Merchant Navy Career: Advantages and Disadvantages

If you’re looking for a lucrative career in India and love the oceans, you can join the Merchant Navy. However, choosing Merchant Navy courses and training will determine the job or rank you perform in this profession. The information listed below will help you understand everything you need to know about the Merchant Navy.

What is the Merchant Navy? 

Merchant Navy, in India, is a term used to describe commercial shipping. The term refers to commercial shipping via cruise ships, bulk carriers, tankers, and more. A person associated with Merchant Navy is primarily a part of goods being transferred through water transport routes.

The job opportunities in the Merchant Navy are growing every year. In the 2019 fiscal year, the number of vessels registered under India’s name was 1,429. Also, to give you perspective, about 90% of the world’s transportation of goods relies on ships.

A Career in the Merchant Navy

The one thing to note about a career in the Merchant Navy is that you get to spend most of your time at sea. As a Merchant Navy officer, you will be in charge of ensuring that transportation of the sea and the ocean is done as per rules and laws. All commercial transports on the routes will go through Merchant Navy officers.

Apart from this, a job in the Merchant Navy will entail many things. Your Merchant Navy courses will help you train for the requirements listed below:

  • Merchant Navy officers are responsible for enforcing the different rules and laws. Compliance is another role that a Merchant Navy officer takes on.
  • Merchant Navy officers also take on more roles. These officers are also trained to save lives, maintain records, legal and operation, and check the weather.
  • Other than this, the roles of Merchant Navy professionals also include maintaining and inspecting equipment, inspecting onboard equipment, and shipbuilding.

Roles You Can Apply for in the Merchant Navy

When you think of taking up Merchant Navy courses, you’ll wonder what kind of role would be a good fit for you. Well, if that’s the case, here are a few roles that could be a good fit for you:

  • Deck Officer: This job role is that of a navigation officer. A deck officer is known to handle the ship’s route, controlling navigation through the waters and maintaining communications. They have to read and understand weather conditions as well. Apart from this, deck officers are responsible for safe cargo handling and life-saving equipment.
  • Engineering Officer: Ships require maintenance, which is where engineering officers come into play. An engineering officer handles the mechanical equipment onboard. These officers conduct the inspection and maintenance of these machines.

Merchant Navy is an excellent opportunity for any person. Since some private companies work under the Merchant Navy, it gives you a government job opportunity and the luxury of a private job. However, if you’re employed under the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), then you’re a government employee.

Advantages of Working in Merchant Navy

Merchant Navy requires a person to go through different roles. The primary attraction of the Merchant Navy is that you’d get a chance to travel around the world and throughout the Indian coastal regions.

Apart from this, there are different ranks for every department in the Merchant Navy. With time and performance, you will rise through the ranks. However, if you’re employed by the SCIJ, then you get the benefits of a government job in India.

The following are some other benefits you’d have with the Merchant Navy:

  • The minimum age to join the Merchant Navy is 17. That means you get early financial independence.
  • Since you can join at 17, if you join before you turn 18, you can technically train on the job and choose a career path at a young age.
  • Merchant Navy officers enjoy long vacations. Since officers have long work hours, they get long vacations as well. And by this, we mean about three to four months.
  • The salary for those employed in the Merchant Navy is exempt from income tax.

Disadvantages of Working in the Merchant Navy 

Although there are many benefits to joining the Merchant Navy, there are some downsides as well:

  • Sure, you get long vacations. However, for the days you’re not on vacation, you’re at sea. Merchant Navy officers are, for the most part, far away from any help.
  • The exams don’t ever end for Merchant Navy officers.
  • Your friend circle and social life become difficult to manage, as you’re away at work for the most part.

Bottom Line

We hope this information will help you reach a decision. Despite the few downsides, there are many benefits of a career in the Merchant Navy. If you think that being an officer in the Merchant Navy is something you’d be good at, you should start with Merchant Navy courses and then begin appearing for exams.