Career Path

How to join the merchant navy after 12th


Let’s start the discussion over how to join Merchant Navy after 12th. Travel the world, manage cargo, check the direction of the ship, maintain the ship, clean ships, explore various cultures, and more. That’s what the life of a merchant navy officer is like.

It is an exciting and adventurous career for those bitten by the travel bug. They get paid for what they love – Traveling. But there is also a flip side, their work-life balance could be affected as they won’t be meeting their families for months.

They work 6-7 months in a row and receive a vacation for 4-5 months. Hence, they enjoy both lives, work-life, and personal life.

The merchant marine jobs are tax-exempt jobs. Yes, you read that correctly – You don’t have to pay government tax, and you will also get NRI status because you live outside India for more than 6 months. Therefore, During the article, we will discuss how to join the Merchant Navy after 12th, the best institutes, the eligibility, and the scope of the domain.

Eligibility criteria to join the merchant navy after 12th


  1. You must be single at the time of joining.
  2.  He/she should have PCM (physics, chemistry, and mathematics) as optional subjects in 10 + 2.
  3.  He/she must have a total of 60% minimum PCM in Class 12 of any Affiliate Board.
  4.  Entrance exams such as IMU-CET, MERI Entrance Exam, or TMISAT must be taken.
  5.  The candidate’s age must be between 17 and 25 years old.
  6.  He must be in good physical shape and must have 6/6 eye vision for both eyes. (However, for B.Tech in marine engineering, up to + -2.5 is allowed)

What Are Different Ranks In Merchant Navy?

As mentioned earlier, there are three main departments onboard ships:

  1. Department of Bridges
  2. Engine department
  3. Assessment

The professionals in each of these departments are classified in a hierarchical system.

For the Deck department, a general overview of the ranking system is:

  • Chief / Second Officer
  • 2nd officer/second
  • 3rd officer/journeyman
  • Bridge Cadet

In addition, to officers, each departure also has qualifications (also known as deck qualifications). Their classification is as follows:

  • Bosun (rating manager)
  • Welder / Installer (this grade provides services to both the bridge department and the engine department)
  • Skillful Seaman (AB)
  • Ordinary sailor (OS)
  • Intern operating system

For engine service, a general overview of the grading system is:

  • Chief / Senior Engineer
  • 2nd engineer / first assistant engineer
  • 3rd engineer / second assistant engineer
  • 4th engineer/assistant engineer Thirst
  • 5th engine engineer/cadet
  • Electrician manager (ETO)

Just like the bridge department, the engine department also has ratings. Their classification is as follows:

  • Editor
  • Motorman
  • Windscreen wipers
  • Trainee installer/wiper

Saloon Department:

  • Commissioner
  • trainee cook
  • Chef

Note: Though Captain comes at the top of the ranking system of the deck department, technically, the Ship Captain is above everyone on board.


Merchant Navy after

The merchant navy is full of opportunities so after taking these courses a candidate can easily be hired in freighters, container ships, tankers, bulk carriers, etc.

Candidates are hired primarily for three departments – engine, deck, and service and trained employees are hired for these so that they can manage the vessel effectively.

After completing B.Sc. in Nautical Sciences, cadets must clear several selection procedures which include a written exam conducted by UPSC, medical tests, and then physical tests.

Subsequently, he/she would be selected for Deck Officer, Nautical Surveyor, Dive Pilot, Second and Third Officer, Captain, Marine Superintendent, Radio Officer, etc.

Applicants can opt for graduate studies also after B.Sc. in Nautical Sciences to get better messages. Likewise, after completing maritime engineering, the candidate can become a naval officer, deck cadet, harbormaster, chief engineer, etc.

How to Join Merchant Navy After 12th

Courses offered to join Merchant navy after 12th:

  • B.Sc. Nautical Science
  • B.E. Marine Engineering
  • B.E. Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering
  • B.E. Petroleum Engineering
  • B.E. Mechanical Engineering
  • B.E. Harbour & Ocean Engineering
  • B.E. Civil Engineering
  • B.E. Electrical & Electronics Engineering
  • B.Sc. Marine Catering
  • Electro-Technical Officer Course

How to Join Merchant Navy After 10th

Courses offered to join Merchant navy after 10th 

  • Near Coastal Voyage (NCV)
  • Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS)
  • Commercial Diving
  • G.P. Rating

Entrance Exams for Merchant Navy

After completing the 12th class, interested applicants can take the Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test (IMU CET) or the All India Merchant Navy Entrance Examination. Therefore, this exam usually takes place in May. Hence, Other exams that can also serve as a gateway for marine engineering are JEE, MERI Entrance Exam, TIMSAT.

Eligibility criteria:

• 10th for the GP classification course.

• For bridge cadets and motor cadets: 10 + 2 with PCM 60%.

The examination request can be made online. Along with the application form, applicants must submit a short 100-word abstract explaining why they wish to apply for the Merchant Navy.

This exam is an MCQ pattern test covering topics such as physics, chemistry, math, English, general knowledge, and reasoning.

Merchant Navy – Pay Package

In the merchant navy, the salary can vary from Rs 12,000 to Rs 8 lakhs per month although the salary structure differs from one company to another, from one city to another, the needs for export-import, seniority, etc.

All crew members and officers get free meals on board and senior officers can take their wives on the trip.

A junior engineer on a ship can earn around Rs. 30,000 per month with free boarding and accommodation on the ship. The next level is that of a second engineer and finally, chief engineer on a ship. As you are promoted, your salary increases dramatically. A chief marine engineer earns Rs. 1.5 lakhs per month or more net of tax. It takes around 6-7 years for a junior engineer to be promoted to the rank of the chief engineer, depending on individual abilities and available employment opportunities.

The salary for a third officer is around Rs. 50,000 per month plus freeboard and accommodation on board. Therefore, the remuneration package for a captain is Rs. 2 lakhs per month or more excluding tax. It takes approximately 8 years for a third officer to be promoted to the rank of captain, depending on individual abilities and available employment opportunities.


In addition, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, canned goods, and imported cosmetics are available onboard duty-free. They are also entitled to four months’ leave per year. The interesting fact is that no tax return is imposed on the earnings of a professional merchant.

Life in the merchant navy can be adventurous for anyone who feels like traveling.



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