Frequently asked questions while considering Merchant Navy as a Profession

B.Tech Marine engineering college

Since choosing career like Merchant Navy is a tough task, there are multiple questions and queries an aspiring mariner would have. This post will guide you through many details related to the profession, marine engineering courses, eligibility and much more. Read to make your journey to the profession smoother. 

With the plethora of options and exposure available in Merchant Navy, choosing the right path can be strenuous. The process includes consulting people and experts, checking on eligibility criteria, understanding job prospects, and other related information The queries and doubts are enormous as they revolve around uncertainties, certain myths, and delusions. You need to join the good marine engineering courses to get the right job offer. But, once you get the offer, you have to know the questions to ask and the answers to give at the time of the interview.   To make the right decision, we are addressing the ten questions most aspirants ask. 

Which are some famous marine engineering courses for the Merchant Navy?

B. Tech Marine 4-year degree course, Graduate Marine Engineering, B.Tech shipbuilding are a few famous courses for an aspiring candidate to consider. Pre-sea and post- sea training courses are also popular in helping to build a career in the merchant navy. 

What are the eligibility criteria to take up the B.Tech Marine Degree course? 

To enter a good B.Tech Marine engineering college, a minimum of 50% marks in English in 10th standard is a must. Along with this, one requires 10+2 passing with PCM as the primary subject with a minimum 60% aggregate. Most courses require fluency in the English language. 

What is the level of Pre sea training and exams?

Regardless of the stream, the pre-sea training and exam are not an easy nut to crack. It requires complete dedication to excel. After the candidate has completed the cadetship inclusive of onboard training, it requires the aspirant mariner to pass the Certificate of Competency (COC) exam by Mercantile Marine Department (MMD). Hence, one needs in-depth knowledge of theory and practical skills. 

What is the maximum age-eligible for the commencement of training?

The candidate should be between the age of 17.5 and 25 years on the start date of the training. They give relaxation of 5 years to SC/ST only on the upper age limit over the specific age limit mentioned. 

What is the exact selection process for the B.Tech Marine course?

For B.Tech Marine engineering college, the candidate has to clear the All India level IMU-CET examination. They allot the institutes based on two criteria: the merit marks in IMU-CET and the candidate preference. 

If I have color blindness, can I still join Merchant Navy? What are the other medical fitness criteria?

People with colour blindness are not eligible to join the Merchant Navy. Both at the deck and in the engine department, the candidate requires the ability to distinguish between colors. Other criteria include fit eyesight of 6/6 while maximum eye power permitted is +2.5. All candidates should pass the medical exams and tests conducted by the panelled doctors specializing in Merchant Navy regulations and requirements as per the ILO Convention 147 Seafarer’s Medical Examination. 

Just after college, can I join Merchant Navy as an officer? 

No, you cannot join Merchant Navy as an officer just after completing the marine engineering course. After graduation, the candidate has to undergo pre-sea training for 6 months. Post this, the candidate becomes eligible for a COC examination conducted by MMD (in India). On its completion and receiving Certificate of Competency, the candidate is eligible to join as Deck/ Engine officer or take up other lucrative careers within the shipping industry worldwide. 

What is the exact job role after on-boarding the ship?

As for cadets as trainee officers or engineers, the primary job role would be to assigning the respective officers and learn a fresh job while on the ship. They assign a DTO (Designated training officer) to each cadets trainee. Each trainee is responsible to do any kind of work assigned by their DTO which can vary from bridge watches to cargo watches, deck jobs, mooring operations, and much more. 

Engine cadets assigned work can include regular maintenance of machinery under a senior engineer or E/R watches, etc. 

What are the growth prospects?

While career growth solely depends on an individual candidate’s performance and hard work, it also depends on companies as some push early promotions while others go slow and steady. On average, it takes around 8-10 years to shift from Deck/Engine cadet to Master/Chief Engineer. 

Another important fact all aspirants should know is that different promotional levels require different shore-based training and examinations to get a Certificate of Competency (COC) to avail the desired higher rank. Along with this, advanced courses up-gradation is an add-on in faster growth.