Reaching class XII or about to pass out or already passed your respective Board Exams. Well, then you are facing the most obvious question at this phase of your life which says: “What to opt as profession” and “How to decide the correct one for yourself”. Some of you might be smart enough to have already decided on your future path and goals but still some guidance never does any harm, Right!
Career path for me is a very personal aspect since it should be decided on the basis of an individual’s own capacity, choice, liking, interests, goals and ambitions but generally it has been observed that when the choice actually happens and the time comes a piece of guidance from the ones who matter and the ones who are experienced always helps. It is not that an individual is incapacitated to take one of the decision on his/her own but when options become many and confusing then this guidance and help from wherever they come might prove to be decisive and worth listening to for a better approach and clarity.
I will brief you on one such Career choice through this Blog. My obvious choice for today’s brief is Merchant Navy as an option for your career path. Being myself from a Marine background and making a mark at various levels in my fairly long Career in this field, I feel it is time now whereby I may share my thoughts and experience for our younger generation and guide them through on their path into this Industry.
Maritime Industry is renowned to hold almost 90 per cent of the World’s Trade for over 6 Decades now. Just to replicate this trade statement with an example in figures: one of the busiest trade route in the world exists between Asia and North America whereby more than 25000 million containers are transferred annually through Merchant Ships. The cost effectiveness of carrying bulk cargoes in a safe and secure environment drives the essence of this Industry. Moreover the attraction of a “Men In Uniform” seems never ending. And if you are one of those who dream of a balance between work and holidays or even about more holidays than work sometimes then you must explore this field a bit more because it definitely has the potential to fulfil this dream of yours. The high end salaries as you reach higher ranks in this Industry gives you an option of better and planned financial management whereby vacations could be as enjoyable as you may only imagine.
Though I would not fail to mention that all of the above lucrative factors have somewhat diminished over the past few years due to overcrowding of candidates and low lying global trade. But even then the Industry still remains an above average option for an average or below average students which for all obvious reasons form the majority at any level.
This Industry runs on a basic structure of high risk-high reward format. But apart from risk involved it could be fairly adventurous, demanding and even instinctive thus making you not only a multi-tasker but also shaping up your personality with features of strong headedness, bravery and discipline.
Scope of growth in this Industry varies from being a trainee to a Captain or a Chief Engineer out at Sea and fetches on to being even a Superintendent or Surveyors either in Pvt. Companies or in Government Departments on shore in later stages of your Career. As in any other Industry, where you finally reach after spending a fair amount of time in this field will depend on how have you planned and managed your journey to that point and for sure your skill development during that period.
But every journey starts at some or the other point. The journey in this Industry starts with an Entrance exam known as IMU-CET (Indian Maritime University – Common Entrance Test) clearing which will make you an eligible candidate to select one of the following Under-Graduate courses :
- Diploma In Nautical Science (DNS) – 1 year pre-sea / 18 months training on board a Ship.
- Bsc. Nautical Science – 3 year pre-sea / 6 months training on board a Ship.
- B.Tech (Marine Engineering) – 4 years pre-sea / 6 months training on board a Ship.
All the above courses lead to a successful career at sea. Apart from the above, a student who has passed and completed a graduation course in Mechanical Engineering or an equivalent Diploma Course is eligible to join a GME (Graduate Marine Engineer) course directly at any approved Institute.
The details of Entrance examination, Eligibility, List of Approved Institutes etc may be viewed in my other Blog Named: IMU-CET 2020
After completion of any one of the above courses including respective on-board training a candidate is eligible for appearing in one of the concerned Competency Examination ( 2nd Mate for Deck/Nautical side candidates and Class IV for Engineering side candidates ) conducted by Director General Shipping (DG Shipping) India clearing which he is eligible to apply for a job in any Shipping Company. Details of competency exam process and certification are available on dgshipping.gov.in
The starting wages at the junior ranks vary from 1200USD – 2400USD ( 90,000/- to 1,80,000/- ) per month as per the current market standard and company requirement. The wages keep on revising with every passing contract in accordance to your rank and experience with a potential to reach as high as 11000 USD – 16000 USD ( 8,25,000/- to 12,00,000/-) per month as Captain/Chief Engineer of the Ship. Though I would still state that the measure mentioned here is only for reference and as per the study and trends of the current market standardisation and should not be held as an obligation against any other resource or knowledge.
I hope this first-hand information might prove to be helpful and essential in all prospects necessary for making a decision. Keep visiting this space regularly for more of such detailed and relevant information.
(Founder and Director)
CMG Maritime Academy