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Career as IAS Officer

Last Updated On 10 May, 2021

Career as a IAS Officer

About IAS Officer

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is a branch of the Indian Civil Service. It is one of the premier services of the Government of India. After qualifying the mandatory entrance exams, one becomes an IAS officer and gets recruitment in the government set up. IAS is one of the prestigious and popular career choices among many aspirants preferring to make a career in the government sector.

What makes it a popular career choice is the fact that along with monetary compensation, the job of an IAS officer offers several perks and privileges that no other job can offer. The role of an IAS officer is to manage various administrative matters of the government. The job of an IAS officer includes framing policies and advising the ministers on various issues, maintaining law and order, supervising the implementation of policies of State Government and Central Government, collecting revenues and function as courts in revenue matters, supervising expenditure of public funds as per norms of financial propriety and handling the daily affairs of the government, including framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the minister responsible for the department concerned.

Eligibility to become IAS Officer

Getting into Indian Administrative Service and becoming an IAS officer is not easy as there is a lot of competition involved, however, one with a right attitude and approach can become an IAS officer. For becoming an IAS officer, a candidate must qualify UPSC civil services exam (UPSC CSE) that consists of three stages – Prelims, Mains, and Interview.

Below are the academic qualifications required for becoming an IAS officer.

Subject Combination- Candidates can choose any stream in XII.

Exam - UPSC Civil Services Exam (UPSC CSE)


  • Candidates must hold a Bachelor's degree in any stream from any recognized university.
  • Candidates who have appeared for the final examination and are awaiting results can also apply for the Preliminary Examination. However, one must produce a proof of passing a bachelor degree to appear for the civil services Main exam. The degree has to be attached with the application for the Main exam.
  • Candidates having professional and technical qualifications recognized by the Government or its equivalent are also eligible to apply for IAS exam.
  • The minimum age required to appear for the IAS exam is 21 years.

Types of Job Roles IAS Officer

The job of an IAS officer is one of the most coveted jobs in India. Aspirants willing to make a career as an IAS officer can have a look the below IAS officers’ job profiles which is the hallmark of governance in India.

Sub Divisional Officer: He/she is the in-charge of various development activities going on in the sub-division. The job of the Sub Divisional Officer is to coordinate the work of various departments.

Divisional Commissioner: The Divisional Commissioner is the coordinator of all activities connected with the general administration that includes law and order, revenue administration, and development administration at the divisional level. The Divisional Commissioner heads the revenue administration in his division and hears appeals against the orders of District Collectors. He/she coordinates and supervises the work of all wings of public administration in his division.

District Magistrate/District Collector: The District Magistrate is responsible for running the administration of the district smoothly and properly. He/she is the main agent for making the necessary coordination of the official agencies functioning within the district. As a Collector, he/she is responsible for the collection of revenue from the district.

Chief Secretary: The Chief Secretary ensures inter-departmental co-ordination. He/she is the chairman of coordination committees which are set up for resolving inter-departmental disputes and also advises the secretaries on inter-departmental difficulties.

Cabinet Secretary: Cabinet Secretary acts as the chief coordinator of the central government. He/she acts as a link between the political system and the civil services of the country. The responsibility of a Cabinet Secretary includes monitoring and coordinating activities of various ministries and departments.

Employment Opportunities for IAS Officer

IAS officer is a diverse career choice with a wide range of opportunities to choose from. For an IAS officer, there are a variety of employment opportunities. Being an IAS officer, one can serve as Personal Secretary to Ministers in Central Government. He/she can be appointed in autonomous organizations; subordinate organizations; PSUs; United Nations Organizations; international organizations, like World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank which offers deputation vacancies to IAS officers for foreign postings. IAS officers can also get the chance of working in the multilateral organizations like WTO, Commonwealth, SAARC, International Court of Justice etc.

Top Recruiting Agencies for an IAS Officer

The Government of India is the recruiter that offers jobs to IAS officers. An IAS officer is liable to serve anywhere in India or abroad either under the Central Government or under a State Government. Additionally, an IAS officer can also be recruited in autonomous organizations/subordinate organizations/ PSUs/ UN organizations/ international organizations like World Bank, Asian Development Bank.

Planning to choose IAS Officer as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of IAS Officer

IAS officers are some of the most well-paid government servants. The salary of an IAS officer is as per his/her post and the associated pay scale.

Given below is UPSC IAS salary after the 7th pay commission:



Pay Scale

Basic Pay

Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), SDO, or Sub-Collector (after 2 years of probation)

Junior or Lower Time Scale

50,000 - 1,50,000


District Magistrate (DM) or Collector or a Joint Secretary of a Government Ministry

Senior Time Scale

50,000 - 1,50,001


Special Secretary or the Head of Various Government Departments

Junior Administrative

50,000 - 1,50,002


Secretary to a Ministry

Selection Grade

1,00,000 - 2,00,000

1,18,500- 1,44,200

Principal Secretary of a Very Important Department of the Government

Super Time Scale

1,00,000 - 2,00,000



Above Super Time Scale

1,00,000 - 2,00,000


Chief Secretary of States, Union Secretaries in charge of various ministries of Government of India

Apex Scale

2,25,000 (Fixed)


Cabinet Secretary of India

Cabinet Secretary Grade

2,50,000 (Fixed)


Books & Study Material to Become IAS Officer

Students spend enormous time preparing for the UPSE CSE with an ultimate aim to become an IAS officer. However, only a few are able to live up to their dreams. To become an IAS officer, candidates should first know how to start their IAS preparation. To get started with IAS preparation, there are some of the best books and study material that one can opt to qualify the entrance exam:

  • Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations by M. Laxmikanth (Polity)
  • Oxford School Atlas by Oxford Publishers (Geography)
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh (Economy)
  • India Year Book (Current Affairs)
  • A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Modern India)
  • General Studies Paper 2 Manual by MHE (CSAT)
  • NCERT Books
  • Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania (Culture)

Pros of becoming a IAS Officer

  • IAS is all India service. By choosing a career as an IAS officer, one can serve the society.
  • It is an assured career with many perks and privileges.
  • The job of an IAS officer is highly respectable and there is a great sense of satisfaction as you will be contributing to the society to the highest level.
  • The role of an IAS officer closely involves the political leadership in India.

Cons of becoming a IAS Officer

  • The job involves work pressure. There is a lot of responsibility on IAS officer. One is answerable to everything that is going on in his/her department which can be stressful.
  • IAS officers face political pressures in many scenarios from politicians and people with vested interests.
  • IAS officers have to deal with a lot of corruption in their works even if they are honest.

FAQs about IAS Officer

What is the salary of an IAS officer?

The monthly salary of the IAS officer shall start from Rs. 56,000/-to Rs. 2.50,000/-.

Which is the highest post in IAS?

Chief Secretary is the highest post in IAS. The highest post in the State is that of the Chief Secretary. At the top of the hierarchy of IAS officers is the Cabinet Secretary in the union government.

What is the power of IAS officer?

At the beginning of the career, the IAS Officer joins the state administration at the sub-divisional level and, as a sub-divisional magistrate, he/ she oversees the general administration and development of work as well as the law and order in the areas under his / her jurisdiction.

What percentage is required for IAS?

No minimum percentage is mentioned anywhere in the UPSC Civil Sevices Notification. It means that the candidates who have only 33 % or the Passing percentage.

What is the qualification for IAS?

Candidates applying for IAS Exam must hold a Graduation degree in any discipline from any recognized University. Candidate must be more than 21 years of age and the upper age limit is 32 years for general candidates.

What is the work of an IAS officer?

The role of IAS officer includes policy-making and advising ministers on various issues, maintaining law and order, overseeing the implementation of policies of the Government of the State and the Central Government, collecting revenues and acts as courts in revenue matters, overseeing the expenditure of public funds.

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