If the land beneath and the sky above hold no interest for you, and if, instead, you dream of discovering the secrets of the waters below, maritime engineering might be the correct option for you.
Maritime engineering is the study of the development, manufacture, design, and maintenance of different types of equipment used on board and at sea (eg. rigs and floating structures). As a maritime engineer, you’ll design systems that allow the ship to move such as offshore platforms, propulsion engines, and be charged with maintaining these systems on board.
The degree trains candidates to become marine engineers on merchant navy ships. Successful candidates are awarded the Class 4 Marine Engineer Certificate of Competency by the Ministry of Shipping, India. 6 months of sea service is essential for being awarded this certificate.
A list of subjects that you might study:
- Ship geometry
- Naval architecture
- Ocean structures
- Movement variables
- Effects of waves
- Towing and mooring
- Fluid dynamics
Top colleges for a BTech in maritime engineering include:
- Indian Maritime University, Chennai
- Cochin University of Science and Technology
- The Neotia College, Kolkata
Admission Process for Marine Engineering Course
In order to get admission in any of the engineering colleges offering maritime engineering course, you first need to clear the entrance exam conducted by the universities. Some colleges have their own entrance exams like Indian Maritime University Common Entrance Test by IMU. If you don’t want to stick to just one college, you can prepare for JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) conducted for IIT aspirants. Once you clear the entrance exam, you can apply for admission in the colleges offering Marine Engineering degree.
The average tuition fee in these colleges ranges from Rs 2 to 8 lakhs per annum. As per general opinion, it is always better to go for a private college since placements are better here than in government colleges.
After your studies, you can find work in marine facilities, the transportation sector, the warehousing and logistics sector, shipyards, shipping industry, marine engineering service, etc. The average salary ranges from 3.6 to 6 lakhs per year.
But, beware. These are a lot of myths surrounding this profession, for example:
- You’ll get rich very quickly in a few months.
- You’ll be able to bring your family on board.
- Sailing is a permanent job.
- You can shift to a land-job anytime.
- You’ll get a salary even on leave.
The truth is:
- It will take you at least 3-4 years to reach a good salary package and 7-10 to reach the top of the ladder and grab the best package.
- You can only take your family onboard once you reach a management position or sail with a company at the operational level for a particular time period.
- The job is either in fixed contracts or round-the-year basis.
- Not easy to get a decent land job at the beginning of your career.
- You do not get a salary after your contract expires. Even with year-round wages, you’ll get salary during leave for a specific period only.
The above-mentioned facts are not meant to dishearten you, but to help you in your decision-making process.
Instead of working, however, you can also choose to study further and specialize in naval operations, aquaculture, design and logistics, etc. If a management or executive position at an off-shore site is your dream, going for an MBA will be a big help.
As tough as this field is, it is equally financially lucrative and definitely not for the faint-hearted. Remaining at sea for 6-7 months means little to no social life, and if you can’t get an internet connection, you’ll be out-of-touch with your family and friends, too. On the flipside, being back at home for up to 6 months at a time might lead to boredom and sea-sickness of the nostalgic kind.
Even after all this if you are ready to take to the sea, sail on captain!