How to Become a CBI Officer? Eligibility, Exams, Duties & Procedure

February 26, 2024
how to become cbi officer

Quick Summary

  • To become a CBI officer, one should meet the specific eligibility criteria: age- 20 to 27 years, a bachelor’s degree and meet the physical and mental fitness requirements.
  • Government exams like UPSC CSE and IAS can help you become a CBI officer.

Table of Contents

Becoming a CBI officer in India is considered the most prestigious opportunity for individuals who aspire to serve their country and uphold the law.  As a CBI officer, your duties will be challenging, and you will conduct investigations into notable cases. In summary, becoming a CBI officer requires zeal and devotion to the law of the land. This blog is all about helping you understand how to become a CBI officer.

To become a CBI officer, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in any field from a recognized university. You need to be between 20-27 years of age, fit, and mentally agile. You will also need to clear a series of exams. Furthermore, there are two ways to become a CBI officer- through CSE and through IPS.

Let’s dive into the skills, eligibility criteria, exams, and duties of a CBI officer in more detail. 

Who is a CBI Officer? 

CBI stands for Central Bureau of Investigation. CBI officers are law enforcement officials working for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in India. It is a central agency handling investigating cases at the national level.  

Besides investigating cases, CBI officers also identify potential security threats. They work with state police forces, intelligence agencies, and other government bodies.

The job requires individuals to have excellent analytical skills, communication, and problem-solving skills. If you have a passion for justice, becoming a CBI officer may be the right career choice. 

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How to Become a CBI Officer (Through CSE) 

Becoming a CBI officer requires the candidates to meet requirements and clear exams like SSC CGL. Here is a step-by-step guide to become a CBI officer-

1. Check your Eligibility to Become a CBI Officer  

The basic eligibility criteria to become a CBI officer is as follows-

  • The candidate must be a citizen of India between the ages of 20 to 27 years.
  • He/she must also have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university,
  • He/she should meet the physical and mental fitness requirements. 

2. Prepare for the Civil Services Examination (CSE) 

The CSE is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. It is a three-stage examination that includes both preliminary and main exams, along with an interview round.  

3. Apply for the CBI Post 

After clearing the CSE, you need to apply for the CBI post through the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Your application will be reviewed, and if you meet the requirements, you’ll be called for an interview. 

4. Attend the CBI Training Program 

Once selected, you will need to undergo a training program at the CBI Academy in Ghaziabad. 

Steps to Become a CBI Officer (Through IPS)

Through IPS, you can join CBI as a Grade A officer. Follow the steps below to understand the process of becoming an IPS Officer in order to become a CBI officer-

1. Fulfil the Eligibility Criteria for IPS 

  • Ensure that you meet the educational eligibility criteria for the IPS exam.
  • You must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or institution in any stream.
  • The candidate must be between 21 and 32 years of age as of August 1 of the year of examination. (Age relaxation is provided for certain categories as per government norms).

2. Appear for the UPSC Civil Services Examination 

The recruitment of IPS officers, including those who will become CBI officers, is done through the Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) of India. 

3. Fill out the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) Application Form 

Visit the UPSC official website ( during the application period and complete the CSE application form online.  While filling out the CSE application form, you must choose Indian Police Service (IPS) as your preferred service.  

4. Appear for the Preliminary Examination 

The Civil Services Examination consists of two stages – the Preliminary Examination and the Main Examination. The Preliminary Examination is an objective type test that includes two papers: General Studies and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT).  

On clearing the cut-off marks in the Preliminary Examination, you will be eligible to appear for the Main Examination. The Main Examination is a written test comprising nine papers, including Essay, General Studies (GS), and Optional Subjects (two papers). 

5. Clear the Personal Interview Round 

Those who qualify for the Main Examination will be called for a personal interview (also known as the Personality Test). The interview panel assesses the candidate’s suitability for the Indian Police Service. 

6. Rank and Allocation 

Based on the candidate’s performance in the Main Examination and the Personal Interview, UPSC will prepare a final merit list. Successful candidates will be allocated to various services, including IPS, based on their rank and preferences. 

Related read: How to Become a Police Officer in India

7. Training at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) 

Once you are allocated to the IPS, you will undergo training at SVPNPA, located in Hyderabad. The training duration is around 2 years, where you will receive comprehensive training in various aspects of policing. 

8. Allotment to CBI 

After completing the training at SVPNPA, IPS officers are allocated to different cadres, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The allocation is usually based on vacancies and the officer’s merit. 

If you have the required skills and meet the CBI officer qualification criteria, you need to follow the above steps to achieve your dream of becoming a CBI officer.

CBI Officer Eligibility Criteria

To become a CBI officer, candidates must meet some requirements. Here are the detailed eligibility criteria for becoming a CBI officer: 

CBI Officer Physical Requirements

1. Citizenship: The candidate must be a citizen of India.

2. Age Limit: The candidate must be between 20-27 years of age as per CBI age limit.

3. Educational qualification: The CBI officer qualification includes a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. 

4. Physical fitness: The candidate must meet the physical fitness requirements. 

5. Mental fitness: The candidate must have the ability to handle stressful situations. 

6. Criminal record: The candidate must not have any criminal record. 

7. Language skills: The candidate must be skilled in English and at least one regional language. 

8. Soft skills: The candidate must have strong analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills. 

Candidates who meet the CBI eligibility criteria must clear a series of exams, post which they’ll be considered for selection.  

Government Exams to Become CBI Officer 

To join CBI, you first will have to clear one out of these exams and obtain proper training from the designated CBI training institutes.

Civil Services Examination (CSE)

The CSE is a three-stage examination that includes a preliminary exam, a main exam, and an interview. The preliminary exam is an MCQ-type test. It assesses a candidate’s aptitude, knowledge, and skills in various areas. The main exam is an essay-type test that evaluates a candidate’s writing and analytical skills. 

Finally, the interview is the last stage of the CBI exam and selection process. Here, a candidate’s personality, communication skills, and suitability for the job are judged. 


Candidates can also apply for the post through the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Examination. 

The SSC-CGL exam is a national-level exam that is conducted annually. The selected candidates are offered various Group B and Group C posts in different government departments. Here are some essential details about the SSC-CGL exam: 

  • Eligibility: Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university to be eligible. 
  • Exam Pattern: The SSC-CGL exam comprises four tiers: Tier-I, Tier-II, Tier-III, and Tier-IV. 
    • Tier-I Exam: This is a computer-based exam. It includes objective-type questions on general intelligence and reasoning.
    • Tier-II Exam: This is also a computer-based exam that includes two papers: Paper-I and Paper II. Paper-III (Statistics) and Paper-IV (General Studies-Finance and Economics) are only for specific posts. 
    • Tier-III Exam: This is a descriptive-type exam that evaluates a candidate’s writing skills in English or Hindi. 
    • Tier-IV Exam: This is a computer skills and data entry skill test. 

Candidates who clear all four tiers of the SSC-CGL exam and meet the other eligibility criteria can apply for the CBI post. 

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CBI Officer Salary and Posts

The CBI offers several posts to candidates who clear the selection process. Here is a list of some of the posts available in the CBI and their corresponding salaries: 

Rank Starting Salary per Month (INR) 
Sub Inspector 44,900 
Inspector 53,100 
Deputy Superintendent (DSP) 67,700 
Superintendent (SP) 78,800 
Assistant Director 1,23,100 
Additional Director 2,25,000 

The final salary can vary depending on the level of experience and post that you’ve been assigned within the organization.  

Skills Required to Become a CBI Officer

To become a CBI officer, candidates must have certain skills and attributes. These skills help them solve cases, execute plans, and nab criminals.  Some key skills required to become a CBI officer are: 

Analytical and Logical Thinking 

Having good analytical and logical thinking helps CBI officers to evaluate evidence, identify patterns, and draw conclusions that lead to successful investigations and convictions.  

Attention to Detail 

Attention to detail helps CBI officers to identify important clues, analyze evidence, and ensure accuracy in the investigation.  

Communication Skills 

Having good communication skills help CBI officers to gather and share information, conduct interviews, and present their findings clearly and persuasively. It can also help them during missions and investigations.  

Leadership Qualities 

Leadership skills help CBI officers to effectively manage their teams, inspire trust and respect, and make critical decisions in high-pressure situations. 

Integrity and Honesty 

Integrity and honesty are crucial for CBI officers as they’re responsible for upholding the law and maintaining public trust, showing ethical behavior, and avoiding corruption. 

Physical Fitness 

Physical fitness is important for officers as it enables them to perform physically-demanding tasks, improve focus and ensure their safety during fieldwork and operations. 

Technological Skills 

Knowledge of technological tools is useful to gather and analyze evidence, track financial transactions, and conduct digital inspections during investigations.  

Legal Procedures Knowledge

Knowledge of Indian laws is essential for CBI officers as it helps them understand legal procedures, conduct investigations effectively, and ensure their actions are lawful. 

Also Read: Indian Army Ranks and Insignia: How to Join the Indian Army?

Benefits of Becoming a CBI Officer 

Becoming a CBI officer is a rewarding and prestigious career option in India. There are several other benefits of becoming a CBI officer, such as: 

  1. Job Security: CBI officers enjoy a high level of job security as they are selected through a rigorous process. 
  2. Good Salary: CBI officers are paid well, with higher salaries as they gain experience and seniority. They also get benefits like medical care, housing, and insurance. 
  3. Professional Development: CBI officers can improve their skills through training programs to advance their careers. 
  4. Respect: CBI officers are respected in society for their contributions to ensuring justice. 
  5. Exciting Work: The work of a CBI officer is challenging and exciting as they investigate complex cases. 
  6. Opportunities for Career Growth: CBI officers have opportunities for career growth as they can move to higher positions with experience. 

How To Become A CBI Officer after 12th 

Becoming a CBI officer after the 12th standard is not possible as you need a bachelor’s degree to be eligible.  

However, here are some steps you can follow to become a CBI officer right from school- 

  1. Choose the Right Stream: You should choose a stream that relates to law enforcement or criminal justice. 
  2. Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree: You must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university. 
  3. Prepare for Competitive Exams: You need to clear the competitive exams conducted by the SSC or the UPSC. 
  4. Gain Work Experience: Candidates with work experience in intelligence agencies have an advantage. 
  5. Meet the Eligibility Criteria: Candidates must meet the requirements, including educational qualifications and medical standards. 
  6. Clear the Selection Process: The selection process for the position of CBI officer includes a written test, physical test, interview, and training. 

It is important to note that the selection process for the position of CBI officer is competitive, and candidates need to prepare well. 

Key Takeaways 

In conclusion, this blog answers your queries regarding how to join CBI. Becoming a CBI officer is a coveted career option for those interested in criminal investigations. The CBI selection process includes a written test, physical test, interview, and training.

Becoming a CBI officer has many benefits including job security, a competitive salary, and opportunities for career advancement. 

But, it is important to note that the job comes with its fair share of responsibilities. Becoming a CBI officer requires dedication and a passion for law enforcement. Candidates who are willing to put in the effort can have a fulfilling career as a CBI officer. 

Evaluate numerous career choices to choose the right career path for yourself. Dive into our guide on Career Advice.

Frequently Answered Questions

What can I do after the 12th standard to become a CBI Officer?  

To become a CBI officer after the 12th standard, you must first complete your graduation from a recognized university in any discipline. After completing your graduation, you can appear for the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) examination conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC). Upon qualifying for the CGL exam, you will be eligible to apply for CBI officer posts.  

Is it hard to join the CBI?  

Yes, joining the CBI is not easy and requires a lot of hard work and dedication. The selection process is rigorous and highly competitive, with candidates having to go through multiple stages of examinations and interviews. The CBI also requires candidates to have a clean record, both in terms of criminal history and professional conduct. Therefore, it is important to have a strong academic background, relevant work experience, and a genuine interest in law. 

What is the salary of a CBI Officer in India? 

As a CBI Officer in India, your salary will depend on your rank and experience. The starting pay for a Sub-Inspector is around Rs. 40,000 per month, while a Deputy Inspector General can earn up to Rs. 2,15,900 per month. In addition to the basic pay, CBI Officers are also entitled to various allowances, such as Dearness Allowance, House Rent Allowance, and Travel Allowance, among others. 

How to become a CBI officer?

To become a CBI officer: 1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree 2. Qualify for the UPSC exam 3. Clear the CBI selection process involving written exams, interviews, and physical tests 4. Undergo training at CBI Academy.

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