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Comparison between IES and IAS Officer

Updated On -

Jun 1, 2020

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Sumit Agarwal

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Both the IAS and IES are the Union Government organizations for which the recruitment examinations are led by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). IAS stands for Indian Administrative Services, while on the other hand, IES is Indian Engineering Services.

There is a very thin line of contrast between these two organizations. The IES administrators are designated to manage the executive and technical operations of Indian Govt whereas the IAS administrators are engaged in the administrative department of Indian Govt.

However, if you are confused between these two cadres, then this guide can help you a lot. Here in this guide, we are going to provide details about the difference between IES and IAS under UPSC. So, you can have a look at the section described below.

What is IES?

IES is a special service of civil services that looks after both the managerial as well as technological works of the Govt of India. Just like other nations, the Indian Govt also appoints its civil officers or assistants on the terrains of distinctions. Besides, the central management post in the administration is assigned through certain tough levels of competitive exams.

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Check IES 2020 Exam Pattern, Marking Scheme, Syllabus and Model Papers

A vast number of candidates take this examination and try to get these higher posts. IES staff are picked by the Union Govt on the directions given by the Union Public Service Commission. A mingled triple-stage arduous exam (including five tests), known as the ESE (Engineering Services Examination) is accompanied by the UPSC for IES selection.

What is IAS?

IAS is the all India central civil service of Indian Govt. IAS administrators hold diplomatic and fundamental positions under the public sector, states, and the Union Government. Just like the other nations following the same Parliamentary regularity, IAS is the continual administration of Indian Govt. An oasis considered as an essential part of the administrative branch of the Govt of India. It gives equality and flows to the board.

Check IAS Exam Pattern 2020, Syllabus, Marking Scheme and Compulsory Papers

Unlike aspirants chosen to another civil service, a candidate once selected for IFS (Indian Foreign Service) or Indian Administrative Service becomes incompetent to re-sit in the Civil Services Exam conducted by UPSC. Before 1972 an applicant to be qualified for IPA/IAS has to appear an additional exam but even after the common UPSC civil services exam, the state of employment is maintained which required to be changed.

Comparison Table: Difference Between IAS and IES

Below is the table to show the major differences between IAS and IES.

The IAS officers are engaged in the regulatory departments of the government of India.  The IES officers are placed in the technical departments in order to manage technical tasks in different sections of government services.
IAS has several branches like IFS, IRS, and IPS. A candidate who has passed the IAS exam gets the option to join various administrative services as officers.  After cracking the IES exam, you will get an opportunity to join telecom, road, railways, or other services related to infrastructure as an engineer or officer. 
To appear in the Civil Services Exam, the academic prerequisites is only a degree of bachelor in any discipline.  To sit for the Indian Engineering Services Exam, the minimum requirement is a degree in engineering. 
A candidate can appear in the IAS exam only 6 times.  There is no boundary on the number of tries you can take to clear the IES exam. 
You can select from a broad variety of subjects according to your preference for trying in the Civil Services Exam.  There are no electives in the IES examination. It consists of only papers related to the specific branch of engineering i.e. Mechanical, Civil, Telecommunications, and ELectrical & Electronics, and General Ability Test. 
The application fee is only 100. It is absolutely free for reserved and female aspirants.  The application fee is only 200. It is free for reserved and female candidates. 
The number of seats are nearly 1000.  The number of seats are nearly 500. 

Check IES 2020 Application Form, Registration Dates, Fees and Process

IES vs IAS Power

An IAS officer is more famous and holds more honor in society. Even though the pay scales for both the IES and IAS officers are almost the same, the authority and domain of an IAS officer cover more distinct areas. If you become an IFS officer, there is an opportunity to become Ambassadors. And the most distinguished position of an IAS administrator can aspire to is the Cabinet Secretary.

The IES is a comparatively low profile than IAS. If you want to maintain a low-key and work with less governmental interference, then the IES is one of the best options for you. But still, there are several renowned IES administrators who have been given special civilian honors by the Indian Govt for their exceptional service to the country.

If you crack the IES exam, then you will be able to work for both the defense and civil platforms particularly for the Indian Naval Stores Service, Indian Army, Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Indian Naval Armament Service, Military Engineers Services, and Indian Ordnance Factories Services.

Check IES 2020 Cutoff for Prelims, Main Exam and Final/ Personality Test Cutoff


You will need to select between these two cadres widely. This is a choice you must consider carefully. After knowing the nature of both of these jobs, you will have to think about what kind of career you are looking for.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.