Sail on ships and submarines, fly aircrafts, manage men and machines – choose a career filled with excitement and a great lifestyle. Of course, the main job is to defend the country’s coast line.


You can enter the navy after class 12 through the NDA (National Defense Academy) exam conducted by UPSC. You can appear for the exam even while you are still studying in class 12. Only boys/men can appear for the exam. You need Maths and Physics as subjects in your class 12. While applying for the NDA exam, you will enter your preference for joining Navy over Army and Air Force.   
You can even enter the navy after your graduation by clearing the CDSE (Combined Defense Services Exam) conducted by UPSC. To join the navy through CDSE, you need to have graduated with an engineering, maths or physics degrees. The upper age limit is 22 years, so you should ideally apply in the final year of your graduation.

A wide variety of specializations are possible as you make your way into the navy. Executive (or management) officers can specialize in Gunnery and Missiles, Navigation and Direction, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Communications, flying as a pilot, as an observer, in submarines, hydrography and diving. You can also specialize in law, air traffic control, naval armament inspection, information technology and logistics.

You can also become an Engineer Officer and take up the task of keeping all Hi-tech systems serviceable. You will work in gigantic naval dockyards and indigenous production units. Engineer Officers take up technical courses up to post graduation level in India/abroad. You can also join in the Naval Architecture Cadre of the Engineering Branch to build and maintain naval vessels.

Similar to the Engineer Officers in the navy are the Electrical Officers who manage the integral power generation and distribution system in warships and also the complex missile systems, underwater weapons, radar and radio communication equipment on board the warships.

Finally, you can become an education officer with the task of training other officers and sailors. Trainings relate to scientific and methodical instructions, including theoretical aspects of technical subjects of all branches of the navy and also for general education.
If you want to be a doctor and also join the navy, there are two possible tracks for you: Join the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) after class 12, and take a permanent commission in the navy after graduating. If you join another medical college, you can still join the navy on short service commission of five years. After joining the short service commission, you can interview to join the permanent commission after two years of joining.

Women can join the navy as Short Service Commissioned officers (Through the CDSE of UPSC) in these branches of the Navy: Air Traffic Control (ATC), Observer, Law, Logistics, Education and Naval Architecture besides joining the navy as a doctor.
The hierarchy of ranks in the Indian Navy: Sublieutenant – Lieutenant – Commander – Captain – Commodore – Rear Admiral – Vice Admiral – Admiral.


Be sure you can lead a disciplined lifestyle and be comfortable with following the strict hierarchy of command typical of any armed force. Even though the perks of the job are huge, financial reward is limited. Typical to the navy are issues such as being away on sea for long durations and being away from family.

Careers in the armed forces

Entrance Exam


Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.