The Merchant Marine offers an exciting and challenging career with high responsibilities for very high valued ships and their cargoes as well as safety of life, protection of the environment from pollution and for prevention against the very high damage that could be caused to shore and external installations, the environment and other ships by failure, operational errors or incompetence. Ship’s officers are provided the operational authority, supported by a wide range of hi-tech navigational and other machinery operational equipment to carry out their tasks with professionalism, efficiency and safety.

Deck Officers are responsible for safe navigation, cargo work, operation and maintenance of hull, decks, cargo spaces, superstructures, cargo gear and all spaces outside the engine room and machinery spaces, and all lifesaving, fire fighting and security equipment, and the conducting and overseeing of all safety and security drills and supervising the deck crew for safe operations and maintenance.

Engineer Officers are responsible for safe and economic running of the engines, all auxiliary and power-driven machineries, electrical and refrigeration systems, pumps and piping systems including valves; their operation and maintenance, including all safety and fire-fighting equipment within the machinery spaces, fixed installations and all pollution prevention systems; and supervising the engine crew for safe operations and maintenance.

All seafarers require to go through a sequel of prescribed sea service for obtaining watch-keeping and operational experience in their respective ranks, and concurrently undertake courses for training and passing examinations, as prescribed in the IMO (International Maritime Organization) STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping) regulations, as they progress in their ranks from Cadets/Trainees to Master or Chief Engineer. Pre-sea trained GP-III Ratings can also qualify to appear for their Class III CoC examination, and thereby progress to Class I (Master or Chief Engineer). See CAREER PATH for details.

The average time after having obtained the Class III CoC and progressing to Class I CoC (for Master or Chief Engineer) is about 4-5 years, depending on how soon the Officer completes his sea-service requirements and passes his examinations.

The average time for being promoted from Chief Officer to Master, or 2nd Engineer to Chief Engineer, after obtaining their Class I CoC is a few years depending on the demand at the time. In smaller companies the promotions can be much faster.

There is a demand for all ranks of Seafarers, including Officers from many foreign companies, and the average current gross monthly salaries for Officers (inclusive of earned leave and other benefits) in US$, depending on size/type of vessel, appointed from Asia and East Europe are as follows:


Cargo Vessels


Master/Chief Engineer



Chief Officer/2nd Engineer (With Class I CoC)



Chief Officer/2nd Engineer (With Class II CoC)



2nd Officer/3rd Engineer/Electrical Eng Officer



3rd Officer/4th Engineer/Electrician



(About 20% more on specialized tankers such as gas carriers and chemical tankers)

After obtaining the top slot on ships and with the experience, there are a variety of post-sailing shore career opportunities available such as pilots, ship surveyors, superintendents, ship managers/operators, cargo superintendents/supervisors, ship agency, ship brokers, marine instructors/examiners and other shipping related professions. Marine Engineers have also been in demand in non-seagoing shore industries for running machineries.

Reviewing CBT Modules with Capt. Rizvi Chief Nautical Instructor IMS

There are also various academic vocational qualifications available in the shipping industry such as ship brokerage, chartering, management, shipping logistics, marine insurance, naval architecture, etc, which coupled with the sea-going experience, could provide the Officer lucrative positions ashore.

IMS serves as a gateway for young and educated men to enter into a rewarding career at sea with its PRE-SEA TRAINING designed to provide the basic knowledge, training and grooming for commencing their career, and most other courses required for STCW certification for advancement in the career, promotions, and for existing seafarers.

Over 850 such trainee students consisting of Trainee Engineers (BE Mechanical or Electrical converted to Marine Engineering), Deck Cadets and General Purpose ratings were trained since 1996-1997 and found employment on foreign flag vessel, many of whom eventually attained the highest ranks of Master and Chief Engineer.

Shell superintendent Tony Moran

Prior to the inauguration of the Institute, the Dean of Warsash Maritime Academy (Southampton-UK) along with one Lecturer and Capt. Chris Phelan (ex. Director of Warsash), visited IMS as well as the Director General of Ports and Shipping and gave guidelines on setting up the Institute along which lines IMS was founded.

Warsash is the world's leading maritime education and training provider, IMS maintains ISO 9001-2008 Standard Certification audited annually by NQA (National Quality Assurance) accredited by UKAS - United Kingdom Accreditation Standards.

Deputy General secretary from Nautical Institute presenting certificates at IMS

(Main Campus)

14 Westwood Colony, Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-37498459. Mob: +92-300-9468669, +92-307-7666700

(Karachi Campus)

First Floor, Old Ralli Building,Talpur Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-32431958. Mob: +92-333-3450482, +92-300-8266497