Career as Narcotics Officer

Last Updated By Ankita Jha on 15 Sep, 2023

How to Become a Narcotics Officer

About Narcotics Officer

A Narcotics Officer is a person who performs investigations on drugs usage or activity in an area or country. A person hired as a Narcotics Officer undergoes specialised training on laws and regulations associated with drug trafficking and procession. A Nartcotics Officer's main job is to investigate about the drug trafficking racket who are invovled in drug criminal activites.They implement various techniques and uses resources to handle critical cases. Some of the officers also work undercover to find information about drugs supply or usage in various parts across the country. Narcotics officers must have effective communication skills, good physical strength and psychology ability to cope with stress on a regular basis. They are trained to handle firearms and must know self-defence techniques. They assist states to enhance the drug law enforcement efforts. They investigate narcotics-related crimes which include drug trafficking and drug possession with a team of specialised people. The main responsibility of a Narcotics Officer is to investigate, make documentation and compile the evidence found by them.  Career as Narcotics Officer is a challenging job as they have to undercover investigations to find the criminals who commit crime and are the mastermind behind the drug trafficking racket. The career as Narcotics Officer works closely with the law enforcement departments and other federal departments. They work alongside the police officers to keep an eye on the illegal activities of selling drugs and poisons that inflict our environment. 

Narcotics officer jobs are very risky at times as well. As the job involves primarily dealing with drug peddlers and busting drug rackets at different places, they need to be dependent on their sources and sometimes deal with criminals who can be outrageous. A Narcotics officer's job is to ensure that drugs are not being circulated among any segment of the society and we live in a better place. 

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Eligibility to become Narcotics Officer

The minimum qualification required to become a Narcotics Officer in India is as follows:

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • The age of candidates age should not be less than 20 years.
  • The candidate must hold a graduation degree in any discipline. Preferred courses are criminal justice or criminology
  • The candidate must be physically and mentally fit
  • The candidates will have to appear for UPSC/ State Civil Services examinations after obtaining the required qualification. 

How and When to Start for becoming Narcotics Officer?

Once the candidates clear their UG or PG, they can apply for UPSC Civil Services Exam or recruitment exams conducted by Narcotics Control Bureau or state public service commissions, In India, the Narcotics Control Bureau recruits candidates as a Narcotics Officer. After clearing the required exams, the candidates must clear other tests like a drug test, polygraph test, physical and psychological test. The final selection is based on the overall performance of candidates in all stages of the selection process. The few entrance exam at UG level for becoming Narcotics officer are  - IPU CET, AILET, JMI EE, CLAT, LSAT, etc. After completing graduation candidates can also appear for SSC - CGL (State Service Commission- Combined Graduate Level) and get selected as sub-inspector in the Central Narcotics Bureau. 

The candidates will have to check the recruitment notifications issued by NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau) from time to time. 

Types of Job Roles Narcotics Officer

Some of the posts at which a  Narcotics Officer is hired  is explained below: -

Junior Intelligence Officer

Junior Intelligence Officer gathers suspicious and minute information from various location. They write down plans and details and may also use devices to report any suspicious activity in an area.

Narcotics Inspector

Narcotics Inspector deals with smugglers and drug dealers. Their main responsibility is to prevent unwanted activities in an area.  They prevent the manufacture of psychotropic substance and are well trained to manage an emergency situation.

Employment Sector or Industry for Narcotics Officer

A Narcotics Officer is hired by a local body, state body or a central government. The sectors where they get employed are listed below:

  • Government agencies
  • Department of Public Safety
  • K-9 units
  • Narcotics based organisation

Top Recruiting Companies/ Agencies/ Organizations

Following are the top recruiters of Narcotics Officer in India:

  • Central Bureau of Narcotics
  • Narcotics Control Bureau  

Skills Required to Become Narcotics Officer

Check the skillset required to choose career as Narcotics Officer

  • Physical Strength
  • Collection of evidence
  • An eye for details
  • Enforcement of law
  • Knowledgeable
  • Flexible to adjust in any condition
  • Sharp mind
  • Able to adjust in all situation

Planning to choose Narcotics Officer as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Narcotics Officer

The pay scale of a Narcotics Officer according to the job role is given below: -

Job Role 


Starting Salary


Mid Level Salary

High-Level Salary

Junior Intelligence Officer


Rs 1.80 Lakhs per Annum 

Rs 3.00 Lakhs per Annum

Rs 4.20 lakhs per Annum 

Narcotics Inspector


Rs 2.40 Lakhs   per Annum

Rs 4.80 Lakhs  per Annum

Rs 5.50 Lakhs per Annum

    The above pay scale is just indicative and the same is expected to change unconditionally.  

    Books & Study Material to Become Narcotics Officer

    Following are some of the books to refer to become a  Narcotics Officer  -

    • Practical Narcotics Investigations by James Henn
    • SSC-Intelligence Officer (Narcotics Control Bureau) - RPH Editorial Board

    Pros of becoming a Narcotics Officer

    Let us now explore the pros and cons of a career as a  Narcotics Officer -

    • Public Service: Narcotics officers contribute to public safety by combating the illegal drug trade, which helps protect communities from the harms of drug abuse and related criminal activities.
    • Crime Prevention: By investigating drug-related crimes, narcotics officers play a significant role in preventing drug trafficking, distribution, and manufacturing.
    • Challenging and Dynamic Work: The job involves varied tasks, such as undercover operations, surveillance, and intelligence gathering, making it intellectually stimulating and exciting.
    • High Profile Jobs: Aspirants can become Deputy Director General after choosing career as Narcotics Officer. Deputy Director-General is the second-highest rank in the NCB. 
    • Skill Development: Becoming a narcotics officer hones skills like investigation, surveillance, evidence collection, and legal knowledge, which can be valuable in law enforcement and other fields.
    • Positive Impact: Successful drug enforcement efforts contribute to reducing addiction rates, improving public health, and enhancing the overall quality of life in communities.


    Cons of becoming a Narcotics Officer

    • Risk and Danger: Narcotics officers often face high-risk situations, dealing with dangerous criminals, weapons, and potentially violent encounters.
    • Emotional Toll: Witnessing the destructive impact of drug abuse on individuals and families can be emotionally challenging and distressing.
    • Legal Complexities: Enforcing drug laws can involve complex legal issues, requiring officers to be well-versed in the ever-evolving legal landscape.
    • Long working hours: It is a long hour job where time is not fixed.
    • Burnout and Stress: The demanding nature of the job, coupled with exposure to difficult situations, can lead to burnout and high stress levels.
    • Public Scrutiny: Law enforcement actions, especially in the realm of narcotics, can attract public scrutiny and criticism, which officers must navigate professionally.

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