10 Reasons Why a Career in Merchant Navy is Unlike Any Other


A career in merchant navy is a unique blend of variety encompassed in a single domain. By opting for a merchant navy career, individuals can combine a lot of different facets and gain a lot of exposure which would be difficult to gain otherwise. Detailed below is a list of 10 such points which make merchant navy careers so singular and completely unlike any:

I.   Lucrative Pay-Packages: A very big incentive for anyone to take up a profession is the allure of pay-packages and salaries. The merchant navy offers extremely high payment scales, even for fresh entrants in the profession, starting at about US$ 1,500 and extending up to about US$ 2,000 on a monthly basis. The payment scales are set as per the existing IMO (International Maritime Organisation) and ILO (International Labour Organisation) laws. 

Additionally, the salary in merchant navy also varies from company to company and on the basis of the qualification and the position held by an individual.


II.   Tax Benefits: Paying taxes is a responsibility that everyone is wary of. However, people involved in the merchant marines are exempted from paying taxes, if they meet the requirements necessary for exemption purposes. A merchant marine professional has to spend a minimum of six months on-duty aboard a vessel, following which the professional will be exempt from paying tax for the specified financial year.

III.   Destinations Galore: People involved in the merchant marines get to experience exotic destinations across the whole world. And since jobs in merchant navy require an individual to spend extended periods of time at sea, there is no dearth of time when it comes to exploring these singular destinations.

IV.   Confluence of Cultures: A professional involved in a merchant marine career gets to meet and mingle with people of different cultures and nationalities. This helps the individual to understand and function better as a team player and learn the nuances of different cultures and traditions at the same time.

V.   Enhances Professionalism: Working in the merchant navy enables individuals to function better as a unit. Merchant mariners are required to possess good communication skills and extreme resourcefulness, along with following and maintaining high discipline. These qualities are further honed when a person spends considerable amount of time functioning as a part of a novel team in the high seas. A person not only evolves professionally but also personally while working in merchant navy.

VI.   Extensive Exposure: Merchant navy careers offer a lot of exposure to unexpected events, situations and emergencies. By facing such unmitigated events, professionals gain a widespread knowledge about dealing and facing such problems, in the event of them arising again. The exposure one gets in this field is unlike anywhere else and which helps a person to grow in every aspect.

VII.   Inspiring Adventure:  A career in merchant marines is like having adventures on a day-to-day basis. It’s an adventurous life out there. Other routine jobs, involve people having to spend nine hours in an office. This is not for people who like nine-to-five jobs. Merchant mariners get to explore and view the excellent oceanic vista for days on end which, acts as inspiration unlike any. Not only this, the situations which one faces at sea provide experiences of utmost adventurous types.

VIII.   Less-demanding Qualifications: A career in merchant navy can be taken up immediately after clearing the high school examinations with subjects like physics and mathematics. For individuals who do not want to gain higher college education or cannot do so because of certain reasons, taking up a merchant marine career is the most feasible choice. Not only does it provide good pay but also help in moulding a better career. Having said that, there are career in merchant navy that requires high qualifications as well.

 IX.   Regulated life-style: Punctuality and discipline are two very important qualities that a person gains through a merchant marine career. Since the oceans are highly unpredictable, a seaman has to be highly cautious, focused and alert to counter any eventuality, thereby reducing the repercussions substantially. These two qualities are imbibed in maritime professionals right from their college training. The professionals are expected to follow a strict disciplined lifestyle according to navy rules and are also required to wear navy uniforms throughout their careers. In case you are uniform fan, maritime career is an exciting option for you.

 X.   Extended Vacations: Since the nature of the job requires long working periods, the vacations offered to merchant marine professionals are equally compensating. This enables these professionals to enjoy the best of both worlds – land and water. A 2-4 months vacation is definitely long enough to unwind and follow all your passions, isn’t it?

People with unbridled enthusiasm and zest for life can very well opt for a merchant marine career. It would be satiating without the person ever experiencing any regrets whatsoever in his profession of choice.

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  1. dibya says

    the list of resons given to join merchant navy are not factually right.
    1. the salary is not high as you only earn for the period u are at sea. when you are no home u dont earn anything. the spread of ur earning is almost same as the shore
    2. adventure and site seeing has become a thing of past. Loading discharging rates are very high and vessel hardly have time in port
    3. the pressure from the profession is so much that most of the people dont go out now days. remember and offence in shipping is treated as a criminal offence
    4. As it is mentioned there is no much to study is also wrong. You have to continously be in touch with new things and new regulation need the courses to be done
    5. last thing in this world people are worried about is the seafares. let it Somalia or any other country who arrested the seafares with out any reson. nothing has been done and nothing will be done in future
    6.i have been sailing from last 14 yrs and sincerly recommend people not to join sea. The pay at sea is for the life people lead not for the job they do.

  2. Himanshu says

    @Dibya-are u sure sir? If yes, then I will not join Merchant Navy ever..
    What is your salary right now?
    Do you also get paid leave?
    Please send me in detail about the life on ship and what are its impact on our family and wife?

    Email ID: Hshimanshu978@gmail.com
    Just for sake whether I am eligible for Merchant Navy.
    Sir, I want to join Merchant Navy. I am in the final year of Mech engg.
    When the pre-sea training starts?
    My marks: 72% in +2, 74% in 10th, 58 and 48 in Eng. in 10th & +2 respectively.
    B.tech: 77% average..
    What is the initial pay package?
    My sir used to get Rs60k in foreign ship but has now left the job and is doing MBA..

  3. raza says

    being a pakistani seafarer, i will must say that we have shortage of jobs. Pakistani and indians are very talented seaman all over the world. But the problem is there is no job for them.

  4. sanjay says

    hi guys ,i am a sea faer my self and feel that this job is best for a guy ,who have a positive attiude and by the way salary depend upon rank and company.The salary package is good than most other jobs by the way there are hurdles and trails in every profession so new coomers who want to join as a sailor if you bealive in fallowing up your dreams just dont give up but explore more.

  5. Rajendra says

    Do not get carried away by tall claims of salary. Its simply not worth it for the reasons already specified by Dibya. Few additional points I would like to add is as follows:
    1. You have to spend lot of money (at least INR 1,50,000/- (depending on the course) to do a course on “pre sea training”. After spending for this course you will then have to hunt for a job. Unless you are well connected you can just about forget it.
    2. You will be spending more money every time you have to appear for exams/ course etc.
    3. Family members are not covered under company’s insurance policy as are most of the employees working in shore office, banks, factories etc.
    4. You are also not covered by insurance when you sign off from the ship.
    5. Some times ship stays at anchor for a month or so & during this period you are stuck on board as companies are reluctant to provide you with launch service to cut back on costs. During this period even water is a scarcity & so water is rationed.
    6. If you are working on a super tanker then only time you are likely to step on land (after you have joined a vessel) is after you have signed off & on your way back home. (which may be 4 to 6 months later.

    There are probably many other reasons which I cannot think of for the moment. Most important ones I am sure have been covered. I am i this industry for about 30 years & I would not recommend this profession to any one.
    God bless all the sailors who are brave enough to sail.

    All the best & take care

  6. sujith says

    I am pursuing BE in CS ,I got selected to a alpha 9 marine during campus selection , they outsource student to merchant navy , plz if anyone knows give information about it

  7. Anish says

    Dear Sujith,

    Alpha 9 marine is not a company but a 3rd party. They will help you in getting admission but cannot guarantee Job.
    In which stream you got selected Marine engineering or Deck cadet?

  8. Rakesh Sharma says

    The salry in Merchant Navy is indeed high for freshers. At the age of 21 with three years training, how many other professions can offer you a salary of USD 3500 pm (round the year). In 12-14 years you can be captain or chief engineer and draw about USD 8500 pm round the year (current rate, after 15 years it will be obviously more). Here I am talking about oil tankers. In general cargo and bulk carriers the salary is a bit less, only a bit.

  9. deepak says

    is life in merchant navy s hectic as officer hs to stay away from home around 6 months.Are there any companies where on sea duration s less

  10. Anish says

    Dear Deepak,

    yes it is quite hectic due to both physical and mental involvement.
    Their are some companies which gives 3-4 months contract but to management level officers. Very few in count gives such contract to all officers onboard.

  11. deepak says

    dear anish,
    Thank you for information and alpha 9 is visiting my college and they demand 6 lakhs for training.should i gor for it .can i get sponsorship from companies for training.what are the other career available after quiting merchant navy?any offshore jobs.

  12. Arpit says

    Can i join the merchant navy in ETO course. plz give me detail about this course. and life in merchant navy.

  13. Suyash says

    1)Sir, is Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy a good one??
    The are promising a 100% placement.
    2)Is the 6 month Leave A Paid leave??

  14. Anish says

    1) Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy is good in terms as they have their own ship management company.
    2) The leave is not paid.

  15. says

    Thanks for this Wonderful Information.
    Now I want to make my career in Merchant Navy and want to shine it in Luxurious ways.
    It’s really a good opportunity for all youngsters! :)

  16. Kapil says



  17. Jnyandeep says

    how is life as 4 or 3 grade engineer in merchant navy. ? and what are the other career available after quitting merchant navy. . ?
    plz do reply

  18. Akshya Bhiwani says

    I have done B.E. in Electrical and Electronics engineering (EEE). I am about to start off my pre sea training through Alpha9marine services. I would like to know detailed info regarding following issues:

    (a) Working hours, Salary structure and on board and of board time for a TME and a 4th engineer.
    (b) Expenditure and procedure regarding exams meant for promotion.
    (c) Your comments on joining Peter Dohle as a TME.
    (d) What will be the career opportunities if I wish to quit this job after 5 years or so.

  19. rajinder singh says

    sir, i want to do GME course. is there any guarantee of job after completion of course.?

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