Career as Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

Career as a Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

About Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

India is home to some of the most indigenous flora and fauna in the world. To protect and preserve the heritage and beauty of these species, there is an authoritative body working towards maintaining it. The authority is called Indian Forest Services or IFS. The major responsibility of the IFS is to implement the National Forest Policy. The policy aims to ensure the ecological stability of the country through participatory sustainable management and protection of natural resources. Usually, an IFS officer assumes various positions in state forest departments. The highest-ranking of IFS official in each state is called as the Head of Forest Forces. It is one of the lucrative careers that offer permanent jobs to qualified persons and attractive salary packages.

Eligibility to become Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

One must complete graduation in science stream to become an IFS officer. However, a degree in science stream does not guarantee a job in Indian Forest Service. One must appear for IFS examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The recruitment process involves three stages, i.e., written exam prelims, written exam mains and interview. One must clear all the rounds of the recruitment process to become an IFS officer. The selected candidates will be trained for two years at Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy.

Here are the requirements to become an IFS officer:

Educational Qualification: Graduation

Subjects Combination: The candidates must have at least Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science/ Botany/ Chemistry/ Geology/ Mathematics/ Physics/ Statistics/ Zoology as one of the subjects in Bachelor’s degree to be eligible to appear for IFS exam.

Minimum Age: 21 years

Selection Stages: Three stages:

  • Stage I: Preliminary Written Test (IFS Exam)
  • Stage II: Main Written Test (IFS Exam)
  • Stage III: Interview

Training Period: After qualifying all three stages, candidates are trained for two years at Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy.

Types of Job Roles Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

The different job roles of an IFS Officer are described below:

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest: This officer is also called as the head of forest force. The major responsibility of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest is to manage the forests, environment and wildlife issues of a state of India. It is regarded as the highest post/ position in Indian Forest Service in a state.

Additional Chief Conservator of Forest: The additional conservator of forest plays a vital role in assisting the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest. He or She is directly answerable to the Principal Chief and must carry out the responsibilities assigned by the chief.

Deputy Conservator of Forest: A deputy conservator of the forest is also considered as Divisional Forest Officer. The major responsibility of these officials is to manage the forest, environment and wildlife-related issues in Forest Division of a state.

Assistant Conservator of Forest: The major responsibility of these officers is to assist the higher-level officials in the department and completing the tasks assigned by them. They also carry out certain responsibilities applicable to their post.

Forest Range Officer (FRO): A forest range officer is responsible for the efficient management of the respective forest range, act as custodian of all government property associated with the respective forest range and follow the instructions or Deputy/ Divisional Conservator of Forest.

What Does an IFS Officer Do?

The responsibilities of an IFS officer include the following:

  • To Implement policies that aim at ensuring environmental stability and ecological balance.
  • To conserve both plants and animals of a given region.
  • To protect and develop forests and wildlife.
  • To enhance livelihood opportunities of forest-dependent communities.
  • To ensure that the unique species of plants and animals can grow, stay and remain in their natural habitat.
  • To sort out the problems related to the habitation of flora and fauna.

Employment Sector/Industry for Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

Employment is available in the government sector. The candidates are recruited based on a competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Candidates who clear all the stages of the recruitment process will be offered employment in Indian Forest Service (IFS). The candidates will be selected for various positions like Forest Range Officer (FRO), Deputy Conservator of Forest, Conservator of Forest, Assistant Conservator of Forest, etc. There are no employment opportunities in the private sector.

Top Recruiting Agencies for IFS Officer

The Government of India is the only recruiter that offers different positions to eligible and qualified candidates in Indian Forest Service. There is no employment in the private sector.

    Planning to choose Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer as your career?

    Pay Scale/Salary of Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

    The employment in the government sector is permanent with outstanding salary benefits.

    Job Profile

    Salary Per Annum

    Principal Chief Conservator of Forest

    Rs. 15,00,000

    Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest

    Rs. 14,00,000

    Inspector General of Forest (Chief Conservator of Forest)

    Rs. 13,00,000

    Deputy Inspector General of Forest (Deputy Conservator of Forest)

    Rs. 12,00,000

    Assistant Inspector General of Forest

    Rs. 10,00,000

    Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from post to post.

    Books & Study Material to Become Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

    Here are the best preparation books for IFS examination. 

    • R Gupta’s Indian Forest Service
    • R Gupta’s Indian Forest Service – Agriculture
    • R Gupta’s Indian Forest Service – Botany
    • Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth

    Apart from the books mentioned above, there are several common books for UPSC civil services prelims exam for IFS and mains exam.

    Pros of becoming a Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

    • The job is permanent with excellent employee benefits.
    • The salary increases as per the growth in experience and positions.

    Cons of becoming a Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

    • Since Forest Range Officers and others work in Forest, there is a minimal risk for animal attacks.
    • Forest officers are more accountable for the government property, i.e., Forest. Therefore, they need to be more careful in protecting the animals and resources in the forest.

    Paths for Being Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

    FAQs about Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer

    Does an IFS officer get salary during the training period?

    Yes, even during the training period of two years, an IFS officer receives her/ his salary. 

    How long is the training period for an IFS officer?

    The training period of an IFS officer is for two years. 

    Can a graduate in any subject become an IFS officer?

    No, to become an IFS officer, you must have completed graduation in any of the following subjects: Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Science/ Botany/ Chemistry/ Geology/ Mathematics/ Physics/ Statistics/ Zoology.

    How much does an IFS officer earn?

    Depending upon the job profile/ designation and work experience, an IFS officer can earn anywhere between INR 10 LPA to INR 15 LPA.

    What is the minimum age requirement to become an IFS officer?

    To become an IFS officer, you are required to have attained a minimum age of 21 years on the day of the application. 

    How can I become an IFS officer?

    To become an IFS officer, you will first have to complete your graduation. Then, you will have to qualify all the stages (three stages) of the IFS examination conducted by UPSC, every year. If you manage to do that, you will be appointed for the job. 

    I am pursuing M.Tech. (Master of Technology) to become an Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer. What other career options do I have ?

    You could become an Agricultural Engineer , a Geologist , a Food Technologist , a Civil Engineer after studying M.Tech. (Master of Technology).

    I am pursuing M.Sc. (Master of Science) to become an Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer. What other career options do I have ?

    You could become a Microbiologist , a Gemologist , a Biologist , a Floriculturist , an Auditor after studying M.Sc. (Master of Science).

    I am pursuing B.Tech. (Bachelor of Technology) to become an Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer. What other career options do I have ?

    You could become a Mechanical Engineer , an Aeronautical Engineer , a Computer Engineer , a Petroleum Engineer , a Flight Engineer after studying B.Tech. (Bachelor of Technology).

    I am pursuing B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) to become an Indian Forest Service (IFS) Officer. What other career options do I have ?

    You could become a Psychologist , a Gemologist , a Geologist , a Biologist after studying B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science).

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