9 important things to know before joining Merchant Navy
Planning on joining the merchant navy? Getting paid for traveling the world and working on a ship definitely sounds enticing, but there are a few things you need to consider before taking the first step towards making a career in this field. We have listed down 9 such important points which would help the aspiring candidates who are planning to join Merchant Navy in being clear about their career choice.
1. Eligibility Criteria
For joining the Merchant navy in India, you must be eligible and fit into the criteria set by DG shipping approved institutes. Just like any other profession, the right qualifications are necessary to enroll in a course or to get placed on a ship/cruise. Because of the specific nature of the work onboard a ship, it is also necessary to have the appropriate skill set for this profession.
In India, there are different courses available for people holding different qualifications, and it is even possible to start your merchant navy journey straight after completing 10th examinations! Click here to see how.
2. Entrance Exams
The Indian Maritime University (IMU) holds entrance examinations for several undergraduate and master’s degree programs like DNS, B. Tech, B. Sc, M. Tech, M. Sc, and MBA. As an applicant wanting to pursue one of these courses, you need to clear the IMU-CET examination to get admission.
It is a computer-based test and the exam pattern consists of topics from Quantitative ability, Data interpretation, Verbal Ability, and Logical Reasoning. All the rank holding candidates will be able to take their desired course. And in order to appear for this entrance exam, you need to hold the necessary educational qualification and should be physically fit.
3. DG shipping approved institute
To be able to make a successful career in the Merchant navy, you need to set the right foundation. While searching for institutes and universities providing merchant navy courses, you should make sure that they are DG shipping approved. Only these institutes have the official authority to conduct pre-sea training.
They will provide you with authentic certification which will be valid to work on registered ships and cruises. Beware of all the other institutes that ensure to offer valid certificates and degrees – they’ll only make your money go in vain in the end.
4. Medical Fitness
This is one of the most important prerequisites for joining the merchant navy. If you are not medically fit, you simply cannot join this industry even if you hold the brightest percentages. Not only during joining the ship, but the candidate should also be physically fit while joining an institute for pre-sea training.
A career on the sea requires you to face a lot of challenges, so if you have any serious medical issues, you should avoid considering it as an option. A full medical check-up through a Panel Doctor approved by D.G Shipping will be undertaken. A complete eyesight test will also be conducted in which the distance vision should be 6/6 with no color blindness.
5. Choosing the correct stream
For joining the merchant navy, there are numerous streams that candidates can opt for. You need to go through the streams available and select the one which suits you the best. From Captain to Chief Engineer, from Head chef to Cadet, from Steward to General manager – there are just a plethora of options to choose from. Decide upon your dream job and pick up a course accordingly. Check out the courses here.
6. Difference between sponsored and non-sponsored academies
When it comes to selecting institutes, you have two options – sponsored and non-sponsored. Obtaining sponsorship is when you secure placement and get an offer letter from a shipping company before joining a course. To get sponsorship, you need to appear for entrance examinations conducted at eligible institutes.
If you manage to get sponsored, the cost of placement will be added to the college fees. The fees structure also varies from institute to institute in the case of sponsorship.
7. Indian CDC – Continuous discharge certificate
CDC is a license to work on commercial ships and cruises. It depicts your nationality while working onboard. Indian CDC will be provided by the DG shipping institute from where you will take the course. It is necessary to hold an Indian CDC to be considered as an Indian cadet while working on the ships.
So make sure to communicate with the institute you’ll be joining and collect your certificate at the time of completion of the course. Some institutes hand over a CDC of another country. That might not affect your placement process directly, but having an Indian CDC is considered more valuable by the shipping companies in India.
8. Tax free income for Non-resident seafarers
In accordance with the Indian Income Tax Law, the income of a resident seafarer or merchant navy employee will be taxable. However, if a crew member of a ship works outside India for 183 days or more during the financial year as per the CDC (Continuous Discharge Certificate) or passport, the residential status changes to a Non-Resident Seafarer. In that case, the income will not be taxed in India.
9. Proper etiquette
Having proper etiquette is one of the most important aspects in every field, so does in Merchant Navy. You will not only travel all around the world, but also connect with persons of all nationalities when you belong to the merchant navy. You’ll learn new things every day and come across different cultures.
While representing your country at an international level, it is necessary to be disciplined and adaptable. Also, a positive attitude is something you need to have while handling a job filled with challenges.
The bottom line
Merchant navy is a flourishing career option that brings new challenges and opportunities every day. However, it is important to keep in mind all the points listed above so that you don’t get deceived at any point.
If you wish to start your journey in the Indian merchant navy, Rife is here to help! We will guide you through each and every process from education consultancy to placement. Call now at +91 8160370087 to talk to our experts and clear all your doubts regarding the sea life!