How to Become a Forest Officer in India – Duties, Eligibility, Courses, Entrance Exams, Career Prospects, Salary

Do you have a dream to protect our nature? If yes, then you have a chance to protect the environment by working in the Indian forest services. The job in Indian forestry is a central government job. This is quite different from other kinds of jobs because it does not depend upon the time. You have to work 24 hours to safeguard the forest. There is a lot of demand for forest services in India.

The Indian Forest Officers are responsible to protect and manage forests. You may have doubts that how to become a forest officer in India. In this article, the aspirants can get the forest officer course details of educational qualifications, age limit, selection process, roles and responsibilities, pay scale, etc from here.

What does a Forest Officer do? | Job Role of an IFO

An Indian Forest Officer is a specified group B gazetted government officer of the state forest services. He/She is the executive incharge of the forest. The responsibility of the forest officer is to maintain the related revenue, manage the forest, write and submit the reports to the authorities.

What are the responsibilities of a Forest Officer in India?

The ultimate responsibility of an Indian Forest Officer is to preserve forest resources. Some of the responsibilities of a forest officer are given below.

  • Preventing goats, sheep, and cattle from skimming on the forest land.
  • Collecting revenue of the forest and paying for executed forest works.
  • Writing and submitting the report for the forest department and forest ministry.
  • The forest officer’s responsibility is to conduct surveys frequently of soil, topography, flora, fauna, etc.
  • Their duty is to seize illegal exploitation of forest resources.
  • Checking the telephone and electricity lines setups.
  • Planting trees in the forests to expand the forest.
  • Assigning tasks to the subordinates and managing their work.
  • Providing medical aid to the injured animals and birds.
  • Preventing hunters from killing the animals.

Entrance Exams for Indian Forest Services

  • National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)
  • Aligarh Muslim University Engineering Entrance Exam (AMUEEE)
  • All India Pre-Veterinary Test (AIPVT)
  • Banaras Hindi University Undergraduate Entrance Test (BHU UET)
  • Joint Entrance Examination – Advanced (JEE Advanced)
  • Joint Entrance Examination – Main (JEE Main)
  • Indraprastha University Common Entrance Test (IPU CET)
  • National Entrance Screening Test (NEST)
  • National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA)

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IFS Officer Exam Application

Candidates who aspire to become forest officers must fill out the online application form. Go to the official website of UPSC and fill in all the required details like Photo ID, signature, education details, fees, etc.

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How to Become a Forest Officer in India?

The aspirants must follow some steps to become an Indian Forest Officer. They are as follows,

  • To Apply for the IFO post: First, the candidate must fill the application form along with the information brochure of the Indian Forest Services Exam from any post office. Fill the application form and send it to the given postal address.
  • Preliminary Exam: The aspirants have to take the prelims exam in the month of May or June. The exam consists of two papers
    Paper-I – General Studies (150 marks)
    Paper-II – Optional subjects (300 marks)
    Following are the optional subjects who have to study in the paper-II.

    • Agriculture
    • Botany
    • Zoology
    • Public Administration
    • Indian History
    • Political Science
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Civil Engineering
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Statistics
    • Mathematics
    • Geography
    • Psychology
    • Commerce
    • Sociology
    • Geology
    • Animal Husbandry and veterinary science
    • Chemistry
    • Law
    • Physics
  • Mains Exam – The aspirants who have scored the cut off marks in the exams will be shortlisted for the mains exam. The mains exam paper is descriptive type. The pattern of the mains exam is shown below.
    Objective Marks
    Essay type of Indian Language Qualifying paper 300
    English 300
     General Essay type 200
    General Studies Papers 300
     Optional subject 300
  • The candidates who have scored top in the main exam will be called for a personal interview. You may have the physical standard test before or after the personal interview. Aspirants who have performed well in the interview will be selected for the post of Indian Forest Officer.

Eligibility to Become Indian Forest Officer (IFO) – Educational Qualification, Age Limits, Nationality

The candidates who wish to join the Forest Officer in India must fulfill the below eligibility criteria.

  • Educational Qualification – Candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree in any medical, science, or engineering field from any admitted university. After that, you have to qualify in the prelims exam and mains exam to get selected for the IFS (Indian Forest Services).
  • Nationality – The applicant of this forest officer post must be an Indian citizen. If the government permits the candidates from Nepal, Bhutan, Tibetan can also apply for this IFO job. And also the candidates from the Indian-origin migrants from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, and East-African Countries are eligible to apply for the forest officer job.
  • Age Limit – The minimum age for the applicant is 21 years and the maximum age is 32 years. The extension of five years for SC/ST, ex-servicemen, and Jammu & Kashmir residents. The extension of three years for OBC and 10 years for physically handicapped candidates.
  • Physical and Mental standards – Physical fitness and mental fitness are also important to get qualified for the post of Forest Officer. After qualifying in the written exam and interview the candidate will undergo some medical examination. If you are medically fit you will be qualified for the forest officer.

Selection Procedure for IFO

There are four stages of the selection process to select the candidate for the post of Forest Officer.

  • Preliminary Examination
  • Mains Examination
  • Personal Interview
  • Mental and Physical Standard Test

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Indian Forest Officer Salary

The approximate salary for a forest officer in India is Rs. 3,71,000 per year. Based on your rank and performance you will get more salary. As it is a central government job you will be having more benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions to become an IFO

1. What is the qualification of the forest officer?

A bachelor’s degree in any subject like science, botany, mathematics, physics, geology.

2. Is the IFOs exam tough?

Both Indian Forest Officer and IAS exams are very tough to crack the post.

3. How many IFOs are selected every year?

On average 35 candidates will be selected for the post of Indian Forest Officer every year.


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