What Is the Job Profile in CDS Examination?

CDS is one of the most popular exams among young graduates conducted by UPSC.

Every year, many candidates apply for UPSC CDS examination to get recruited into Armed Forces. Here are some reasons behind this, such as –

  • It gives a good reputation in society.
  • It offers a decent salary along with many perks, benefits & allowance.
  • It gives you good career opportunities.

After qualifying for the exam, you will get technical & administrative posts in the academies. But which UPSC CDS post is the best?

This is the most common question asked by the aspirants.

So, we are here to clear your doubts about the job profile, salary, work, promotions, etc. of all the UPSC CDS posts here. You should read the article to know all the details.


 UPSC CDS Post Details – Job Profile

UPSC has divided Combined Defence Services posts into 4 academies.

  • Indian Military Academy – It is one of the oldest military academies in India. It trains young selected candidates to recruit in the Indian Army.
  • Indian Naval Academy – It is a defence service training academy that trains officers to handle all the navy activities.
  • Air Force Academy – It is a training centre located in Andhra Pradesh. The main aim of the academy is to train young candidates who serve in Indian Air Force.
  • Officers’ Training Academy – The academy trains the candidates for Short Service Commission. Every year, many combat heroes and renowned officers graduate from the institution.

Candidates can apply for any of these academies as per their preference.

If you qualify for the exam, you will recruit as a Lieutenant or Flying Officer after training. Also, you will receive a good amount of salary.

Note – To qualify for any of the above academics, you will start your CDS Exam Preparation. Check the best tips suggested by toppers to crack the CDS exam here. know about the CDS exam 2023, Notification, eligibility etc. 

UPSC CDS Salary – Rank Wise Pay Scale

Check the CDS Officers’ salary as per their rank and level offered by the Indian Government according to the 7th CPC.

Rank Pay Scale in INR Level
Lieutenant 56,100 -1,77,500 10
Captain 61,300 – 1,93,900 10B
Major 69,400 – 2,07,200 11
Lieutenant Colonel 1,21,200 – 2,12,400 12A
Colonel 1,30,600 – 2, 15,900 13
Brigadier 1,39,600 – 2,17,600 13A
Major General 1,44,200-2,18,200 14
Lieutenant General HAG Scale 1,82, 200-2,24,100 15
HAG+Scale 2,05,400 – 2,24,400 16
VCOAS/Army Cdr/ Lieutenant General (NFSG) 2,25,000/-(fixed) 17
COAS 2,50,000/-(fixed) 18


Pay Scale for MSP to the Officer

  • The level 10 officers (Lieutenant to Brigadier) will receive INR 15500 per month as fixed pay. Military Service Pay (MSP) will release the amount to the officers.

 Stipend for Cadet Training

  • The cadet candidates of level 10 will receive 56100/- during the entire training period (monthly salary).
  • After successful commissioning, the officer’s salary in the pay matrix shall be determined in the first Cell of Level 10.
  • The time of training shall not be considered as commissioned service.


Important Tip – Download the CDS Examination Syllabus and start your exam preparation to get a salary, perks & benefits Also Join CDS courses online of Physics Wallah for Proper strategy and Planning. 

CDS Officer – Duration of Training

The training periods are different for different academies. Check the training periods details below –

  • For IMA/INA/AFA – 18 months.
  • For Officers’ Training Academy –  49 weeks.

 UPSC CDS Perks & Allowances

After completing the training, candidates are eligible for many allowances. Below, you can check the details of CDS Allowance released by the Defence departments.

Qualification Grant – If you want to study higher education, then you will be applicable for incentives issued by the Military of Defence.

Flying Allowance – Officers will get INR 25000 per month if they are serving as Pilots (Army Aviators) in Army Aviation Corps (Level 10 & above).

Dearness Allowance – After joining the service, you are applicable for it as per the GOI.

Kit Maintenance Allowance – Candidates will get INR 20000 per year for newly proposed dresses.

Siachen Allowance – Only candidates who will be posted in Siachen are eligible for this allowance. They will receive the monthly amount as an allowance of INR 42500.

Transport Allowance – Officers will receive a transport allowance as per pay level 9.

Children’s Education Allowance – Married officers will receive INR 2250 per month for their children’s education. But, their children should be from Nursery to Class 12th. 

Free Ration – All the field area officers are eligible for a free ration from the military canteen.

Field Area Allowance – If you are working in the field (for any level of post), then you will get the field area allowance. It is divided into 3 parts which are given below –

Field Area Allowance
Highly Active Area INR 16900 Per month
Field Area INR 10500 per month
Modified Field Area INR 6300 per month


High Altitude Allowance – If you are located in a high-altitude area, you will get the below-mentioned allowance as per your rank.

Altitude Area Rank Allowance
CAT I INR 3400 Per month
CAT II INR 5300 per month
CAT III INR 25000 per month

 Note – All these allowances may vary as per your location, rank, post, and so on.

UPSC CDS Benefits & Privileges

Apart from them, you will receive many other benefits after CDS training.

 Leave and Travel Concession in CDS

  • CDS officers get 60 days of annual leave per year, which they can take for any reason. Apart from this, they are also eligible for 20 days of casual leave.
  • Officers can also encash up to 10 days of annual leave in addition to the leave of up to 60 days during the period of their career if they wish to cover any incidental travel expenses.

Other Benefits for CDS Officers

Officers and their family members will also get the following benefits.

  •  Medical Aid
  • Group Insurance Scheme
  • Accommodation on Concessional Rent
  • Canteen Facilities
  • Group Housing Scheme
  • Family Scheme, Etc.

 UPSC CDS Promotions in IMA, INA, AFA & OTA

CDS officers get good promotion opportunities. They get their first promotion after 2 years of commission service. Officers also get a good salary through promotion.

Generally, a CDS officer moves up to the main post in their department.

Below, you can check the promotions detail for each department.

Promotions for IMA

Below, you can check the details of promotions for the Indian Military Academy.

Combined Defence Services Rank – Promotions for IMA
Promotions Rank Pay Scale in INR/Month Time Duration (of commissioned service)
1 Lieutenant 56,100 -1,77,500 After Training
2 Captain 61,300 – 1,93,900 2 years
3 Major 69,400 – 2,07,200 6 years
4 Lieutenant Colonel 1,21,200 –- 2,12,400 13 years 
5 Colonel 1,30,600-2, 15,900 15 years
6 Colonel (TS) 1,30,600-2, 15,900 16 years
7 Brigadier 1,39,600-2,17,600 23 years
8 Major General 1,44,200-2,18,200 25 years
9 Lieutenant General 1, 82, 200-2,24,100 28 years
10 General (Chief of Army Staff) 250000/-

Promotions for Air Force Academy

Check the Air Force Academy promotions, pay scale & time scale from the table below.


Combined Defence Services Rank – Promotions for AFA
Promotions CDS Rank Pay Scale in INR/Month Time Duration (of commissioned service)
1 Flying Officer 56,100 – 1,77,500 After Training
2 Flight Lieutenant 61,300-1,93,900 2 Years
3 Squadron Leader 69,400 – 2,07,200 6 years
4 Wing Commander 1,21,200 – 2,12400 13 years
5 Group Captain 1,30,600-2, 15,900 26 years
6 Air Commodore 1,39,600-2,17,600 23 years
7 Air Vice Marshal 1,44,200-2,18,200 25 years
8 Air Marshal 1, 82, 200-2,24,100 28 years
9 Air Chief Marshal 2,05,400 – 2,24,400 By Selection
10 Marshal of the Air Force 2,50,000/-


Promotions for INA

If you join Indian Navy, you will get promotions according to the commissioned services. You can check the details below.  

Combined Defence Services Rank – Promotions for INA
Promotions CDS Rank Pay Scale in INR/Month Time Duration (of commissioned service)
1 Lieutenant 56,100 – 1,77,500 2 Years
2 Lieutenant Commander 61,300-1,93,900 6 years
3 Commander 69,400 – 2,07,200 13 years
4 Captain 1,21,200 – 2,12400 26 years
5 Commodore 1,30,600-2, 15,900 23 years
6 Rear Admiral 1,39,600-2,17,600 25 years
7 Vice Admiral 1,44,200-2,18,200 28 years
8 Admiral 1, 82, 200-2,24,100 By Selection
9 Admiral of the Fleet 2,50,000/-

 Promotions for OTA

Below, you can check the details of Officers’ Training Academy promotion.


Combined Defence Services Rank – Promotions for OTA
Promotions CDS Rank Pay Scale in INR/Month Time Duration (of commissioned service)
1 Captain 61,300 – 1,93,900 2 years
2 Major 69,400 – 2,07,200 6 years
3 Lieutenant Colonel 1,21,200 –- 2,12,400 13 years


Here, we have explained UPSC CDS Job profiles, salary, training, perks & allowance & promotions.

We hope this article will be helpful for you. Still, if you have any queries, you can ask our experts in the comment box below.

Read more – How to Manage Class 11 and 12 for NEET Examination

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below, you can check the list of questions with answers asked by the aspirants. 

Ques – What is CDS Examinationjob profile?

Ans – CDS or Combined Defence Services select the candidates who want to join the Indian Armed Forces. After recruiting the candidates, they will provide cadet training in the Army, Air Force, and Navy.

Once the candidates complete their training, they will join as Lieutenant.

 Ques – Is CDS OTA a permanent job?

Ans – Officers’ Training Academy trains candidates for Short Service Commission. Under the SSC, a candidate can be an officer for 10-14 years. After 14 years, the officers have an option of transferring to the Indian Army’s permanent commission.

 Ques – What is the first rank in CDS?

Ans – Candidates who will select for the INA, recruited for Cadet. For other academies, you will get a Sub-Lieutenant rank after completing the training.

 Ques – What is a good score in CDS?

Ans – As per the previous year’s cut-off analysis, 250 marks are enough to get selected for IMA, INA, AFA & OTA. Although, the cut-off can vary every year. But 250 is always a decent mark to get selected for the CDS Exam.


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