How to Become SDO (Sub Divisional Officer) in India?

SDO full form is Sub Divisional Officer is a high-rank government official in a sub-division in every state of India whose job is to develop its area, maintain law and order, supervise the work of various departments in his block, etc. It is a civil service job and getting into civil service is the dream of many students.

Are you one of those who also have dreams of making a career in civil services? If yes, then you are at the right place. In this article, I will discuss the complete process of how to become an SDO officer.

In India, there are 29 states and every state is divided into districts and then divided into blocks. SDO is working at the divisional level in a district that will also include many blocks. SDO officers are also posted in various government departments such as the Electricity Board, Public Works Department of Irrigation (PWD), Police Department, etc.

Candidates who want to become an SDO officer must have a graduation degree in their relevant stream from a recognized university. Also, candidates must be a citizen of India.

Who is Sub Divisional Officer (SDO)?

SDO or Sub Divisional Officer is a person who is the Head Officer of the sub-division in a specific government department of the district. It would have been the job of the SDO to manage all the work of his department in different blocks which are under his area.

The job of the SDO officer is also that all the problems coming into his work area should be solved as soon as possible. SDO’s responsibility is that they should see whether development, Law and Order Maintenance, and Maintenance of Peace are being done well in the blocks coming under it or not.

How to Become SDO?

There are two ways through which you can become Sub Divisional Officer. One way is you are already working in a government department and on the basis of your performance, you can get a promotion to the post of SDO. Another way is you become SDO by qualifying for the civil services examination.

Every state in India conducts its State Public Service Commission (PSC) examination for the recruitment of various government jobs. The recruitment of SDO posts is also done through this exam. The PSC exam is conducted every year in every state of India. The details of the PSC examination are given below in this post.

Eligibility to Become Sub Divisional Officer

Aspirants who want to become SDO (Sub Divisional Officer) must have to fulfil these eligibility criteria. The details of the eligibility criteria are as follows:

SDO Qualification

  • Aspirants must have a bachelor’s degree in the relevant field from a recognized university.
  • Relevant field in the sense that if candidates want to be allotted to the electricity board department then candidates must have completed their bachelor’s degree from the electrical stream.
  • Candidates who have completed their Master’s are also eligible to become SDO.

Age Limit to Become SDO

The minimum age limit to become SDO is 21 years. Candidates who are 21 years or above 21 years of age are eligible to become SDO. However, the maximum age limit to become SDO depends on the category to category because some category aspirants get the benefit of cast relaxation. The age limits for category aspirants are as follows:

  • General Category:- 21 Years to 30 Years
  • OBC Category:- 21 Years to 33 Years
  • SC/ST Category:- 21 Years to 35 Years


Candidates must be a citizen of India in order to become SDO (Sub Divisional Officer).

SDO Officer Salary

The salary of a Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) depends on various factors such as work profile, performance, experience, and so on. Also, the salary of an SDO varies from state to state. On average a fresher SDO get Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 30,000 monthly i.e. Rs. 3,00,000 to Rs. 3,60,000 annually after excluding all the allowance that an SDO officer gets. On adding all the allowance a fresher SDO get Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 55,000 per month.

Average Salary:- ₹6,00,000 – ₹6,60,000 per annum.

Exam to Become SDO

The state PSC exam is conducted for the recruitment of SDO in India. Almost, every state in India conducts its PSC exam. Also, PSC is responsible for conducting the exam and selecting eligible candidates. This exam is held every year. Aspirants have to apply for the state PSC exam and have to qualify for all the stages of the state PSC exam in order to become a Sub Divisional Officer. The details of the PSC exam are as follows:

PSC Exam

PSC stand’s for Public Service Commission is a body in every state to conducts examinations for the recruitment of state government services in various government departments. The pattern of the PSC exam is almost similar in every state in India. The State PSC exam is considered one of the toughest state-level competitive examinations in India. The PSC exam is conducted in three phases in every state in India. The phases are as follows:

  1. Preliminary Exam (Prelims)
  2. Mains Exam (Mains)
  3. Personality Test (Interview)

Note:- The syllabus of the state PSC exam differs from state to state.

Below is the syllabus of the Madhya Pradesh PSC (MPPSC) exam. You can check the syllabus of other states’ PSC exams by visiting the respective website of the Public Service Commission.

Preliminary Exam

The preliminary exam also known as prelims is the first stage of the PSC exam. The exam contains two papers – one is for General Studies and another is for General Aptitude Test. Both papers contain objective-type questions. The duration of each paper is 2 hours and each paper has a total of 200 marks. Some of the syllabi of these two paper are as follow:

General Studies (Paper-I)
  • Current Events of National and International Importance
  • Indian and World Geography
  • Sports
  • Polity and Economy of Madhya Pradesh
  • General Science and Environment
  • History of India and Independent India
  • Indian Polity and Economy
  • Geography, History and Culture of Madhya Pradesh
  • Information and Communication Technology
General Aptitude Test (Paper II)
  • Interpersonal Skill
  • Decision Making and Problem-Solving
  • Comprehension
  • Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability
  • Basic Numeracy
  • Hindi Language Comprehension Skills
Mains Exam

The main exam is the second stage of the PSC exam. You will eligible to give the main exam after successfully qualifying preliminary exam. The PSC main exam mainly contains 5 papers and all the papers have subjective types of questions. Candidates have to attend all the papers. The name and details of each paper are as follows:

General Studies-I

It contains two papers. One is for History and another is for Geography, The duration of both papers is 3 hours. Some of the topics from which questions come in this paper are the Political, Economic, Social and Cultural History of India, the Independence Movement in Madhya Pradesh, the Impact of British Rule on the Indian Economy, World Climate, Physiographic Division of India, Population, Soil, Mineral and Energy Resources, Water Management.

General Studies-II
  • Security Issues
  • Social Sector
  • Human Resource Development
  • Public Services
  • International Organizations
  • Constitution
  • Social and Some Important Legislation
  • Education Systems
  • Welfare Programs
  • Public Expenditure and Accounts
General Studies-III
  • Indian Economy
  • Energy
  • Technology
  • Science
  • Environment and Sustainable Development
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Reasoning and Data Interpretation
General Studies-IV
  • Human Needs and Motivation
  • Aptitude
  • Corruption
  • Social Workers
  • Emotional Intelligence
Hindi Essay

In this paper, candidates have to write an essay in the Hindi language. The topic of the essay is given on the question paper. The duration of the paper is 2 hours and it contains a total of 100 marks.


After clearing the preliminary and main exams, the next and last stage is the Interview, you have to give a personal interview test. The interview is for 175 marks. Marks are awarded on the basis of performance. After clearing the interview stage, you are ready to be posted as Sub Divisional Officer in any subdivision in your respective states.

PSC Exams in India

S No.State PSC Exams Name
1Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC)
2Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission
3Assam Public Service Commission (APSC)
4Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC)
5Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission
6Goa Public Service Commission
7Gujarat Public Service Commission (GPSC)
8Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC)
9Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission
10Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission
11Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC)
12Karnataka Public Service Commission
13Kerala Public Service Commission
14Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission
15Manipur Public Service Commission
16Maharashtra Public Service Commission
17Meghalaya Public Service Commission
18Mizoram Public Service Commission
19Nagaland Public Service Commission
20Orissa Public Service Commission
21Punjab Public Service Commission
22Rajasthan Public Service Commission
23Sikkim Public Service Commission
24Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission
25Tripura Public Service Commission
26Telangana State Public Service Commission
27Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission
28Uttarakhand Public Service Commission
29West Bengal Public Service Commission

Preparation Tips for Sub Divisional Officer Exam

  • Get to know all the eligibility criteria to become an SDO such as qualification, age limit, all types of medical tests, criteria for disabled people, physical tests, and so on because all these can may be asked in the interview.
  • Learn the complete syllabus of your respective state PSC exam before starting the preparation.
  • Make a proper timetable and divide the syllabus into several parts, So that it becomes easier to complete the syllabus.
  • Start your preparation at least 1 year before applying for the PSC form.
  • Make a habit of reading newspapers, blogs, relevant magazines, and current affairs daily and make current affairs notes from them.
  • Revise all NCERT books from class 6 to class 12 for History, Geography and Political Science subjects.
  • Try to solve one set of prelims papers daily and the main paper weekly. So that it improves your timing and writing speed.
  • Watch Several UPSC and PSC interviews on the Internet and learn what not to do in the interview.
  • Give several mock interviews before going to the actual interview. So that it levels up your confidence.

Sub Divisional Officer: Role and Responsibilities

  • It is also the role of the SDO to maintain law and order in his sub-division.
  • It is the responsibility of the SDO to oversee the functioning of the various departments that come under his blocks.
  • The role of the SDO is to implement the government scheme in its blocks.
  • SDO is responsible to verify and giving approval to big infrastructure projects that happen in his sub-division.
  • It is also the role of the SDO to ensure that the work happening in his subdivision is being done well or not.
  • If there is any major problem in their sub-division, then it is the responsibility of the SDO to report to the higher officials.

Steps to Become SDO Officer

Step 1:- First, apply for the state PSC form by visiting the official website of your respective Public Service Commission.

Step 2:- Give the state PSC preliminary examination.

Step 3:- After qualifying in prelims, give all the stages of the PSC mains examination.

Step 4:- Attend the interview round which is conducted by the respected PSC authorities.

Step 5:- Based on your marks, you get a rank. If your rank is good and qualifies the cut-off for the SDO post then you will have easily become SDO.

Step 6:- If you qualify for the cut-off then you will be sent to the training period.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is SDO salary?

The average salary of an SDO officer is Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 55,000 monthly.

What is the minimum qualification needed to become SDO?

Candidates must have a graduation degree in order to become a sub-divisional officer.

What is the full form of SDO?

The full form of SDO is Sub Divisional Officer.

Which is the exam through which one becomes a sub-divisional officer?

State PSC is the exam through which one becomes a sub-divisional officer.

Can a girl become SDO?

Yes, girls candidates can also become SDO.

Can an engineer become SDO?

By qualifying for the state PSC exam the engineer becomes SDO.

Can Sub Divisional Officer get a promotion?

Yes, on the basis of performance sub-divisional officers get promotions.

Leave a Comment