What is Merchant Navy??

About Merchant Navy

  • The Merchant Navy is a non-combatant commercial fleet, which deals with transporting cargo and occasionally, passengers, by sea.

  • Its fleet is therefore composed of passenger vessels, cargo liners, tankers, carriers, as well as other special types of vehicles. A career in this field is full of adventure and long voyages to exotic places. Above all this, the excellent pay and promising promotional opportunities make the career lucrative and exciting in spite of all the hard work life and long absence from family and home.

  • Merchant Navy is the backbone of international trade, carrying cargo all over the world. The merchant ships employ a huge number of workers to carry and deliver goods from one country to another. Without the merchant navy, much of the import-export business would come to a grinding halt!

What is the big attraction of the merchant navy

Two things come to mind – money and foreign travel.


  • There are other benefits like tax free income, quick promotions and an exciting life. But the money is the main temptation. You get fat pay checks and you don’t pay tax (if you stay out of the country for more than 6 months in a financial year).

  • You start earning a big salary at a very young age. To give you an example, the starting salary for a 22 year old 3rd officer or 4th engineer (junior most officers on board ships) on an oil tanker is be more than 3000 $ per month (conservatively speaking) and goes upto 10000 USD for First time Captain or Chief Engineer .

  • This amount depends on the type of ship and the company you join! Officers normally work on a contract basis. Junior officers do 6 to 9 month contracts, while senior officers do 3 to 6 months on board. Remember that you get paid ONLY when you are on board with most of the companies.

  • Some companies do pay round the year  but the net average is same as taking your salary basis individual contract.

  • For exact Details of Salaries which Indian Officers get, please visit Joining as Deck / Engine Officer section of our website.

Merchant Navy pays in US Dollars
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Travel Across the Globe:

  • A career in the merchant navy is considered a glamorous job, especially by the people who have been bitten by the travel bug.The career provides an opportunity for person to visit and acquaint with nationals of various countries and learn many things highly demand for Indian seafarers in international Market.

  • While sailing on ships you get to work with multi national Crew and at times there can be as many as 7-8 different nationalities on board. Its challenging as well as fun to work with so many different nationalities. You need to be smart to understand there culture and adjust your behaviour accordingly.

  • Nationalities with whom you may find yourself are filipino, Croatian, Russian, SriLankan, Nigerian, Pakistan , Bangladeshi and Chineese etc-- The list is unending.

Panama Transit
Panama Canal Transit
Hollywood Visit
Hollywood Visit

Experience Different Weather Conditions:

  • While sailing on ship you can experience all different weather in span of 3-4 months. A vessel sailing from Australia to Gulf in month of June will experience extreme winter in southern Australia and after sailing for 20-25 days on reaching Gulf countries you can experience temperature as high as 55 deg C( You will need Salt Tablets to avoid fainting).

  • You can experience the sea seas and extremely good weather and at time you will facing the sea waves rising upto height 9 m. The bad weather will give you roller coaster ride on ship but off-course it take some time to get your feet stable on badly pounding ship.

  • The motion of ship in bad weather is very difficult to predict, its a combination of sideways, fwd-aft and various other combination( in shipping we call it rolling, pitching, swaying, surging, heaving and some of the motions are still not defined). This bad weather conditions makes even the seasoned Mariner sea-sick( Vomit) and 90% of the mariners get over this sickness after sailing for 3-4 years. Few Lucky ones never experience this and few never get over it even after sailing throughout their life.

rough seas
Rough Seas
Calm Seas, Good Weather
Calm Seas, Good Weather

Natural Phenomenon:

  • While sailing on ship you will pass through various weather condition including snow fall, working on ship's deck full of snow, observing natural phenomenon such 3 rainbows etc. Sun touching the sea and rising up again and there will not be night( Experienced in Northern Latitudes around 70-75 deg, Netherland and Northern Russian ports.

Passing Cape Horn- South of Argentina
Passing Cape Horn- South of Argentina

Technical/ Emotional Skill:

  • You become much more technically sound than any other person of same age group working ashore. Reason being any problem which is either technical related to ship machinery equipment or related to handling your colleagues at sea are handled by you directly without any help or assistance. Full ship staff as an team is normally capable of resolving most issues on ship.Sailing alone without family makes some of seafarers emotionally very strong .







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