautical Science
  • Commercial Diving Course
  • Electro-Technical Officer Course
  • B.Sc. Maritime Science

Some Top Colleges for Nautical Science Courses:

  • Tolani Maritime Institute, Pune
  • Samundra Institutes of Maritime Studies, Mumbai
  • Vels Academy of Maritime Studies, Chennai
  • Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education And Training (MANET), Pune
  • Institute of Technology & Marine Engineering (ITME), Kolkata
  • Since Maritime Academy, Kolkata
  • Centre for Maritime Education & Training
  • Subbalakshmi Lakshmipathy College of Science, Madurai
  •  RL Institute of Nautical Science, Madurai
  • Mangalore Marine College and Technology, Mangalore
  • J. Sons Merchant Navy Institute, Meerut
  • Anglo-Eastern Maritime Training Centre, Mumbai
  • Arya Marine Academy, Mumbai
  • Bonzer Academy of Maritime Studies, Mumbai
  • Don Bosco Normal Maritime Academy, Mumbai
  • Guruship Education Trust Maritime Training Institute, Mumbai
  • Indian Register of Shipping, Mumbai

Note: Admission to Nautical science courses is given through entrance tests. 

Books for Merchant Navy Exam:

We have listed the books and study material for the entrance test you can check them and it will help you in preparing for the entrance test:

  • IMU CET Exam Question Bank With Study Material
  • IMU-CET Gateway to Maritime Education by TMC Foundation
  • MU-CET – Gateway To Maritime Education Paperback by Subodh Kumar 
  • IMU CET Complete Syllabus Theory Book (Revised and updated edition) by Subodh Juyal
  • IMU CET  Question Bank With Sponsorship Guide by 2IMU
  • IMU-CET  Full Package by IMU360
  • IMU CET Study Material by 2IMU
  • Complete Package for IMU CET & Sponsorship Test by 2IMU

Eligibility Criteria to Become Merchant Navy Officer:

There are no such criteria for merchant navy officers; anyone can pursue merchant navy officers as their career. The basic criteria are the candidate must pass the 10+2 examination with PCM and English as main subjects and should be younger than 25 years old. you can also check out Merchant Navy Courses After 12th

Qualification to Become Merchant Navy Officer

To become a merchant navy officer candidates need to pass the 10+2 examination and after that, they have to do their graduation in nautical science. Candidates have to choose PCM and English in class 12th for becoming a merchant navy officer. 

Candidates can choose B.E./B.Tech. Marine Engineering, M.E./M.Tech. Marine Engineering or any other program related to nautical science.

Syllabus of Merchant Navy Exam

  • 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
  • Training

Career and Scope in the Merchant Navy:

Merchant Navy is one of the great and adventurous jobs to do. The job of a merchant navy is to transport goods from one port to another. It is a job which will allow you to earn a fancy amount of salary but as it says a coin has 2 sides pros and cons. One of the biggest negative sides of being a merchant navy officer is that they have to stay away from their families for a long period of time. If you love to travel around the globe via oceans then just go ahead and make merchant navy your career option. 

A merchant navy officer can work in both sectors Private or Government, there are multiple areas to work in as a merchant navy officer such as Executive Officers, Chief Mate, Second Mate, Engineering Officer, Radio Officer. A merchant navy officer is the one who sails the ship to its destination with maintaining all the security.

Employment Sector 

  • Oil Companies
  • Shipping Firms
  • Cargo Companies & Agencies
  • Shipping Corporation

A merchant navy officer will get different roles in each of these sectors such as  Executive Officers, Chief Mate, Second Mate, Engineering Officer, Radio Officer, etc.

Top Recruiting Agencies

  • Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd
  • Garware Offshore Services Ltd
  • Visakhapatnam Port
  • Hide Navigation
  • Poompuhar Shipping
  • Apeejay Shipping Ltd
  • Varun Shipping Co Ltd

Salary of Merchant Navy Officer:

After reading the whole article if the question - "How to become Merchant Navy Officer" is clear then you should also know the salary of Merchant Navy Officer Merchant Navy Officers enjoy a fancy salary in different sectors, the salary will be as good as the experience and skill the merchant navy officer has. Here is an average salary structure is listed below:

Job Profile
Starting Salary per annum (in INR)
Mid-level Salary per annum (in INR)
Senior-level Salary per annum (in INR)


Rs. 3,00,000

Rs. 6,50,000


Chief Mate

Rs. 5,00,000

Rs. 9,00,000


Second Mate

Rs. 3,00,000

Rs. 6,50,000

Rs. 10,00,000

Engineering Officer

Rs. 4,00,000

Rs. 8,00,000

Rs. 10,00,000

Pros and Cons in Merchant Navy:


  • Fancy Salary
  • Free Travelling across the World
  • Vast job opportunities
  • Adventurous jobs
  • Merchant Navy employees are exempted to pay taxes


  • Staying away from family for months
  • No social life
  • Disturbed work-life balance
  • I hope you got the clarity on How to Become Merchant Navy Officer
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