GuidanceHow To PrepareCareer Path of IAS Officers

Career Path of IAS Officers


IAS is a hierarchical service and is probably the only service that offers assured career path of IAS officer and the progression in state, central government ministries and departments. Their duties are regulatory in nature like law and order, enforcement of rules and general administration, etc. The variety of experiences that of the IAS undergo during their career may be unmatched in any other career service in the world.

The government of India fixes the salary of all Civil Servants. The salaries depend on the officers rank at which they are posted. Apart from the salary, the officers are entitled to government accommodation and some of them get official transport with driver and other facilities like medical etc. More than the salary, it is perks and the power associated with Civil Servants that attract many of the bright students to it.

Here it goes with the Career Path of IAS Officer.

Training for 1 year

The newly recruited IAS trainees are called at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) for training after having successfully negotiated the gruelling Union Public Service Commission recruitment process. It is situated at the hill station Mussoorie, Uttarakhand. Here the career path of IAS starts. The Mussoorie training starts with a foundation course in common with other Central Services. The training is hard. There are studies and physical exercises too. The training ends with a long all-India educational tour called “Bharat darsan”. During this tour the officer trainees see various parts of the country and also how the Army, Navy and Air force of the country work.

Must Read: Role of Civil Servants (IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS and IES)

Probation Period for 2 Years

In the career path of IAS, after training, the IAS officers are sent to their cadre regions on probation for a couple of years. When an IAS officer joins the State, he is placed as a Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) and it is the 1st posting of an IAS officer after probation period at the Sub-divisional level of a district. The SDM is the administrative head of a sub-division blocks.

In some states this has meant an assignment as Additional Deputy Commissioner/Additional District Magistrate, or Project Director of District Rural Development Agency, or Chief Executive Officer of Zila Parishad. Thereafter,comes one’s first promotion from the junior scale.

Junior Time Scale

In the career path of IAS, the newly recruited IAS officer starts at the Junior Time Scale salary i.e. in the scale of 15600 with Grade Pay 5400. So, the starting basic is 21000. There is also DA (Dearness Allowance) above the Basic Pay which is now 107% of the basic. The officer stays in the Junior Time Scale for 4 years.

Senior Time Scale

After 4 years of service life, the IAS officer is promoted to Senior Time Scale with Grade Pay 6600. The officer gets two extra increments during this scale up gradation. He is given various types of posts like that of the Additional District Magistrate (ADM), CEO, Zilla Parishad or Chief Development Officer at this stage.

Also Read: IAS vs IRS – Make informed decision while you Choose

Junior Administrative Grade

JAG officers get Rs 7600 as grade pay in the scale of Rs 15,600-Rs 39,100. An IAS is promoted to this scale after 9 years of service. He also gets two additional increments.

After serving 2/3 years as the ADM, the officer is selected as the District Magistrate / Collector of a district. The collector looks after the development and law and order of the district. The post has wide visibility, power and status.

Some of the officers are posted as a Joint Secretary of a ministry of the state. The Joint Secretary is a very important position to hold. If an officer goes to central deputation then he is given director post of a department.

Selection Grade

The officer again gets two extra increments before being promoted to the next higher scale of pay, Selection Grade (Rs. 37,400-67,000 with GP 8700) after 12 years of service. He or She may remain a DM in the district or can become a Special Secretary of a Government department.

Super Time Scale

An IAS gets Super Time Scale (Rs. 37,400-67,000 with GP 10000) after 16 years of service. He /She will get the post of an Additional Secretary or Secretary of a department of a State Government. He may also become a divisional commissioner in field posting. In the Central Government, an officer of that seniority can get the post of the Joint Secretary of a ministry of the Government of India.

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Higher Administrative Grade

With the selection in Higher Administrative Grade or HAG, an officer is entitled to draw a basic in the scale of Rs.67000 to 79000. An officer should have an experience of 25 years to go to this position.

In states, an IAS of this grade can become a Principle Secretary of a department. If the officer works in the Government of India, then the rank will be of an Additional Secretary.

Apex Scale

An officer with a minimum experience of 30 years can get the Apex scale i.e. the fixed basic salary of Rs. 80,000. The Secretaries of various departments of the Central Government gets this scale. The Chief Secretary of a state also gets this scale.

Cabinet Secretary Scale

The Cabinet Secretary is the highest position of a government employee in India. There is always only one Cabinet Secretary in the Central Government. He draws a fixed basic pay of Rs. 90,000.

Read Also: How to Crack IAS Exam? 10 Tips for IAS Preparation

Articles are written and edited by the Syskool Staffs.


  1. Nice Description about the hierarchical promotion of IAS officers .
    If similar description could be made regarding IPS and IFoS then it would be quite more productive.

  2. Hello sir/madam, now i am a student of class 12 commece with maths i want to become an IAS office. In my family there is no one who can guide me so plz help me out

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