The Lucrative Journey: Unraveling the Enigma of IFS Officer Salary

The Lucrative Journey: Unraveling the Enigma of IFS Officer Salary
The Lucrative Journey: Unraveling the Enigma of IFS Officer Salary

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) has long been an illustrious career path for individuals passionate about diplomacy, international relations, and cross-cultural exchanges. As aspirants embark on this prestigious journey, one question inevitably arises: what exactly does the IFS Officer salary entail? 

In this comprehensive article, we delve into the intriguing world of IFS officer salaries, shedding light on the various components, perks, and financial benefits that make this career intellectually fulfilling and financially rewarding. 

IFS Officer Salary
IFS Officer Salary (Image Source: UPSCBuddy)

Join us as we navigate through the realms of diplomatic service and explore the intricate details of IFS salary structure, allowances, and growth opportunities.

Understanding the Indian Foreign Service: A Brief Overview

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is a highly sought-after position within the nation. Individuals are selected for the IFS via the Civil Services Examination.

Despite the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) being widely regarded as the most desirable civil service positions in India, the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) has consistently retained its allure and remains highly esteemed.

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) belongs to Group A and its selection process involves the All India Civil Services Examination, commonly called the IAS Exam.

The Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is a vital division of the Indian Civil Services, representing India globally and promoting international cooperation. Established in 1946, the IFS engages with foreign governments and organizations.

Candidates go through a rigorous selection process, including a nationwide examination and interview by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Successful candidates receive specialized training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie.

IFS officers serve in Indian embassies, high commissions, and consulates worldwide. Their responsibilities cover political, economic, and cultural affairs, trade promotion, and consular services. They play a crucial role in strengthening diplomatic ties and safeguarding India’s interests abroad.

Apart from the inherent prestige and responsibility, one aspect that often captures the attention of aspirants is the attractive salary structure offered to IFS officers. The IFS salary is designed to reward their dedication, expertise, and challenges in representing the country on foreign soil. 

It combines fixed pay scales, allowances, and additional benefits. In the subsequent sections of this article, we will dive deeper into the various components of an IFS officer’s salary, exploring the intricacies of pay scales, allowances, perks, and avenues for career growth. 

By understanding the financial aspects of an IFS officer’s career, aspiring diplomats and curious readers alike can gain valuable insights into the economic rewards accompanying this esteemed profession.

IFS Salary and IAS Salary

The notion that the salary of an IFS officer is equivalent to that of an IAS officer is a common misconception. In reality, these two posts have distinct salary structures, and the allowances associated with the IFS role can significantly impact the overall compensation. Additionally, the country where an IFS officer is stationed also plays a crucial role in determining their salary package.

A limited number of candidates, usually 10 to 15, are selected each year for the prestigious Indian Foreign Service post. Once these candidates successfully navigate the rigorous examination process, they embark on a comprehensive training program. It typically takes approximately three years for a candidate to attain confirmation in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) from joining as a Foreign Service Probationer/Officer.

IFS Officer Salary 

Following their training, Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers are assigned to Indian Embassies, High Commissions worldwide, and offices of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs within India. The salary and perks they receive are contingent upon their posting location, whether in India or foreign countries. Officers serving abroad are entitled to a Special Foreign Allowance, which is determined by the Purchasing Power Parity of the specific country they are stationed in. 

Consequently, the salary structure outlined below will fluctuate based on the Special Foreign Allowance provided to officers outside India.

Grade, Rank, and Salary Structure of Indian Foreign Service (IFS):

GradeRankBasic Pay (Rs.)Grade Pay (Rs.)
Junior Time ScaleUnder Secretary80005400
Senior Time Scale106506600
Junior Administrative ScaleDeputy Secretary127507600
Senior Administrative ScaleJoint Secretary1840010000
Selection Grade IVCounselor Director151008700
High Commissioner/AmbassadorForeign Secretary26000 (Fixed)
Grade, Rank, and Salary Structure of Indian Foreign Service (IFS):

IFS Salary – Grade Explained 

The salary structure of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) is divided into several grades, each corresponding to different positions and levels of responsibility. Let’s explore the various grades and their respective salary ranges:

  1. Junior Time Scale: Officers at this level begin their IFS journey as Under Secretaries and earn a salary ranging from approximately 8,000 to 14,000 INR.
  2. Senior Time Scale: At this level, officers also serve as Under Secretaries but receive a higher salary, typically ranging from around 10,650 to 16,000 INR.
  3. Junior Administrative Scale: Officers in this grade hold the position of Deputy Secretary and receive a salary ranging from approximately 12,750 to 17,000 INR.
  4. Selection Grade: Officers at this level assume the role of Counselor Director and earn a salary ranging from approximately 15,100 to 18,500 INR.
  5. Senior Administrative Scale: Officers in this grade join as Joint Secretaries and receive a salary ranging from around 18,400 to 22,500 INR.
  6. High Commissioner / Ambassador: At this pinnacle level, officers serve as High Commissioners or Ambassadors. The salary at this grade varies significantly based on the country of posting, considering factors such as the cost of living, diplomatic relations, and responsibilities. In addition to the base salary, officers at this level receive various allowances and benefits tailored to their specific postings.

The total salary package of an IFS officer, including perks and allowances, typically amounts to approximately 60,000 INR. However, this figure can vary depending on the country of posting. The Special Foreign Allowance plays a significant role in determining an IFS officer’s salary. For instance, if an officer is assigned to the Indian Embassy in the USA, they may be eligible to receive around 2.40 lakhs per month as Special Foreign Allowance.

The foreign allowance provided to an IFS officer depends on the specific location of their posting and increases with higher grades and levels. The Dearness Allowance (DA) currently stands at around 80% of the basic pay. If projected to increase to approximately 90% of the basic pay, the net salary for IFS officers at various grades would be as follows:

Sl. No.GradePay BandGrade Pay
1Junior Scale 15,600 –39,100 INR5400 INR
2Senior Scales – The Senior Scales is into 3 major categories                               –
i.  Senior time Scale15600 –39100INR6600 INR
ii. Junior Administrative Grade15,600 –39,100INR7,600 INR
iii.Selection Grade37,400 – 67,000INR8,700 INR
3Super Time Scale 37,400 –67,000INR10,000 INR
4Above Super Time Scale – Above Super Time Scale divided into 3 major categories i.e. 
i.  Super Super Time Scale37,400 – Rs 67,000 INR12,000 INR
ii. Apex Pay Scale80,000INR (fixed)Nil
iii.Cabinet Secretary90,000INR (fixed)Nil
IFS Salary – Grade Explained 

7th Pay Commission and IFS Officer’s Salary

IFS Officers enjoy various benefits under the 7th Pay Commission. As per the commission’s announcement, officers of the Indian Foreign Service receive three increments instead of the previous two when they are promoted to senior levels. In addition to this salary increment, IFS Officers are entitled to several perks and privileges, including:

  1. Accommodation: IFS Officers are provided with comfortable 2 or 3 BHK (Bedroom, Hall, Kitchen) accommodations at affordable rates.
  2. Commuting: Officers are allotted official cars for their daily commute, ensuring convenience and ease of travel.
  3. Support Staff: Household helpers and security guards are made available to assist IFS Officers in managing their daily tasks and ensuring their safety.
  4. Medical Benefits: IFS Officers receive coverage for medical treatment expenses, ensuring access to quality healthcare facilities.
  5. Official Vehicles: Along with the personal car, officers have access to official vehicles for official duties and travel requirements.
  6. Utility Facilities: IFS Officers enjoy facilities such as free electricity and water, further contributing to their comfortable lifestyle.
  7. Communication Facilities: Officers are provided with the convenience of free phone call facilities, enabling them to stay connected with colleagues, family, and friends.
  8. Study Opportunities Abroad: IFS Officers may have the chance to pursue further studies or training abroad, expanding their knowledge and expertise.
  9. Retirement Benefits: Upon retirement, officers receive attractive retirement benefits and pension, ensuring financial security in their post-service life.

The competitive salary, pay scale, attractive perks, and a respected job profile make the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) an appealing career choice for many aspirants. Suppose you are motivated by these factors and aspire to crack the IFS exam. In that case, it is advisable to refer to the IAS syllabus and start your preparation accordingly for the upcoming recruitment opportunities.


In conclusion, the salary structure of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) offers a rewarding and financially satisfying career path for aspirants seeking a prestigious role in international diplomacy. With different grades and scales, IFS officers are provided with competitive salaries, pay bands, and corresponding grade pays. The increments and benefits offered under the 7th Pay Commission further enhance the attractiveness of the IFS salary structure.

Officers progress through various levels, from the Junior Scale to the Above Super Time Scale, each accompanied by salary increments and higher responsibilities. Moreover, the perks enjoyed by IFS officers are abundant, including quality accommodation at affordable rates, official vehicles, support staff, medical benefits, and utility facilities.

Additionally, IFS officers can access study opportunities abroad, ensuring continuous growth and learning. The retirement benefits and pension further provide financial security and stability post-service.

It is evident that the IFS salary structure, combined with the perks and the esteemed job profile, makes it a compelling choice for candidates aspiring to join the Indian Foreign Service. The financial rewards and career growth opportunities make the IFS an appealing and respected career path in international diplomacy.

To pursue a successful career in the IFS, it is essential for aspirants to stay updated on the recruitment processes, syllabus, and prepare diligently to crack the competitive exams that lie ahead. By understanding the intricacies of the IFS salary structure and associated benefits, candidates can make informed decisions and embark on a fulfilling journey in international diplomacy.


Q: Will there be a rise in the IFS officer promotion salary?

A: Yes, every time of the promotion the IFS salary will be increased.

Q:  What is the IFS monthly salary of an Assistant Forest Conservator of forest under IFoS post?

A: The IFS officers monthly salary for an Assistant Conservator of Forests under the IFS post is expected to be approximately Rs 56,100/-.

Q: What is the IFS officer’s basic salary?

A: The IFS officer basic salary is Rs.56,100 per month.

Q: Are the IFS officer salaries of various profiles under IFS different?

A: Yes, the different profiles of the Indian Forest Service have different IFS pay scales.

Q: How is the salary of an IFS officer determined? 

A: The salary of an IFS officer is determined by their grade, level, and position within the service. Each grade has a specific pay band and associated grade pay, which determines the officer’s salary.

Q: Do IFS officers receive any additional perks and benefits apart from their salary? 

A: Yes, IFS officers are entitled to various perks and benefits. These may include accommodation facilities, transportation allowances, support staff, medical benefits, utility facilities, and opportunities for further studies or training abroad.

Q: Is there any difference in salary between IFS and IAS officers? 

A: Yes, there is a difference in salary between IFS and IAS officers. Although both services are prestigious, they have separate salary structures and allowances. It is important to note that the perks and allowances can also vary depending on the specific posting and responsibilities.

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