“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” – Grace Hopper 

Navy. It is the branch of the armed services of a state which conducts military operations at sea. A merchant navy is a fleet of ships that is responsible for transporting heavy goods and materials from one country to another. Thus, it takes up an essential and important part in the area of international trade, as most of the import and export are done through ships.
A career in Merchant Navy can be the most beneficial if you are looking at doing a job that is lucrative in nature, as individuals are employed by commercial shipping companies to oversee the transportation of goods across continents and countries.  

Merchant Navy as a Career:

A career in the merchant navy usually involves the safe and secure transportation of goods and materials from one place to another. The job of a merchant navy officer is to take care of the country’s commercial shipping. Individuals who opt for a career as a merchant navy spend most of their life on a ship sailing through the sea, rather than on land.  

Therefore, it is more of a lifestyle than a career. Since the import-export business is so huge in nature, therefore, these merchant ships employ a large number of merchant navy officers in order to take the cargo to its desired destination. People who opt for a career in a merchant navy can work as deck officers, engineers, and ratings. All three have different roles in ensuring that the cargo is transported safely from one place to another. Students and candidates interested in the navy should pursue B. Tech in Marine Engineering and B.Tech in Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering to prepare themselves for merchant navy jobs after 12th. In the merchant navy, individuals are responsible for-

1). onboard compliance of everyone with rigorous health and safety guidelines,
2). monitoring and maintaining life-saving equipment such as fire fighting equipment and life-saving boats,
3). maintaining all legal and operational records of the ship,
4). checking the weather, navigating reports, and taking appropriate actions,
5). overseeing the entire machinery of the ship for everyday use,
6). inspecting the mechanical and electrical equipment onboard for smooth functioning. 

 

How to join the Merchant Navy? 

Candidates are required to complete class 12 with physics, chemistry, and maths scoring an aggregate of 50 percent of marks or equivalent to it from a recognized board. This criterion is required to be completed in order to sit for the entrance exams, and there are quite a few entrance exams that exist in order to become a part of the merchant navy – for example: 

i). JEE Mains: Joint Entrance Examination Main
ii). IMU-CET: Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test,
iii). TMI-BITS-EE: Tolani Maritime Institute- Birla Institute of Technology and Science Entrance Examination,
iv). HIMT-OET: Hindustan Institute of Maritime Online Entrance Test.

In order to pursue a career as a merchant navy, one needs to opt for a bachelor’s degree program in the related specialization – for example, an individual can do a Bachelor of Technology or a Bachelor of Engineering in
i). Offshore Engineering,
ii). Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering,
iii). Marine Engineering, or,
iv). Naval Engineering.

Once the bachelor’s degree is completed the student can either begin working in the field of merchant navy at an entry-level post or can go for their master’s degree program in the specializations related to the merchant navy.

Life After You Join The Indian Navy

The Indian Navy is a well-balanced and cohesive three-dimensional force, capable of operating above, on, and under the surface of the oceans, efficiently safeguarding our national interests. 

The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) exercises operational and administrative control of the Indian Navy from the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence (Navy). He is assisted by the Vice Chief of the Naval Staff (VCNS) and three other Principal Staff Officers, namely the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (DCNS), the Chief of Personnel (COP), and the Chief of Material (COM). The Navy has the following three Commands, each under the control of a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief:-

  • The Western Naval Command (Headquarters at Mumbai) – Operational Command of the Arabian Sea. 
  • The Eastern Naval Command (Headquarters at Visakhapatnam) – Operational Command of the Bay of Bengal. 
  • The Southern Naval Command (Headquarters at Kochi) – Training Command.  

A total of 35 percent of growth has been witnessed in the employment of Indian seafarers on Indian and foreign ships. In 2017, the employment count for the merchant navy increased from 1,54,349 to 2,08,799 depicting there’s a huge demand for Indian skills globally. The most popular designations for which Indians are being recruited include nautical officers, nautical ratings, and engineers. According to statistics available with the Ministry of Shipping, the number of seafarers employed on Indian flag vessels increased from 22,103 in 2017 to 27,364 in 2018, while the employment figures on foreign ships went up from 60,194 to 72,327 during the same period. The number of Indians in the Merchant Navy had earlier gone up from 1,03,835 in 2013 to 1,26,945 in 2015. As the world is moving towards a consumer-driven society, import-export has increased manifold. Since most of the import-export is being carried out by shipping companies, there will always be a need for people in the merchant navy. Merchant navy salary in India is extremely high, and hence it is a good option for those who want a good starting pay and a life filled with adventures at the sea.  

– Disha Subramaniam