Merchant Navy Salary and Course Fees..!!

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Merchant Navy Salary and Course Fees

The major reason over 75% of the people that join the merchant navy is its Pay-Scale. Yes, this is the eye-catcher advantage in the merchant navy.  But before moving to the actual topic I suggest you read my previous blog, “How to Join Merchant Navy” to get a clear picture of what are the different ways to join the merchant navy. As I mentioned in my previous blog, here I’ll explain the best way to join the merchant navy as a Marine Engineer.   I’ll also provide the details of course fees and salary structure in the merchant navy.
Before going to the details of course fees, have a look at how much you can earn by joining the merchant navy. Because this will energize you to invest in your education. To mention further, in this table I’ll list the salary structure of only officers and engineers. And down the blog, I’ll list out the salary structure of other departments too as of my knowledge.

Engine Department

Deck Department


Salary(in USD/month)


Salary(in USD/month)

Chief Engineer




Second Engineer


Chief Officer


Third Engineer


Second Officer


4th/5th Engineer


Third Officer


Engine Cadet


Deck Cadet


These are the figures mostly common in many companies. But the Figures may vary based on your type of ship and trading route. (But in my experience these are the minimum figures you’ll get if you work in a standard company).

Isn’t this table sounds great..? Of course, it is. Who will pay you so much to travel the world? Nobody…
So if you have decided to enjoy such adventures marine life, you should be ready to take a few risks which I mention further in the blog. 
Now coming to the actual topic which I had mentioned in the previous blog,  “The best way to join the merchant navy”. I would highly recommend you to choose the way which I have been. That’s pursuing GME(Graduate Marine Engineer) Course. For more details about the course, read the previous blog. To justify my answer I’ll show you some figures,




B.Tech in Marine

3-5 Lakh per year * 4 years

12-20 Lakh

B.Sc in Nautical Science

3-5 Lakh per year * 4 years

12-20 Lakh


B.E Mechanical Engg 3-5Lakh (average college)


GME 3-5Lakh

 The above figures may slightly vary from college to college. But this is an average figure. By fee structure, you might have understood how much you can save your money by joining the merchant navy through GME. Apart from Money, there are few other advantages too,

  1. You’ll be having both Mechanical and Marine Degrees with you. So you can join both mechanical and marine industries if you couldn’t join the ship due to some unexpected accidents in your life. This flexibility is not possible if you pursue B.Tech in Marine Engineering / B.Sc in Nautical Science. 
  2.  As all the marine courses are Residential courses, you won’t have that freedom to enjoy your student life in marine campus. (I’ll separately explain this in another blog to give you a clear picture of life in marine college campus).

Now coming to the risks which I mentioned above. It’s nothing surprising, it’s common in all the industries, “Getting A Job”.  But the reason I have mentioned it as a risk is, the amount of money you have spent for pursuing the course. But in my personal experience, I have got to know that, there are sufficient vacancies in the marine industry. But the worst tragedy is, as a junior you won’t get to know about them. Because of mediators whom we call “Agents” in the marine industry. So it’s very important for you to be away from them. (sad to mention, even I had been food for an Agent. But luckily I got escaped) . So how can you do that, 

  1.  Sponsorship exam:  Few of the Marine institutes conduct sponsorship exam before taking your admission. It’s like an entrance test which you have to clear to get admission in that institute. Sometimes this exam is conducted by the institute or in some cases, the exam is conducted by the shipping companies. In both cases, you’ll get your job offer letter before completion of your courses. That too in standard companies. So I strongly recommend this approach.
  2. Select Standard College: There are colleges that offer a 100% joining on board ship by the end of your course. But in such colleges fee amount will be a bit high compared to others. But it’s not a high amount if you compare the amount you are going to pay to the agents if you don’t get your first ship. So if you can’t get through the first approach, this is another approach that I suggest you.
  3. Reference:  If you can’t get through any of the above two methods, try to find some good references. And make sure the person who is going to refer is working at a higher rank on board and do have that close bonding with you.
  4. Try your Luck: If you are a risk-taker, then go ahead don’t stop by thinking about the future. But make sure you don’t miss the placement opportunities you get during your course time. (these are your last hope to be safe from “Agents”)

 I personally fall under the fourth category. But we must thank DG Shipping, for updating rules against maritime institutes regularly. DG Shipping doesn’t entertain colleges which don’t provide placement facility. Soon or later it’ll cancel the license of such colleges that are not offering placement facilities. Because of this fear, most of the institutes are trying their best to place their students as much as possible.

  •  Even if you don’t get by any of the above approaches, you can go through some genuine “Agents”. There are some agents who take some extra money from you(obviously), but at least they’ll make sure to get your first ship. You can shift to some reputed companies later in your journey. But personally, I don’t recommend this approach. So try to get in by any of the above four approaches.

As I mentioned above in the article, fee and salary details for,

1. Electrical Department – Course fees: 1.5 to 2Lakh INR

2. Catering Department – Course fees: 1.5 to 2 Lakh INR




Junior ETO






Chief cook



For those who wish to join after 10th/I.T.I/diploma,

Here’s your career path, course details, and salary structure,

10th standard 40% aggregate and minimum 40 marks in English OR I.T.I all Trade pass

Age 17½ to 25 yrs.

Application- Interview- selection-Medical/ Eyesight

6 Months Pre Sea Training

(Residential Course in the Academy. Fees: 1.2 to 2 Lakh)

Obtain standard training, Certificate of watchkeeping Mandatory (STCW) course certificate & Indian continuos Discharge Certificate (CDC)

12 months sail as Deck (crew) or engine (crew) (Stipend US $ 200/-  to US $ 300/-  per month)

Obtain watchkeeping certificate issued by D.G Shipping, on successful completion of

12 months training  onboard from mercantile marine Department

Sail as motorman or Greaser/Oiler or Able seamen for another 12 month

(Salary U.S. $ 1100/- to U. S. $ 1400/- per Month)

After total sea time of 24 months appear NCV 2nd mate (DECK)/ appear for class 4 Near costal Voyage exam (Engine)

On obtaining NCV 2nd mate you can sail as 2nd mate in near-coastal voyage/on obtaining class 4 NCV certificate  you can sail as 4th engineer in a coastal voyage

Can Rise up to the rank of Master Marine /Marine Chief Engineer.

(Required sea service period and salary may vary with time and different companies)

Good Luck..!!

So, this was all about my personal opinions about “The Best way to get into the Merchant Navy“. In the next article, I’ll write about “What’s Next After College and Career Path”. Thank you, Keep Reading…



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