Merchant Navy salary: Job profile, Career, salary(By Rank & Dept)-2021

Merchant Navy Salary

Merchant Navy is a very high-paying profession not only in India. Merchant navy salary can go as high as 12,00,000 per month.

Most Indian Navy officers opt to work with the merchant navy after completing their services as this is a high-paying profession.

Merchant Navy always has the vacancy for fresh graduates through various maritime institutes and offline for various positions.

According to your qualification/Experience, your post is decided.

Due to the extensive connectivity of Indian railways, the Domestic Indian Merchant navy’s volume is comparatively less.

But once you get boarded and gain experience, you get the opportunity to work in International Carriers.

So There are a significant number of Indians working in the Foreign Merchant Navy.

Types Of Merchant Navy

There are 2 Merchant navy jobs available in India: 

-> Domestic Merchant Navy: The movement of the ship is restricted within India’s ports. Goods are cheaper to transport from the sea than land is assigned like Crude Oil, Military equipment, metal ores, etc.

-> Foreign / International Merchant Navy: This is the main link of trade between 2 countries, including large oil and gas containers, automobiles, cargo containers, food, and many more.

About Merchant Navy officer

Merchant Navy officers make sure that the cargo is shipped and are the main links of International Trade.

Although being a Merchant navy officer has some perks, the disadvantages are quite too.

Let’s go through the Perks and demerits of being a Merchant navy officer.

Perks in Merchant Navy

Merchant navy offers various perks to attract more officers. All the officers, irrespective of their rank, enjoy this benefit:

1. Free Drinks and Food During the trip

2. Long Leave as long as six months(180 days) for every six months of work or three months leave for 90 days of work( It varies from contract to contract)

3. Medical Coverage for yourself and dependents.

4. Paid return Air-tickets to your choice of destination

5. Free lodging and meals till you board the ship( after you mark your presence at companies office)

6. Life Insurance

7. Benefits from the Indian Government and N.R.I. Status with a valid C.T.C.

8. They get Discounted Liquor and various duty-free items.

These are some of the basic perks that Merchant navy officers enjoy but again; It varies company to company.

The salary and perks can be high based on the duration of your journey/ the route you are taking.

Now let’s talk about some of the disadvantages/ demerits of being a Merchant Navy officer.

Disadvantages being a Merchant Navy officer

1. Life of a Merchant Navy officer is always at risk. Since you sail through waters, anything can happen, making it difficult for rescuers to reach there.

2. Due to bad weather, you frequently lose communication with others.

3. For 6/9 months, you see nothing but water. This can create a sickness of water. 

4. There’s always a threat of Pirates.

The list goes on like bad weather, collision with other vehicles, fir(Most common), Underwater rocks, a sudden increase in water due to glaciers burst.

That’s why Navy officers are given accidental Insurances. Even with all these disadvantages, the Merchant Navy is one of the highest paying professions in India.

Additionally, Sometimes the owner fails to pay port fees of the respective country, and thus there’s a high chance of seizure of the boat.

And once the boat is seized, you are stuck there, you can’t use the port facilities, neither you are allowed to leave the port.

The Merchant navy officers are categorized into three types.

1. Deck

2. Engineering 

3. Logistical

Let’s dive in to find the Officer’s role and rank with merchant navy salary.

Merchant Navy Salary (Rank wise)

Generally, Merchant navy officers’ salaries are the same overall, but they vary from company to company, like perks.

So Through this article, I’ll give you a broad overview of their work and salaries. These pieces of information are collected from a different source for both Domestic and International Ships.

Merchant Navy salary: Job profile, Career, salary(By Rank & Dept)-2021
Merchant Navy

There are two types of jobs on ships:

1. Licensed Crew: These are the personals who have a certain level of experience and have National/International Licensed Jobs.

2. Unlicensed Crew: They are the ones with little to no specific experience or qualifications. They are given jobs that don’t require skills. To work on International Ships, they do need certificates from the International/national authority.

Apart from them, there’s are ports specific post as Port Captain, Port Doctor. 

Port Captain- Salary(Rs. 3,00,000 to 8,00,000 per month)

Port Captain is an important designation. A port captain takes charge of the vessel when it docks on any port.

Port Captain’s post is equal to the Captain or Chief Officer’s post, and they generally work for particular companies.

Port Captain directs the unloading dept about the containers which are to be unloaded. Port Captain arranges everything for the crew so that they can get some rest before continuing.

A port captain is usually a Chief Officer who opts for a land-based job.

Deck Jobs

Deck jobs/Role are further divided into four different ranks:

Captain- Salary(Rs.600,000 to 15,50,000 per Month)

A Captain is the most skilled person on the ship as they run the vessels alongside different designations. They are often called Master, Chief Officer, etc.

They are the ones in charge of the whole ship, and they do have to perform difficult tasks apart from cruising the ship is managing their crew and their safety.

They are the highest-paid Officer in Merchant Navy. Everyone has to obey the captain’s order. A captain must-do safety checks properly.

In fact, in case of emergency, it’s the sole responsibility of the Captain to ensure the safety of his crew.

Qualification Required: Masters(FG) Certificate of Competency

Second Officer- Salary(Rs. 400,000 to 6,00,000 per month)

After Captain, the Second officer is in charge of the vessel/Ship, they report directly to the Captain. He is the man who helps the Captain perform difficult duties.

They are the ones keeping an eye on the vessel’s route and continuously monitor the weather through satellite data.

The second officer coordinates with team leaders to make sure everything is alright.

The second Officer task becomes more complex when disputes emerge between two departments or crew members. The Second Officer must ensure everything is ok between seamen and coordinate with each other.

The second officer even has to continuously monitor the health of all seamen and make sure that there’s no damage to the cargo or the vessel.

Qualification Required: 2nd Officer(F.G.) Certificate of Competency.

Third Officer- salary(Rs.1,50,000 to 3,50,000 per month)

A third officer is the one coordinating with the navigation dept to ensure everything is fine. 

A third officer has to keep an eye on all technicalities of the vessel and get it fixed by engineering. He even has to look after the speed, fuel and make sure that safety standards are maintained.

The duty of the third officer during port calls is to hand over the cargo manifest to the port captain. The third officer must maintain inventory like foods, fuels, engine oil and make sure the loading/unloading process is seamless.

The third officer decides the placement of cargo on the vessel.

Qualification Required: 2nd Officer(F.G.) Certificate of Competency.

Chief Cook-Salary(Rs. 200,000 to 4,00,000 per month)

Cheif Cook’s life is difficult on the ship as he is the man fueling the Captain, Second and third officers. Chief Cook is the Officer that assists the junior cook for anything related to food.

As officers get their only leisure time on board when they get food. The food must be tasty and healthy for everyone to function properly.

As lack of food can create a huge impact on your mind, this can lead to dangerous situations. All this extra pressure creates a Chief cook’s job extremely difficult.

Deck Cadets- Salary(Rs.25,000 to 85,000 per month)

Deck Cadets, also Known as Deckhands, are fresh grads from Maritime Academy. They join as a trainee and are assigned all types of tasks on the desk for the experience.

They are supervised by the Second & third officers and are mean to perform their duties.

They will have to coordinate with Captain in navigation, the Second officer, the third officer & the Security and safety crew.

They have to do jobs from almost every department, and as they gain experience, they got promoted to the third officer.

Qualification: Class 12 along with pre-sea Nautical Diploma

Engineering Dept

Cheif Engineer-salary(Rs.5000,000 to 11,00,000 per month)

On a Vessel, if someone who has equivalent authority and rank is none other than Chief Engineer.

A chief Engineer is a man behind the functioning of a vessel/Ship. They deal with every department on board like the engine department, navigation department (including radar readers), power stations, communication team.

Chief Officer is the one who makes sure everything is working properly from power transmission to entertainment facilities.

If any technical problem arose on board are brought in attention to the first Engineer.

First Engineer’s task starts before anyone else as he inspects the ship first and has full rights to declare the vessel unfit if any technical problem arises.

Second Engineer-salary(Rs. 400,00 to Rs900,000 per month)

Second Engineer reports directly to captain and chef engineer as per the situation.

The second Engineer reports directly to the Captain and chief engineer as per the situation.

The second Engineer is responsible for leading a team that looks after the proper functioning of everything during the trip.

It is indeed a very responsible position. He reports directly to the Chief officer in case of technical problems and reports to the Captain in case of a Navigational problem.

The second officer is in charge of assigning junior engineers to maintain equipment and carry out all safety drills.

The second officer is also in charge of looking after environmental issues caused by the ship and makes sure that it doesn’t cause pollution.

Third Engineer-salary(Rs. 300,000 to 7,50,000 per month)

The third Engineer’s Main task is to regularly check the frames of the vessel and make sure that there isn’t a fault that can lead to a disaster.

The third Engineer has other important tasks: maintaining hygiene as per standards, maintaining power generation system, and communication system.

The third Engineer has to coordinate with all the officers above his rank. He even has to make sure that the live cargo or containers containing perishable goods are ok.

Engineering Cadet- salary(Rs. 55,000 to 2,50,000 per month)

Engineering cadets are the ones at the ground level in Engineering Department handling everything. They are a fresh graduate from Maritime Institute.

They are given tasks aimed at preparing them to meet challenges and responsibilities. They are generally assigned to the engine room for continuous monitoring of the engine.

They are trained to replace engine oil and handle everything during times of emergency, with no communication and navigation fog.

The third officer assigns them tasks, and they have to coordinate with the Captain, Chief Officer, First engineer, and second engineer.

Logistic’s Department

As you might have guessed from the name, they handle Logistics and work under the unlicensed category.

Unlicensed Crew Includes:

1. Motorman

2. Seamen Cadet

3. Oiler

4. Ordinary Seamen

It is very difficult to estimate their salary since in my research, I have found that Fresher oil men get as low as Rs.10,000 per month, and they didn’t get Stamps on their C.T.C. that means their experience didn’t count.

ONGC is the company that has frequent vacancies of Oiler.

If you want to know more about Institutes, then click here.


Merchant navy salary is among the best in the county. Merchant Navy job is not easy at all. You need special skills and courage to join the Merchant navy.

If you want to join the Merchant navy, then swimming is the first and foremost requirement; if you are in 10-12th and are preparing to join Merchant Navy, then Good luck.

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