Merchant Navy Jobs: Pros and Cons

Are you interested in joining the merchant navy? This article will be of help to readers who are interested in merchant navy careers. This article will be like a guide for them. I’ve listed pros and cons associated with the merchant navy sector in this article.

Merchant Navy job pros and cons

After writing articles about merchant navy courses and careers, Apnaahangout has been getting loads of queries related to this field. Readers have been asking me questions regarding course details and nature of the work. Keeping those readers in mind, I’ve decided to compile a list of pros and cons of working in the merchant navy.


As I said before, this article is like a guide. Using it, readers will get a better idea about the life and work (nature of work) of a sailor. These facts will help interested candidates make informed decisions!


Merchant Navy: The Pros and Cons

Without wasting any more time, let us move to the meat of the matter! Let us focus on the pros first.


# Pros


1 Opportunity to travel

Travel lovers will find this point very attractive. The merchant navy, without any doubt, will help you travel around the world. It is a job that involves seafaring. You can travel around the world for free, since your job takes you around the world!


Being a part of the merchant navy, you will be visiting various ports spread all across the world. Once the ship gets docked at the port, you may go out and explore the place. Exploration and similar activities depends on the duration of the ship’s stay at the port.


2 Pay and perks

Merchant navy jobs are high paying. I do agree that this sector has lost its old glory. Pay and perks are not as good as it used to be. Competition has increased and average salary has gone down a bit.


Still, compared to other professions, the merchant navy does pay decently! With increase in work experience, salary will definitely increase.


3 NRI status

Sailors who sail for more than 182 days are given the status of NRI by the Government of India. If a sailor sets on journey (away from India) for more than 182 days, he or she, technically can identify as a NRI.


This NRI status can be used to avail Income tax as well as other financial benefits. The income of an NRI sailor will be totally tax free! To attain the NRI status, the sailor must have have spent more than 182 days of a financial year outside India. If he or she satisfies this criteria, the income will be tax free for that particular financial year.


4 Holidays

If you don’t know how the work schedule, let me give you an example. Generally, sailors embark on a journey and are stay aboard until they reach the destination. The period they spend on board could vary, depending upon the location and type of work. It could be 3 months, 6 months or 8 months or even more. Yes, one has to spend time aboard the ship.


But after the assignment, one also could enjoy generous stretch of holidays! For example, one could enjoy 2, 3 or even more months of rest (after completing duty period). This, to an extent, compensates the long periods sent aboard the ship!


5 Chance to work with people from around the world

Aboard a merchant navy ship, you will be working with professionals coming from various parts of the world. It will be like a melting pot of cultures. If you are a person who likes such diversity, you will love this work setup!


# Cons


1 Social and family life suffers

Long holidays are very much possible and helpful for sailors. Still, the prospect of spending months aboard a ship, away from family, is not very attractive! A regular office job affords you luxuries such as coming home each evening, spending each day with family and friends etc. This is not possible, when it comes to merchant navy and sailors!


2 Risks involved in work

Sailors brave the sea. It is not an easy task! The working conditions aboard a ship are not too comfortable. Sailors have to brave difficulties like the raging sea, testing weather conditions and other dangers.


Piracy is another concern. But thanks to increased attention given towards the menace of pirates and their activities by Governments around the world, it is not a big concern these days. Still, threat does exist though!


Also read:

Merchant Navy courses

Best Careers in India

Aviation courses in India


3 Health issues

Spending long periods of time aboard a ship, away from land, is not something the human body has been designed to deal with. Doing this activity will bring with it few physical and health issues. These days, thanks to decent food supplies and nutritious food, sailors usually remain in good health, even after spending time aboard a ship. Still, this job is not suitable for fragile folks.


IMU CET is an entrance exam for Merchant Navy aspirants. This exam will help you secure admission into reputed Maritime Colleges and Universities across India.

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