Career as Merchant Seaman

Stream : Transportation, Logistics and Import Export
Sub Stream : Storage and distribution

Merchant Navy Officer

Merchant navy is a commercial fleet which includes cargo ships, container ships, barge carrying ships, tankers, bulk carriers, refrigerator ships, passenger ships as well as roll off/roll on ships. The main officers on the ship are Executives, Navigators and Engineers. Engineers take care of the running of the ship and Executive Officers look after all activities on the deck. In terms of functional hierarchy the officers have 'ratings' working under their supervision in each of the three major departments i.e. deck, engine room and catering.

Executive Officers

The Captain
• Is the commander of the ship
• Navigates the ship, sets the course and the speed
• Maintains orderliness and discipline
• Ensures safety of passengers, crew and the cargo
• Commands maneuvering to avoid hazards
• Checks the location of the ship's position using navigational aids
• Acts as the representative of the ship's owner
• Assigns organizational duties for ship's operation, navigation and maintenance with the chief mate
The chief mate
• Is the captain's first assistant and is in charge of all cargo planning and deck work
• Assists in navigation and management on the ship
The second mate
• Takes charge of mails
• Is responsible for maintenance of equipment and charts used for navigation
The third mate
• Undertakes maintenance of lifeboats and firefighting equipment
• Is in charge of all signaling equipment
• Assists with cargo work
• Is in charge of the navigating bridge by rotation

Engineering officers

The ship's engineers The job demands practical work, and engineers spend most of the day in boiler suits. Junior officers up to the level of third engineer are mainly working with their hands, and to some extent supervising engine room ratings. Even chief engineers spend about a quarter of their time in practical tasks. The chief engineer is assisted by junior officers. 
Chief Engineering Officer
• Has complete responsibility of the ship's engine room i.e. the main engine, boilers, pumps, hydraulic and fuel systems and the ships electrical generating plant and distribution system 
• Maintains documents of the working of the machinery as well as the repairs carried out 
• Logs fuel consumption and requirements 
Second Engineering Officer 
• Maintains lubricating systems, engine room auxiliaries, and electrical equipments 
Third Engineering Officer 
• In-charge of fuel and water 
• Supervises tank soundings 
• Logs the consumption of fuel and water 
• Monitors the boiler room equipment 
Fourth Engineering Officer 
• Operates and maintains engine room auxiliaries 

Electrical Officer

• Maintains and repairs all electrical circuits and motors 

Radio officers

• Operate, maintain, and repair radio and other electronic communications devices 
• Maintain depth recording equipment and electronic navigational aids such as radar and the long range navigation equipment 
• Receive and record time signals, weather reports, position reports and other data 
Steward department 
• The chief steward, along with the chief cook, baker and attendants. 
• Maintains the crew's living quarters and prepares meals 
• Maintains inventories of food stuffs, linen, bedding, furniture etc 
• Oversees maintenance of living rooms and mess halls 
• Merchant navy rating 
• Ratings work on the deck, in the engine room and in catering 

Deck ratings

• Deck ratings job depends on the type of ship 
• They clean, sweep, chip off rust, polish etc 
• Maintain the ship and operate loading and unloading 
• Prepare and paint the steel work 
• Clean and inspect holds and tanks of the Cargo ship 
• Look-out and work as helmsmen on the bridge 
• When on ports they assist in the mooring of the ship, prepare cargo operations and take on board of stores, as well as in fire and security patrols 

Engine room-rating 
• Carry out day-to-day cleaning of the engine room and the routine oiling, greasing and servicing of machinery 
• Help officers to monitor and ensure the safe running of main plant and ancillary equipment 
• Help during repair and maintenance of machinery on board 
• Sometimes work of deck and engine room ratings is done by 'general purpose' ratings 

Catering rating 
• Clean accommodation areas and public rooms 
• Help in the preparation of food, clean galleys, cooking utensils, and help in the maintenance of fridges, freezers and hygiene in all food preparation and serving areas 
• Serve meals to officers and crew 
• Load and store the ship's consumable stores 

Other professionals on the ship 
• Pursers and Medical officers are hired directly and their maximum qualifications and suitability are determined by the shipping companies employing them. Pursers are usually B.Com/BA and they need no professional training. They keep accounts on board.

Top Recruiting Companies of Merchant navy officer:

• Apeejay Shipping Ltd
• Essar Shipping Ports
• Garware Offshore Services Ltd
• Hede Navigation
• Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd
• Poompuhar Shipping
• Tolani Shipping Co Ltd
• Varun Shipping Co Ltd
• Visakhapatnam Port

How to become Merchant navy officer?

Path 1:

• Std XII
Stream: Science PCM
• Entrance Test
IIT Main*
• Training
TS Chankya/ MERI
• Goal
Merchant Navy Officer

Path 2:

• Std XII
Stream: Sc PCM
• Pre sea training
• Goal
Merchant Navy

Path 3:

• Std XII
Stream: Sc PCM
• Graduation
BE/Btech Marine Engineering
• Selection
Marine Engineer
• Goal
Marine Engineer

*Entrance test for merchant navy training institute for 3 year navigation or 4 year engineering course. TS Chanakya the government training ship recruits candidates for B.Sc. Navigation course through the JEE (Main) and the MERI selects candidates for Marine Engineering also through the IIT Main examination 
**Pre-sea training institutes impart training in navigation and engineering courses for the merchant navy. 
***Graduates in Marine engineering may apply for direct recruitment with a merchant navy shipping firm in the engineering department

Median Pay Scale/salary of Merchant navy officer :

2.54 Lakhs to 16.49 Lakhs perMonth

Top Merchant navy Colleges in India:

• T S Chanakya College 
• Marine Engineering Research Institute (MERI)

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