Become a merchant
marine officer


Heir to the Hydrography schools, to Colbert, to the « Hydros », then to the Ecole Nationale de la Marine Marchande (ENMM), the French Maritime Academy (ENSM) provides high level training courses in the maritime and paramaritime sectors to Merchant Marine Officers. Its values are the same as mariners: open-mindedness, intellectual curiosity and rigor, respect for others and the environment, honesty, loyalty, humility, versatility, sense of responsibility, autonomy, trust in others, solidarity, mutual aid, social advancement…

The profession as a seafarer is composed of different jobs: engineer, energy producer and distributor, fresh water producer and distributor, cold producer and distributor, administrator, multicultural team manager, captain, logistician…
A vessel is a combination of small factories and companies which have to be managed with a wide autonomy and with important responsibilities towards the vessel, the crew’s safety and the cargo on board.

The training courses provided by the ENSM have to comply with maritime safety and security, commercial issues and sustainable development.
All of these stakes require a high level of quality training. The training courses are followed up by on board time, mainly under French flag which is globally recognised as being one of the safest worldwide. It ranks sixth on the white list of the Memorandum de Paris

The ENSM employs experienced teachers from the maritime sector and researchers, and has specific educational material : navigation simulators, machinery simulators, ECDIS simulators, dynamic positioning simulators, steam plants.
The development of research in the maritime safety and security sectors as well as the human factors and energy efficiency ones, are part of the school’s priorities.


The students join the ENSM after taking an entrance exam (O1MM-1st Class Officer and machinery watchkeeping officer/Chief Engineer 8000kW), by applying for the course (international bridge watchkeeping officer-OCQPI, preparatory course to OCQPI) or according to their qualifications (O1MM or electronician and merchant navy systems officer-OESMM).

The high level of training provided gives the students the opportunity to apply for high responsibility posts to companies working in the maritime sector.
The diplomas delivered by the ENSM allow to navigate on all seas, under all flags and on all types of merchant marine ships: carrier, oceanographic and seismic research, laying and maintenance of underwater cables, underwater engineering, drilling, Offshore professions, maintenance of Offshore wind farms and hydrokinetics installations, pilotage, towing, high seas assistance…

In 2018, the ENSM is preparing over 1,200 students for around 20 diplomas.

Listen to the testimony of a merchant maritime officer dedicated to safety at sea on France-Inter.
Read the article “Au cœur de l’ENSM, l’école de l’écume “, on L’Étudiant / 06-11-2017

Our training courses by level

A young historic school

Created on 1st October 2010, the ENSM is under the supervision of the minister in charge of the SeaArticle 4 of the decree 2010-1129 dated 28 September 2010 specifies its aims as:« to provide high scientific, technical and general training courses, mainly to merchant marine officers and engineer level students, in maritime, paramaritime and port activities sectors, in maritime navigation, in transport, in industry, in maritime fishing and marine farming, in the environment and sustainable development »

The reform merged the ENMMs of Le Havre, Saint-Malo, Nantes and Marseille, which became sites of the ENSM.

Anchored in its territories and opened to international

Local development committees are setting up on each ENSM site. The School is engaged by agreement with its partners from higher education and the international and French maritime sectors.
ENSM supports the International Association for Safety and Survival Training (IASST). It is registered by the French Sailing Federation for its preparation to high seas racing and by the Nautical Institute for its dynamic positioning trainings.

Physical ability conditions for seafering jobs

Seafarers must meet the physical ability conditions as defined worldwide. Refer to the decree dated 30 January 2015 modifying the decree dated 16 April 1986 related to the physical ability to the seafaring job, on board merchant, fishing and yacht-type ships.
Vocational training and social advancement.

Continuing formation and social advancement

With expertise being its strong point and having state-of-the-art educational equipment, the ENSM offers short or long course schedules within the framework of social advancement, of the reaccreditation of certificates, and of university training.
Beyond the maritime and paramaritime sectors, the ENSM trains specialists in the safety and security, business risk and human factors sectors.