The Salary of Indian Army Officers: Rank-wise Breakdown

The Salary of Indian Army: After the Indian army was raised in the 18th century, the government of India started to pay the soldiers of this force handsomely. The financial benefits that come with being an army officer have attracted many people over the years and continue to do so even today.

The Salary of Indian Army

A quick look at the salary of Indian army officers by rank reveals that there are many different ranks and each rank has different salary structures depending on factors such as educational qualifications, past experience, etc. Let’s find out more about the salaries of Indian army officers by rank.

The Salary of Indian Army for Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO)

The Salary of Indian Army for Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) are enlisted personnel who have been promoted from lower ranks. The starting salary for JCOs is ₹ 2,300 per month. This salary goes up as promotions occur and service increases. After 20 years of service and promotions, a JCO earns around ₹ 24,000 per month.

A typical promotion path looks like: Lance Naik after five years; Havildar after 15 years; Naib Subedar after 21 years; Subedar Major/Captain after 26 years; and Subedar Lieutenant Colonel/Colonel after 32 years. These ranks earn between ₹ 40,000 to ₹ 80,000 per month. Additionally, there are other benefits that come with these higher ranks such as free housing and medical care for their families.

As far as rank structure goes, in an infantry battalion, only two officers hold command positions (Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel). In support units or special forces units (like artillery), many more officers reach higher ranks due to greater responsibilities and number of soldiers under their command. But since they’re spread out over larger groups of soldiers, you can still expect a large difference in pay among officers at different levels.

The Indian army has four types of officer positions: General Officer Commanding (GOC), Brigadier, Colonel, and Lieutenant Colonel. GOCs are typically promoted from Brigadiers, who are typically promoted from Colonels. This means that most GOCs have over 30 years of service under their belt before they reach their current rank—which means they’re earning a hefty salary by government standards. A Brigadier earns around ₹ 1 lakh per month while a Colonel earns about ₹ 2 lakh per month. These salaries increase with promotions until you reach Lieutenant Colonel/Colonel level where you can expect to earn ₹ 3 lakh to ₹ 5 lakh per month.

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The Salary of Indian Army for Naib Subedar (NS)

Rs. 7,564 – 17,988 Equivalent to Pay Band 3 and Grade Pay Rs.2,000/- per month. In addition to basic pay, an NCO gets other allowances such as Dearness Allowance (DA), Military Service Pay (MSP), Field Area Allowance etc.

The pension is commensurate with his grade and tenure in service. He receives a gratuity ranging from 25% – 30% of his basic pay at retirement depending on his time in service.

NCOs are promoted on an annual basis depending on their availability for higher ranks and performance in their career field/branch wise courses as well as professionally oriented courses that are conducted for rank promotion by respective Services HQs. NCOs can be promoted up to Subedar Major or equivalent post.

An NCO holding these posts have additional responsibilities over and above those associated with their regular duties as compared to those held by personnel below them. For example, they act as liaison between commanding officers & subordinate units; they organize training activities within units; they handle correspondence pertaining to welfare of troops under them; they may be entrusted with maintenance / repair / servicing of equipment etc.; they may be required to supervise working parties during field exercises; may be involved in physical training activities within unit etc.

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is an enlisted member of a military force who has some position of authority without holding a commission. Non-commissioned officers, in contrast to commissioned officers, typically receive management and leadership training for their role within a military organization. In many nations, NCOs are differentiated from other ranks by their lack of a commission and/or warrant signed by a head of state or minister.

The term non-commissioned officer refers to all ranks below that of a commissioned officer. However, in some countries or units, NCOs may be classified as junior officers, while in others NCOs may be senior to other ranks and junior to commissioned officers.

The Salary of Subedar (Sub)

An Indian Army subedar holds a rank between sepoy and havildar. A subedar is equivalent to a sergeant in other countries, including British and Commonwealth forces. The salary of Indian Army for a subedar is $1,984 per month.

Subedars are part of either the Indian Territorial Army or Indian Reserve Forces. They must have served at least 12 years in active duty with an honorable discharge from their last posting. If they have not served 12 years but have completed 20 years, they can be promoted to havildar with one year’s service as a subedar. This promotion requires approval from local government officials and can only be done once every three years.

Subedars receive training on military tactics and weapons maintenance as well as leadership skills training, particularly in regard to group dynamics within an army unit. They also undergo physical training, which includes long marches and exercises designed to build endurance. Click here

After completing these courses, subedars are assigned to lead small groups of soldiers into battle against enemy forces or perform guard duties over prisoners of war.

The Indian Army has more than 1 million personnel on active duty with another 2 million serving in reserve roles. It has a total force size of 1.3 million soldiers—the world’s largest standing army—with about 15 percent serving in its elite commando units known as Special Forces and Parachute Regiment (Airborne). Its soldiers come from all parts of India except Jammu & Kashmir state due to that region’s volatile political climate.

While most Indian Army officers have completed at least two years of training at military academies, subedars must complete an additional year before they are eligible for promotion to havildar. After five years, they can become jemadars and after 10 years, they can become subedar majors.

The Salary of Indian Army for Havildar Major (HM)

Rs. 5,200 – Rs. 20,600 (Maximum) per month + allowances. Havilder Major is 7th rank in Indian army salary list. A Havildar Major has to undergo an Indo-Tibetan Border Police Course at Indo Tibetan Border Police Academy. He/she will be assigned a Platoon as part of his Training and then posted in a Battalion as Officer on Special Duty for two years before he/she will be promoted to Subedar Major (SM).

A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) who is undergoing training at JCO School in Gaya earns Rs. 4,000 per month plus allowance which goes up to Rs. 6,000 after completion of training course which takes around one year.

JCOs are divided into three categories based on their education level and experience: Those with diploma or graduate degree are called Technical JCOs; those with matriculation or higher secondary school certificate are called Non-Technical JCOs; while those with 10+2 qualification are referred to as Graduate JCOs. The Indian Army recruits its JCOs through National Defence Academy Examination (NDA), Combined Defence Services Examination (CDS), Short Service Commission Examination and through promotion from ranks.

The NDA is conducted by UPSC every year. The CDS examination includes a written test followed by an SSB interview, both held by UPSC. Selection to CDS is very competitive because candidates have to meet stringent criteria like minimum educational qualifications, physical fitness standards etc., to qualify for the SSB interview stage only about 300 out of a total of 1,500 candidates get selected each year.

The Salary of Indian Army for Junior Warrant Officer II (JWOII)

Rs. 15,600 – 39,100 Junior Commissioned Officer II (JCOII): Rs. 15,600 – 39,100 Non-Commissioned Officer Grade II (NCO II): Rs. 15,600 – 44,900 Warrant Officer Grades I & II (WOI & WOII): Rs. 21,400 – 64,800 Group ‘A’ officers are those who are commissioned into their ranks after completing a specific number of years in service and a degree from National Defence Academy/Officers Training Academy for Ground/Air Force or Naval Academy for Navy officers along with an extensive command course for Field/Branch officers.

The pay scale for these officers is on par with India’s CEOs. A major general (Army) earns around Rs 1 crore per annum while Air Vice Marshal earns around Rs 1.25 crore per annum and Rear Admiral (Navy) earns around Rs 1.50 crore per annum. A Brigadier in Indian army earns around 2 crores per year while a Colonel in Indian army earns 2 to 3 crores per year.

According to Government rules, any officer above colonel level can take home salary as high as 80% of his basic pay if he has served continuously for 30 years or more. This means that an officer earning about 5 lakhs as basic salary can take home about 4 lakhs if he has served for 30 years or more which is equal to what some Indian companies give their top executives as bonus!

The Salary of Indian Army for Warrant Officer I (WOI)

The basic pay (salary of Indian Army) for a Warrant Officer I starts at INR 9,500 per month and goes up to INR 13,100 per month. The WOI rank is mostly held by top performers in other categories who are promoted to that rank by a Board of Inquiry after going through two phases— Phase 1 and Phase 2—of evaluation. That being said, not all candidates make it to WOI—as selection is based on performance in various aspects such as intelligence/cognitive ability, integrity, personality development, leadership qualities and physical fitness. They are appointed as officers after passing out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun.

In addition to salary, they also get allowances like HRA (House Rent Allowance), TA (Temporary Accommodation), DA (Dependant Allowance), etc. But these allowances depend on location, nature of duty etc. and range between 20% to 40% of their salary. For example, if you’re posted in New Delhi or any other metro city your HRA will be much higher than if you’re posted in a remote area where there are no facilities like rent etc. Similarly, TA depends on whether you’re staying in barracks or not. Here’s more about Indian army salary calculator. And here’s how to join Indian army.

The Salary of Indian Army for Lance Naik

The basic pay (salary of Indian Army) for a Lance Naik starts at INR 8,800 per month and goes up to INR 11,000 per month. There are different grades within Lancer Naik ranks; Grade A1 (INR 11,400), Grade A2 (INR 10,900), and Grade B1 (INR 10,300). To reach those grades one has to perform exceptionally well during his service tenure because they’re only given when an individual performs better than others in his field of work.

The Salary of Indian Army for Section Officer I (SOI)

10,800 – 34,800 RS per month or 112600 – 476000 RS per annum Section Officer II (SOII): 8,900 – 31,200 RS per month or 92000 – 408000 RS per annum. Captain (CAPT): 12,400 – 35,200 RS per month or 104000 – 456000 RS per annum.

The initial salary of Indian Army for a Junior Commissioned Officer joining Indian Army as an officer is around Rs 1008400 per year at basic pay scale of Rs 10400. On completion of training period and thereafter, officers are promoted to higher ranks as follows: The immediate next rank after SOI is Lieutenant which is also known as Lieutenant in Indian Army.

The official salary range for a lieutenant from first promotion is Rs 894800 to Rs 1324800 with grade pay starting from Rs 5600 which takes its overall package close to 14 Lakhs annually depending on grade pay multiplier applicable in a particular year along with other allowances if any.

Captains (CAPT) earn between Rs 1204000 to Rs 3456000 with grade pay ranging from 6000 – 10000. In addition, they get a number of allowances that include House Rent Allowance (HRA), City Compensatory Allowance (CCA), Dearness Allowance (DA) etc.

Section Officers I and II earn between Rs 1126000 to 476000 along with grade pay ranging from 4200 – 9300. They get HRA/CCA/DA/Conveyance allowance etc. Captains earn between Rs 1040000 to 4564000 along with grade pay ranging from 5400 – 10000 plus HRA/CCA/DA/Conveyance allowance etc.

The Salary of Company Commander/Captain Commandant (CC/CCO)

Rs 30,600 per month + Rs 1,500 as personal pay. Total income: Rs 32,100 a month. Depending on their experience and number of courses they have attended during their training period, these officers are appointed as CC/CCO in one year to three years time, an army official said.

They also get additional allowances like House Rent Allowance (HRA) and Transport Allowance (TA). However, since they do not have any command responsibility, they don’t get any special allowance like Special Pay or Command Pay. The TA is Rs 3,400 per month while HRA is around Rs 2,000 a month depending upon location.

Indian Captain/Major (CO): Rs 33,300 per month + Rs 1,800 as personal pay. Total income: Rs 35,100 a month. Captains who have been promoted from junior commissioned officer ranks such as Lieutenant rank after five years service are given command responsibilities of platoons or companies for about two years before being promoted to Major rank.

They also get additional allowances like HRA and TA but no special allowance like Special Pay or Command Pay. The TA is Rs 3,400 per month while HRA is around Rs 2,000 a month depending upon location. Also Read: Indian Army Major Salaries 2017

Indian Major/Lieutenant Colonel (MO): Rs 34,500 per month + Rs 2,000 as personal pay. Total income: Rs 36,500 a month. Majors who have been promoted from junior commissioned officer ranks such as Captain rank after six years service are given command responsibilities of battalions for about three years before being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel rank in their respective regiments. They also get additional allowances like HRA and TA but no special allowance like Special Pay or Command Pay.

The Salary of Indian Army for Major (MAJOR/COLONEL)

The Major or Colonel in Indian army, is an appointment, not a rank. So technically, there are no ‘Indian army salary’ for a Major/Colonel. The Major or Colonel in Indian army gets paid as per their respective pay scale as mentioned above. (Major/Colonel is an administrative promotion.) A Captain becomes a Major after serving at least 2 years.

Similarly, a Lieutenant Commander becomes a Captain after 2 years of service and so on and so forth. For example, if you join as a major (or colonel) in your first year itself and then become a captain after 2 years of service then you will get extra 3% increment over your basic pay.

Whereas if you become a captain after 4 years of service then you will get extra 5% increment over your basic pay. But if someone joins as an officer directly without doing any course he will get 30% increment over his basic pay right from his joining date. This is because he has to do only one year training to become an officer which is equal to 1st year of service. He can be promoted as major (or colonel) anytime during his career.

The same rule applies for junior commissioned officers like JCOs, Subedar Majors etc. They also get 1st year pay + 30% increment over their basic pay once they complete their training and commissioning ceremony and they can be promoted as Naib Subedar or Subedar anytime during their career.


As we have seen above, there are different ranks in every field from highest to lowest and with that comes different salaries. There is no hard or fast rule when it comes to military or salary of Indian Army Officer; because apart from rank, years of experience play a crucial role in calculating the salary one receives.

The army takes care of its men and makes sure that they get enough money to lead a good life, but still, whatever amount an officer receives has nothing to do with his contribution towards his service. A soldier knows he will be rewarded at some point in time if he does well and works hard; so why should an officer receive special treatment? Only because they are superior? That may be true now but only for as long as their superiors let them enjoy those privileges.

When it comes to equality, everyone is equal and everyone deserves equal respect. It doesn’t matter whether you are a captain or a general, you are all soldiers who work together to protect your country. So stop treating your fellow soldiers like slaves just because they aren’t officers! Treat them like brothers and sisters instead! Because after all, A brother in arms is worth two brothers elsewhere.

And never forget that war can break out anytime and anywhere, even on your own soil. You never know when you might need a helping hand from someone else! And if that day ever comes, I hope you remember what I said here today about being equals and treat each other accordingly! Thank You! 🙂


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