IES vs IAS – Difference between IES and IAS

IES and IAS are Union Government cadres and exams will be conducted by UPSC. The primary difference between IES & IAS is that the IAS officers are generally employed in an administrative department of the Indian Government while IES officers are generally appointed for tackling executive and technical works of the Government in India.

What is Indian Engineering Services (IES)?

Indian Engineering Services or IES is the technical service department in the Indian Government. Like Civil Services, IES will be joined through the entrance test that is conducted by UPSC. The eligible candidates that qualify for the entrance exam find employment opportunities in Military Engineering Service, Central Engineering Service, Indian Railway Engineering, and more.

Role of an IES officer:

  • Variety of work in the Indian Engineering Service completely depends on the engineering branch and department they’re recruited in.
  • The official bureaucrats will move to any organization, cadre, agency, ministry, and PSU of the Indian Government.
  • They’re designated in the parallel cadre and where they will work on the delegation basis and for the fixed tenure of 5 years and more.
  • Then they are either sent back to the parent cadre or will select to work in a current cadre.

What is Indian Administrative Service (IAS)?

IAS or Indian Administrative Service is a premier service in the Indian Government with uniform standards of non-political, secular, and administrative outlook. India’s first Home Minister & Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Vallabhai Patel, referred Indian Administrative Service as a “Steel frame of our country”. It’s one of the 3 wings of AIS or All India Services. It’s considered to be one highly reputed civil profession. The candidates who score a rank below 90 to 100 (depends over the vacancies of a year) in the UPSC Civil Services Examination will be appointed as the IAS officers.

Role of an IAS officer:

  • A candidate works as the executive Magistrate, works as the Chief Development Officer or District Development Commissioner
  • Has to maintain Law & Order
  • Responsible to collect Revenues & functions like a court, in the revenue matters
  • Supervises implementation of the Policies of State & Central Government of India
  • Travels to various places to keep proper track of the policies implementation
  • Supervises cost of the public funds according to the norms of propriety
  • Manage daily affairs of the Indian Government, which includes framing & implementation of the policy with the minister of a concerned Ministry
  • Participate in the policy formulation & decision making at different levels like Joint Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and more and gives shape to their policies just by contributing to different needs

Designations by IAS officers:

  • Member Board of Revenue
  • Divisional Commissioner
  • Sub-divisional Magistrate
  • District Magistrate
  • Chairman Board of Revenue


Eligibility criteria for IES and IAS exams are very different. Indian Engineering Services has got special engineering papers in the Mains exam. The syllabus of IAS and IES resemble only in Prelims Exam syllabus. Some other eligibility criteria will be the same for candidates. For Indian Engineering Services it’s essential to be an engineering graduate. Thus, an engineering graduate will select both paths: IES and IAS.

Let us compare IAS and IES in the table below:

IES vs IAS – Difference between IES and IAS

IES vs IAS - Difference between IES and IAS

 An IAS officer will be engaged in regulatory departments or services of the Indian government of India. An IES officer will be placed in technical departments to manage the technical tasks in various sections of the government services.
IAS has many branches like IRS, IFS, and IPS. The candidate who passed their IAS exam gets an option to join different administrative services. After cracking an IES exam, you get the opportunity for joining the road, telecom, railways, and other services to infrastructure as an officer or engineer.
Appear in Civil Services Exam, an academic prerequisite is a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. Sit for Engineering Services Exam in India, the minimum requirement will be an engineering degree.
The candidate will appear in an IAS exam just 6 times. There’s no boundary on the number of tries that you may take to clear the IES exam.
Select from various subjects as per your preference to try Civil Services Exam. There’re no electives in the IES examination. This consists of just papers related to specific engineering branches i.e. Telecommunications, Civil, Mechanical, and Electronics.
An application fee is just 100 and free for female aspirants and reserved. An application fee is just 200 and free for female candidates and reserved.
There are 1000 seats. There are 500 seats.

The Power of IES vs IAS

The IAS officer is more popular and holds honor in society. Although pay scales for the IES & IAS officers are the same, the domain and authority of the IAS officer cover distinct areas. Suppose you become the IFS officer, there’s an opportunity of becoming an Ambassador. The highly distinguished position of the IAS administrator will aspire to is a Cabinet Secretary.

Comparatively, IES is a low profile compared to IAS. Suppose you wish to maintain the low-key & work with not much governmental interference, then IES is the best option. However, still, there’re many popular IES administrators who are given civilian honors by the Govt. of India for the exceptional service.

When you crack an IES exam, you can work for the civil and defense platforms mainly for the Indian Naval Service, Corps of Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, Indian Army, Indian Naval Armament, Military Engineers, and Ordnance Factories Services.


An IAS officer primarily works in an administrative department of the Indian Government. This service generally belongs to the All India Service Group in civil service while IES is a technical department of the Indian Government. Although both of them are recruited by the UPSC exam & both the designations will enjoy similar pay scale & opportunities, however, the primary difference between IES & IAS is that IAS officers will gain a large amount of fame when he works for society.

Another difference between IES & IAS is to IES officers, and IAS has a higher sphere of power and authority than other Indian services.

So, these are some major differences between both the sectors out there. You can explore your capabilities and interests and select the stream tactfully.

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