Career in the merchant navy

Career in the merchant navy

One can find great opportunities in the shipping or maritime Sector. Istock image

The modern shipping industry dominates global trade, both in volume and value. In India, the Ministry of Shipping has reported that over 95% of the country’s trade takes place through maritime transport, which is set to receive a huge boost under the National Perspective Plan for Sagarmala. 

Take into account the push for Inland Waterways and one can find great opportunities in the shipping or maritime Sector.

 The term ‘Merchant Navy’ traces its origin to World War I, when the British monarch bestowed the title to merchant sailors to recognise their service during the war. Since then, it has been adopted by several nations, including India.

The shipping industry has transformed since those days, and modern shipping vessels are bigger than aircraft carriers, almost akin to man-made islands that can move and brave the vagaries of the sea.

Career options 

A career in the merchant navy is classified into three categories: the Deck Department, Engineering Department and Hospitality Department.

The Deck Department includes the Ratings, Deck Officers and finally the Captain who are responsible for the navigation, communication and overall functioning of the ship. 

A career in the Deck or Engineering Department requires one to clear their Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. One has to clear the entrance test conducted by the Indian Maritime University (IMU) and pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Nautical Science, followed by a Pre-Sea training programme.

Marine engineers aboard a ship are involved in the operation, maintenance and repair of the main propulsion system and auxiliary machinery. 

They are responsible for the smooth and safe operation of the vessel and involve diverse engineering disciplines such as Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic and Structural Engineers. 

One can become a marine engineer by pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in marine engineering (for which you need to clear the Entrance Test conducted by IMU). 

After your Bachelors in Mechanical, Civil or Electrical Engineering, you can also appear for the exam conducted by the Directorate General of Shipping and complete a year-long pre-sea training programme.

Opportunities are available in the Shipbuilding Industry in coastal regions or aboard a seafaring ship as a junior engineer.

A degree in Hotel Management/Administration will offer opportunities to become a member of the Hospitality Department aboard a Ship, Tanker and Cruise Liners.

There are a plethora of opportunities and benefits of becoming a part of this niche sector. 

Apart from a high tax-free income and long vacations, one gets to travel around the world and meet a diverse group of people.

On the other hand, the life of a mariner is mostly spent onboard the ship. But if the sea is your calling, then the Merchant Navy is your trade.

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