Merchant Navy Salary Per Month, Job Profile, Career

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Serving one’s nation is a matter of pride for many and that is why there are so many people signed up for police, army, navy, air force, and various other such bodies. The risk of life in such a line of work is almost unparalleled and yet there are brave people out there who without caring for their lives go ahead to protect the nation. Most people know about the army but today our focus is on Merchant Navy which looks after the goods that are imported or exported from one place to another. Many young people aspire to join the Navy and in this article, we will be informing you about Navy job and things like Merchant Navy salary per month and Merchant Navy highest salary.

Merchant Navy Salary Per Month, Job Profile, Career

As we have told earlier, Merchant Navy looks after the import and export of goods which is a crucial job when you take into account that more than 90% of the goods transported around the world are done through waterways. It is also a secure job as it is managed by the government of India. Let us learn more about this job.

About Merchant Navy

There are merchant ships and merchant vessels that do the same work as cargo trains or cargo planes. They are tasked with carrying goods or people from one place to another as an import or export thing. These water carriers need to be manned by humans who hold important positions in the maritime world and this is where a Merchant Navy comes in.

India’s Merchant Navy came into being even before the nation got its Independence. The first modern Merchant Navy in India came to be in 1919 when a vessel named SS Loyalty made its journey from India to Britain. When it comes to carrying the bulk of cargo India ranks 15th in the world for its cargo-carrying capacity. Out of the world’s total Merchant Navy people, 12.8% of officers belong to India. Apart from this, 14.5% of ratings of the maritime community also come from India. India has Merchant vessel companies like Essar, Shipping Corporation of India, etc. that make India proud on a global level with their unrivaled services.

Role of a Merchant Navy Officer

Merchant Navy officers are usually on the ship transporting goods from one place to another, but what exactly are they supposed to do on these vessels? What role are they playing?

The Merchant Navy officer needs to coordinate with all parties involved. They need to see that there are no fights, delays, losses, or other troubling situations taking place. They also need to look after the loading and unloading of goods and take care of other important matters.

In case a Merchant Navy is posted on a ferry or a cruise ship then they need to manage it. They need to look after the safety of passengers, manage ships’ communications systems, etc. They also need to supervise people and machinery on board. Apart from that, they are the HR of the vessel and fire safety, team building, decision-making, work planning, etc. kinds of tasks form a part of their daily routines.

These officers also have to maintain various machinery present on board. Refrigeration, ventilation, pumping, power, etc. kinds of devices are present on board and may get damaged or might need repairing and this is where they have to step up.

Merchant Navy Salary Per Month

Traveling around the water bodies on a regular basis is no mean feat and requires the strongest of people. Many of us would know someone who would get puckish when traveling using waterways, most people even get nauseous while road traveling, so that puts things into the picture as to how difficult traveling in a water body can be. But even after being a tough and demanding job, is the pay equal to it? What should be the ideal pay for such a job? Away from the land for days, on the go in challenging weather, and much more challenges await a Merchant Navy.

In answer to this, the Merchant Navy officer only makes rupees 23,000 to 25,000 a month. Yes, that’s right, the Merchant Navy salary per month is between 23 and 25 thousand a month. It’s far from fair and what is deserved, but that is the average that goes around in India. Even though it is just an average figure, it still paints a pretty gloomy picture. Depending on years of experience and company type, there can be a significant increase in the salary.

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Merchant Navy Salary

Being a Merchant Navy officer is not like working in a bank or an office nor is it like owning a business. To serve the nation you answer when duty calls and there is no avoiding it. Since the task at hand is to transport goods from one place to another, there is a timeline involved on which the job needs to be completed and that means the work can call whenever, and you need to be game for it. Does having a job like this pay handsomely? Is there fair compensation for this?

The Merchant Navy salary range in India is placed between 0.4 lakhs and 24 lakhs. The range is huge no doubt, however, when we take the average yearly salary into consideration then we realize that the yearly average is instead very close to 0.4 instead of 24. The yearly average salary for the post is just above 3 lakhs. These figures are estimates and not solid as the final figure is also influenced by various other factors like the company that you work for, the number of years of experience that you have, and much more. After learning about Merchant Navy salary per month, let us go over the maximum salary they earn.

Merchant Navy Highest Salary

Just like India, other countries have their own Merchant Navy team in place. A Merchant Navy officer is required to be present with items that need to be transported because of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). The first time the term Merchant Navy was used, it was done so for a British merchant ship for its services during World War I. The term came into existence through King George V. Post.

All this history was used to build up the topic of the Merchant Navy highest salary. With so much history and importance behind this post, you would think that they must surely bag a huge amount in salary at the end of the year. The highest salary a Merchant Navy officer gets is approximately 22 lakh to 24 lakh per year. No doubt 24 lakhs is a good figure for the highest salary for a Merchant Navy officer in a year but then again it is subjective. Holding such a post may bring with it certain privileges as well, however, not all of those would be related to the monetary aspect of it and that might be a point of contention for quite a few people.

Merchant Navy Captain Salary Per Month

When we talk about being a Merchant Navy we need to remind ourselves that there is not one universal post in the Merchant Navy department but rather there are multiple posts that make up the whole team of the Merchant Navy. You have a G P Rating officer that only needs to be 10th pass, and they get 25,000 to 60,000 rupees a month. Next up are a Trainee Cadet and a Deck Cadet. For both these posts, the candidate must be at least 12th pass and should have a pre-sea Nautical diploma. They then earn between 25,000 and 85,000 a month.

Then there are second and third Merchant Navy officers who need to have a 2nd Mate (FG) Certificate of Competency, and they earn 1,50,000 to 3,00,000 rupees a month. Then we have the Chief Officer who needs to have a 1st Mate (FG) Certificate of Competency, and they earn anywhere between 4 and 6 lakhs a month. Lastly, there is a Merchant Navy Captain. They need to have a Master (FG) Certificate of Competency. Merchant Navy Captain salary per month ranges between 8,65,000 and 20,00,000 per month. Now you know all about Merchant Navy salary per month.

Pros and Cons of working in Merchant Navy

Being a Merchant Navy officer might not be easy, but it does come with its own sets of benefits. Being a Merchant Navy officer is also not smooth sailing as there is a downside as well. So here are a few contrasting points that can help you make or break a decision.


  • Travel enthusiasts can’t look beyond the fact that this job is all about traveling while working. As a Merchant Navy officer, you get to visit almost every nook and corner of the world, and that too for free. The expenses for your trips are paid and depending on the halt time of the vessel at the port you can get off and explore the country, state, city, or wherever you halt.
  • Who doesn’t like a good tax exemption? As a Merchant Navy officer, you are eligible to be exempt from tax depending on the conditions met as per the government guidelines. In India, you are exempt from tax if you are not in the country for more than 182 days. A Merchant Navy officer is all about traveling places and being on duty in foreign places as well as so if you have a year when you have multiple long trips out of the country then you can count yourself lucky as you would not have to pay any tax that year.
  • When you are traveling the world as a part of your line of work, you should know that you are already getting the benefit of meeting people from various cultural backgrounds. You get to meet different people from different countries and get to learn about their customs and traditions. Not only when visiting a place after you have stopped at a port but also when you talk to officials at the port of other countries, you get to learn something new and interesting, and it makes you more diverse and accepting of others.
  • Most jobs would require you to get higher education and pricey degrees and other stuff, but with the Merchant Navy officer post that is not the case. You can become an officer right after completing your 10th or 12th standard. There are courses that make you eligible for a basic Merchant Navy post instantly. You can also become a Merchant Navy Officer after jumping from 12th if you were a PCM student. You complete pre-sea training and then sign up for onboard training with any Merchant Navy Company.
  • You get the best of both worlds, the song perfectly fits a Merchant Navy’s life. If they work for half a year and are nonstop on the go, then they also get an almost similar amount of time on land as a part of their vacation. Since they are away from home for so long to compensate for it, they get as much time away from work and during that time they are totally free from work and can enjoy it with their friends and family.
  • When in the water, Merchant Navy officers have to be careful and prepared for any and every situation that may befall them. This is also what makes them responsible and disciplined as it is very much required in their line of work. Before you even get to step into the sea, you have been trained to lead a life of discipline which then becomes a part of you.
  • Your colleagues are not guaranteed to remain the same. A lot of people hate seeing the same faces at work every day, but here you are a contracted professional and each trip of yours can be with a different crew, in fact, you can also get to work with new crew mates mid-trip. So if you have a bad boss or colleague then you need not be worried much about putting up with them for long.
  • Traveling gets you tax exemption, and it also gets you NRI status. If you are away from India for more than half a year then you are considered an NRI and treated as one which comes with its own set of benefits which includes a high Merchant Navy salary per month.

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  • While traveling while working is a good option for a lot of people, some might miss their friends and family while on duty. Yes, there is a long vacation waiting for them once their contract ends, but the daily get-together is something different. Also connecting with your family and friends from onboard is not that easy, and you might feel like you are losing touch with them. You can also not discount the fact that there might be an emergency, and you can do nothing about it as you might be stuck several thousand kilometers away from home in the middle of a huge water body slowly drifting away.
  • Say goodbye to your social life if you plan on being a Merchant Navy officer. You are away from home and people for long spells of the year and while in today’s time you might have digital connectivity options with your friends and family the work hours are still long and a disciplined lifestyle also means that you have to go to bed and have food at fixed hours which further limits chances of having much contact with people on land.
  • As a Merchant Navy officer, you don’t get rest. While other professions let you progress via experience, in this field it is not enough to have experience. From time to time there are Certificate Of Competency exams held by the Mercantile Maritime Department which you need to pass to progress in your career.
  • Pirates aren’t just in the movies; they are present in real life as well. And they are a real threat in a few parts of the world which is why merchant vessels have armed guards. However, they still pose a serious threat to the Merchant Navy officers and others on board, and thus, you need to be aware at all times of impending doom and especially in pirate-prone areas.
  • Having changing colleagues and bosses is also a disadvantage of being a Merchant Navy officer. You might have good colleagues and bosses or build a good rapport with some of them and then suddenly they could be gone, and you would have to start from scratch again.

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