IAS Salary - Grade-wise Pay Scale, Allowances & Other Benefits


 IAS Salary after the 7th pay commission are still less when we compare it with the private counterpart. The 7th Pay Commission provided a much-required hike in the IAS officer salaries. 

IAS salary though is not a major motivational factor for the candidates preparing for IAS exam but it is a matter of concern for the IAS officers because it is a monthly affair and less salary will demotivate the IAS officers in the long term. 

IAS officers are the top officers of the Indian administrative structure. IAS officers are at the top of the bureaucratic pyramid. The IAS salary is also commensurate with the social status of the IAS officers. But the salary of IAS does not work as the sole motivating factor for the candidates. It is the responsibilities and the opportunities to serve the society that motivates the candidates.

The 7th Pay Commission had restructured the IAS officer salaries and had given a much-required hike in the total package but still, the pay of IAS officer is far less than the CEOs and directors of large multinational companies.

The Government of India implemented the recommendations of the 7th pay commission in 2016. Though the Central Government accepted the 7th Pay Commission recommendations but with some modifications. All the IAS officers selected does not hold the post of the Cabinet Secretary but the candidates who top the IAS exam got the opportunity to become the Cabinet Secretary.

IAS Pay Scale and Grades

The IAS salary is governed by the grades of the IAS officers. The grades are assigned to the IAS officers based on their number of years in the services. The IAS officers are regularly upgraded to the upper grade based on their years of experience. Sometimes they are promoted based on their performance.

The IAS Salary structure is divided into eight grades. Each grade has a fixed basic pay and grade pay. This component of IAS Salary is fixed throughout the grade. The IAS salary comprises of the basic pay, grade pay, Dearness Allowance (DA), House Rent Allowance (HRA), Medical Allowance, Conveyance Allowance. 

The DA depends on the city of posting and it differs from city to city. In the same way, HRA is also dependent on the residence of the IAS officer. If he is availing the housing facility provided by the government then he will be entitled to the HRA. All the allowances differ from officer to officer. 

DA is the most important component of IAS salary and it is increased by the government from time to time. It is increased up to 103% of the basic salary. Union government periodically revise the DA for the employees and sometimes merge it with the basic salary.

HRA ranges from 8% to 24% of the basic salary. The pay structure as devised by the 7th pay commission does not provide the detail of the salary but provides clear information regarding the maximum and minimum salary of IAS officers within a grade. The payscale is further supported by Grade Pay, DA, HRD and several other benefits. 


Pay Scale

Grade Pay

Years of Service Required

Junior Scale

50,000 - 1,50,000



Senior Time Scale

50,000 - 1,50,001


5 years

Junior Administrative Grade

50,000 - 1,50,002


9 years

Selection Grade

1,00,000 - 2,00,000


12 to 15 years

Super Time Scale

1,00,000 - 2,00,000


17 to 20 years

Above Super Time Scale

1,00,000 - 2,00,000



Apex Scale

2,25,000 (Fixed)


Varies( around 30 years)

Cabinet Secretary Grade

2,50,000 (Fixed)



IAS Pay Level and Posts

The salary of an IAS officer is further explained as per the number of service years and the Pay Level as following.

Pay Level
(years in service)

Basic Pay


(1-4 years)
56100Sub-divisional magistrate in District Administration
Undersecretary in State Secretariat
Assistant Secretary in Central Secretariat
(5-8 years)
67,700Additional district magistrate in District Administration
Deputy Secretary in State Secretariat
Under-Secretary in Central Secretariat
(9-12 year)
78,800District magistrate in District Administration
Joint Secretary  in State Secretariat
Deputy Secretary in Central Secretariat
(13-16 years)
1,18,500District magistrate in District Administration
Special secretary-cum-director  in State Secretariat
Director in Central Secretariat
(16-24 years)
1,44,200Divisional commissioner in District Administration
Secretary-cum-commissioner in State Secretariat
Joint Secretary in Central Secretariat
(25-30 years)
1,82,200Divisional commissioner in District Administration
Principal Secretary in State Secretariat
Additional secretary in Central Secretariat
(30-33 years)
2,05,400Additional Chief Secretary in State Secretariat
(34-36 years)
2,25,000Chief Secretary in State Secretariat
Secretary in Central Secretariat
(37+ years)
2,50,000Cabinet Secretary of India

Now we will describe each grade.

Junior Scale Grade

Junior Scale is the first grade assigned to the IAS probationers. The post included in the junior grade are:

  • Sub-Divisional Magistrates (SDMs)
  • Sub-Divisional Officers (SDOs)
  • Sub-Collector (After completion of Two- years of Completion)

The post differed from state to state and depends on the state nomenclature of the administrative structure.

Senior Time Scale Grade

Senior Time Scale is the second in the line and assigned to the IAS officers who have completed 5 years of service. The posts included in the senior time scale grade are

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

Junior Administrative Grade

Junior Administrative Grade is the next in line and as the name suggest, it is assigned to the IAS officers who complete 9 years in the services and becomes a member of the administrative group in the state bureaucracy. Some posts included in this grade are as follows.

  • Special Secretary to the Government of India 
  • Head of Various Government Departments in the state government

Selection Grade

Selection grade is assigned to the IAS officers who complete 12 to 15 years in service. This is the most opportune time for the IAS officer. At this stage, he plays a very important role in policy decisions.

  • Secretary to a Ministry
  • Director in a field organisation

Super Time Scale

This grade is assigned to the IAS officers when they complete 17 to 20 years in the service. The officers don’t follow a regular posting because the postings depend on the will of state governments. Besides, the state cadre strength also plays its role here. The most important posts included in this grade is

  • Principal Secretary

Above Super Time Scale

This grade is assigned after 20 years of service. After 20 years of service, the IAS officer keeps getting the grades and the salary increases with the grade, but the posting depends on the will of the government. The records and performance play a very important role in the posting. The post also varies in this grade. 

Apex Scale

The Apex scale is the second top grade in India and only second to the Cabinet Secretary Grade. The officers assigned to this grade only after they achieved success in their previous postings. The posting in this grade depends on the performance and the will of the government. Some posts included in this grade are as follows

  • Chief Secretary of States
  • Union Secretaries in charge of various ministries of Government of India such as Home Secretary, Finance Secretary

Cabinet Secretary Grade

This is the apex of the pyramid of IAS salary grades in India. Cabinet Secretary is the top officer of India. The IAS officer for this post is hand-picked by the Prime Minister of India and he can choose from a list of officers provided to him from the Ministry of Personnel.

One of the most important parts in relation to the IAS salary is that the salary is decided and fixed by the Union Government of India, but it is paid from the State funds. The state to which the IAS officer is assigned pays the salary and the other benefits.

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