How to Get a Job in Merchant Navy?

Once merchant navy was a profession to be envious of, despite the challenges and difficulties one had to face on board a ship. There was a huge gap of pay between the shore jobs and sea jobs. This gap is still there as a normal private or government sector employee cannot get as much wages as a seafarer except at very high position in few companies.

Today shipping or merchant navy still remains a lucrative profession  but there is a lot of job shortage across the world and this situation has been existing since a few years now. All seemed to be going well before that when suddenly the graph changed and the difficulties increased.

Should I Join Shipping?

One question that most people ask is whether they should join shipping or do some other alternative career on shore. Well this is not as simple as saying yes or no. It all depends on a case to case basis and the disposition of the candidate as well. So here are a few tips if you want to join shipping in any field whether deck side, engine side, cook or any other position on cruise liners etc.

What You Want?

Before going into the details of the profession first ask yourself what you want from life. If you are attracted by money then soon your enthusiasm might fade especially at the start since money is less, work is hard and patience is the keyword. However if you are not attracted for easy money but want and can slog it out, then its certainly for you.

You can get to go around the world even you do not get sufficient time to go out on shore still you can have a brief experience of seeing different regions, countries and cultures. However do note that most coasts are far away from main cities in remote regions but having said that, think of people who never even have the opportunity to get out of their home state or country.

Begin with Basics

If you are really determined about joining merchant navy, or anything else in the world for that matter, then you can and should go for it. But better begin with the basics and leave the higher stuff like position, rank, authority and money for the later stages. If you run after these things at the very start,  you could feel disgusted and frustrated so dont think about these things at the start.

Knowledge is Power & Skills Too

Knowledge has been equated to power and this age old axiom still holds true. If you want to make your mark in this field, just learn as much as you can. Depending on your area like in deck side, engine side etc you should try to learn as much as possible. These days internet is a good source of knowledge and you can also find video tutorials and ebooks for most topics.

Of course there are very less videos which teach about marine topics but still you can get a lot of information from the web.

Lack of Quality Training

Most of the young deck and engine cadets do not get jobs easily as the level of education in the training academies is not upto the mark in a majority of cases. These days marine training academies have been mushrooming like anything and except a selected few, the others do not have adequate facilities or faculties to train the young people.

Therefore cadets passing out from such institutes lack professional knowledge and cannot perform well in interviews.

Lack of Balance

For any job market to remain lucrative there has to be a balance between demand and supply. Whereas the supply has increased to a large extent with rising number of agencies, the demand has not gone up equally since the world is also undergoing a general recession and new ships and vacancies are not built in same proportion as the new cadets being produced in the training agencies. This leads to a disproportionate ratio between demand and supply leading to a bad situation.

So What Should I Do?

Having taken a look at the pros and cons of merchant navy, it is upto you to decide whether you want to join or not. Just remember that if you are determined to succeed, do not bother about struggling and working hard and have the golden quality of patience, persistence and hard work, there is no reason why the oceans should not suit you. Rest as they say…suit yourself….best of luck…

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