Bank SO vs Bank PO – Which one you should opt for?

Banking is nowadays has become the best career options for the youths.  There are numerous job opening occurring each and every year in public as well as private sector banks. The candidates who wish to work in the banking sector can apply for the job which would be the best decision to make their career bright. There are lots of banks available in the country under private and public sector which includes IDBI, ICICI, HDFC, Axis Bank, Yes Bank Etc. in Private Sector and SBI, Bank of Maharashtra, Central Bank of India, SBBJ Etc. in Public Sector. Each year these banks releases recruitment notification to fill various vacant posts of Clerk, Probationary Officer, Specialist Officer and many more other posts.

Many Job seekers apply for the released vacancies in response of the Advertisements.   But for some Aspirants who are very well qualified a question always strucks in their mind that which job field they should apply among the Probationary Officer and Specialist Officer.  So, friends in this article we are comparing Bank PO with Bank SO. The analysis will be based on job profile, pay scale and career prospects. Hoping this will help candidates in identifying the right career for themselves. Also, they get to decide whether to prepare for IBPS PO or IBPS SO.

Which is the best career option ? Bank PO or Bank SO

Let us begin our analysis by comparing job profiles of a Bank Probationary Officer (PO) and Bank Specialist Officer (SO).




A Bank Probationary Officer (PO) in the bank is the starting level appointment for bank officers and the promotional prospects are quite healthy with the work as it defining the limit for the candidate’s success. Job profile of PO (Probationary Officer) is General Banking, administration work and any other work assigned by the Bank from time to time.

Responsibilities of a Bank P.O.

  • Before the completion of the probation period, which is for 2 years, he/she can be asked to perform any kind of bank related activity; it can be the clerk or assistant type of job. This is done to get them acquainted with various working procedures of the bank.
  • During the probation period they are trained for having the practical knowledge in finance, accounting, marketing, billing as well as investment. This is done by entrusting them with jobs of various categories, viz. any of the routine works such as scrolling, posting, account preparation etc.
  • After successful completion of the probation period, he/she is posted in any bank branch as an Assistant Bank Manager to handle works on daily customer transactions, viz. passing a cheque, draft issuance, cash management etc.
  • He/She has to work towards increasing the bank business viz. managing cash flow, loans and mortgages and finances.
  • Another responsibility of PO is to work as public relations officer, handle customer complaints and address various customer related issues such as discrepancies in accounts, rectification of undue charges and look into complaints regarding services provided by the bank.
  • Once he/she gets acclimatized to the bank environment and gain enough experience on bank’s working procedures, based on their personal skills and aptitude, they can be assigned more responsible work viz. planning, budgeting, marketing, loan processing and approval, investment management etc.
  • The work of a bank PO also includes managerial tasks, such as supervision of clerical work, taking decisions for the benefit of the bank, managing cash balance etc.
  • PO has to verify all the work done by bank clerk. All the transactions of bank involve the role of makerand checker. For example, in cash transactions, if clerk is the maker, then the PO is the checker; in case of loans, generally he/she is the maker and bank manager is the checker. The responsibility of losses resides with the checker.
  • He/she takes care of the loan related documents and performs on site visit of the loan taking parties as and when required.
  • A bank PO issues ATM cards, cheque books, Demand Drafts etc.
  • It is anticipated that a PO should be aware of all the latest developments of the bank. They are required to read all the circulars and should know about all the decisions taken by the bank management.

The career growth prospect of a bank PO is very high as compared to other government jobs. Based on your skills and performances, you can quickly climb the ladder and attain high level banking posts in your zone.

Selection of Probationary Officer 

You need to crack IBPS PO or SBI PO Exam. The selection process is completed in 2 steps.

  1. SBI/ IBPS PO CWE (Common Written Examination)
  2. Interview of Shortlisted Candidates


Bank PO Salary Scale


IBPS stands for Institute of Banking Personnel Selection and it conducts Probationary Officer Exam every year. Probationary Officer is a starting level post of any officer in a bank. Selected candidates will get the impressive amount of Pay Scale plus Increment which will be offered by organization. You may get the complete details regarding IBPS PO Pay Scale from the below section of this page –

IBPS PO Pay Scale with Increment:

Allowances Amount
Basic Pay 23700.00
Special Allowance 1836.75
DA 10163.63
CCA 870
Transport Allowance
Total (without HRA) 36570.38
HRA 2133.00
Gross with HRA 38703.38
Medical Aid 8000
Entertainment 500
Newspaper 300
Petrol 3000
Telephone 400
Canteen Subsidy 400
Pension Contribution 2500
Gross Annual CTC (with HRA but without leased accommodation) 5,57,640.52


For Metro Cities:

Basic Pay Rs. 14500/-
Dearness Allowance @99.9% Rs. 14485.5
CCA (3% to 4% Max. Rs540/-) Rs. 540.00
Total Salary (Excluding HRA) Rs. 29525.5
HRA 8.5%; 7.5%; 6.5%* Rs. 1232.50
Total Salary (Including HRA) Rs.30758/-


For State Capital:

Basic Pay Rs. 14500/-
Dearness Allowance @99.9% Rs. 14485.5
CCA (3% to 4% Max. Rs540/-) Rs. 375.00
Total Salary (Excluding HRA) Rs.29360.5
HRA 8.5%; 7.5%; 6.5%* Rs.1087.50
Total Salary (Including HRA) Rs.30448/-


For District Level and Rural Level:

Basic Pay Rs. 14500/-
Dearness Allowance @99.9% Rs. 14485.5
CCA (3% to 4% Max. Rs540/-) Rs. 0.00
Total Salary (Excluding HRA) Rs.28985.5
HRA 8.5%; 7.5%; 6.5%* Rs.942.50
Total Salary (Including HRA) Rs.29927/-




Specialist Officers in a bank are appointed for specialized roles in various departments, according to their expertise and educational background. Some of the Specialist Officer positions in Banks are :

  • Information Technology Officer
  • Agricultural Field Officer
  • Law Officer
  • HR/Personnel Officer
  • Marketing Officer
  • Rajbhasha Adhikari


Responsibilities of Specialist Officer 


1. Bank SO (IT Officer)

A Bank SO in the IT Department holds the key to managing, controlling and optimizing numerous tasks of the banking system. As a Specialist Officer in the IT Department, you could be handling either one of these services.

  • Data Center Maintenance and Support
  • Queries related to ATM
  • Maintenance of Computer Systems in the Bank
  • Software and MIS Maintenance
  • Network Security Maintenance and Query Processing

2. Bank SO (Marketing Officer)

The job profile of a Bank SO in the marketing department can be quite hectic. The primary responsibility of Marketing Officers is usually around bringing more business to the bank and increase profit. Some of the important tasks assigned to a Specialist Officer in the Marketing Department are as follows.

  • Prepare a cost-effective budget for advertising. In addition to this, they also might be a part of the negotiation team.
  • Manage various marketing channels such as posters, televised commercials, newspaper ads etc. It is also necessary to check and cross-check content shared through these channels.
  • Most importantly, handle certain aspects of Bank PR Department in order to foster a positive image of the Bank in from of customers and possible clients.

3. Bank SO (HR Officer)

As the name suggests, Specialist Officer in the HR Department will be looking into Human Resource Activities. The set of important tasks and duties of a Bank SO in the HR Department are:

  • Analyse existing HR policies. Suggest changes if need be.
  • Implement new policies fostering a positive attitude among the people working in the Bank.
  • Handle all cases of misconduct which require attention from the HR department.
  • At times, be a part of the Selection and Recruitment Committee.

4. Bank SO (Law Officer)

A Specialist Officer in the Department of Law handles all the legal work of the Bank. A set of tasks assigned a Bank SO in IT Section are:

  • Look into the current policies and detect errors, if any.
  • Draft legal notice and documents for various processes in a Bank.
  • Provide Legal Assistance in issues related bank frauds, accusations, etc.
  • Safeguard the integrity and reputation of the Bank.

5. Bank SO (Agricultural Field Officer)

You get assigned to the Agricultural Field Department mostly in rural branches of a Bank. The tasks on a Bank SO as an Agricultural Field Officer can be quite challenging. Here is a brief overview of the various tasks and duties.

  • Provide detailed information to all the customers about various banking processes and schemes. The crowd might be less educated so the language needs to simple.
  • Explain government related schemes and benefits plan to the people.
  • Promote loans of all the people who fulfill the criteria and norms of the bank.

6. Bank SO (Rajbhasha Adhikari)

Hindi is our National Language. Yet the mainstream industry is dominated by English. Hence, in order to promote Hindi in a Bank, a highly qualified candidate gets assigned to the position of Bank SO Rajbhasha Adhikari. The essentials tasks under the post are.

  • Translate and Proofread all the important documents that are circulated in the Bank. These documents can be internal or outbound. It is the duty of Rajbhasha Adhikari to complete this task efficiently.
  • Organize workshops for training bank personnel in the language that is spoken by most of the customers.
  • Rajbhasha Adhikari officers also have to ensure that the official notifications and directives send between the banking government organizations must be in both Hindi and English Language.


Selection Process of Specialist Officer (SO)

IBPS will conduct Common Recruitment Process in two stages- Common Written Examination and Common Interview.

Common Written Examination: Examination will consists of Objective type questions printed in Bilingual format, except for English paper. Total Marks for Common Written Examination is  200 marks and the time duration is 120 minutes. There will be negative marking of 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question.

Common Interview: Candidates who have been shortlisted in the examination for CRP SPL will subsequently be called for an Interview to be conducted by the Participating Organisations and coordinated by the nodal banks with the help of IBPS. The total marks allotted for Interview are 100. The minimum qualifying marks in interview will not be less than 40% (35% for SC/ ST/ OBC/ PWD candidates). The weightage (ratio) of Online CWE (exam) and interview will be 80:20. The combined final scores of candidates shall be arrived at on the basis of total scores obtained by the candidates in CWE (SPL) & Interview. Interview score of the candidates failing to secure minimum qualifying marks or otherwise barred from the interview or further process shall not be disclosed.

Provisional Allotment: On completion of the interview process, candidates shortlisted will be provisionally allotted to one of the Participating Organisations, based on merit-cum-preference keeping in view the spirit of Govt. Guidelines on reservation policy, various guidelines issued by Govt. of India/Others from time to time, administrative exigency, etc.

Specialist Officer Salary Scale 

The Institute of Banking Personal Selection (IBPS) decides the salry packages for Specialist officers.

Salary for post of Specialist Officer Scale 1 & 2 is provided here:

  • Officer JMG Scale I: Rs 14500 600/7 18700 700/2 20100 800/7 – 25700/-
  • Officer MMG Scale II: Rs 19400 700/1 20100 800/10 – 28100/-


Office Salary Scale:

Name of Posts Pay Scale
Office Scale III 42020-1310(5)-48570-1460(2)-51490.
Officer Scale II 31705-1145(1)-32850-1310(10)-45950.
Officer Scale I 23700-980(7)-30560-1145(2)-32850-1310(7)-42020.
Office Assistant(MP) 11765-655(3)-13730-815(3)-16175-980(4)-20095-1145(7)-28110-2120(1)-30230-1310(1)-31540.



Name of Posts Approximate Emoluments per Month inclusive DA and HRA at Current Rate (At present, the total starting emoluments are approximately)
Office Scale III Rs. 64600/- per month inclusive of DA and HRA at the current rate.
Officer Scale II Rs. 48800/- per month inclusive of DA and HRA at the current rate.
Officer Scale I 36400/- per month inclusive of DA and HRA at the current rate.
Office Assistant(MP) Rs. 18100/- per month inclusive of DA and HRA at the current rate.


Other Various facilities for  Officer:

The IBPS SO salary includes different types of perks, such as DA, HRA, medical facilities, transport reimbursements, and so on. Newspaper and petrol reimbursement is also common. The salary is revised from time to time.

  • Basic pay is same irrespective of the city of appointment. It is INR 23700 that is from June 1, 2015.
  • HRA: This is paid @ 9.0% or 8.0% or 7.0%   depending on the place of posting.
  • DA as per the latest CPI released by the gov. the DA amount is INR 8605.88.
  • For scale I it is paid @ rate of 7.75% (Special Allowance)
  • (Conveyance, Newspapers, Entertainment allowance, House & Furniture Maintenance etc. 4,130)
  • CCA: This is paid @ 4%, 3% or 0% depending on the place of posting.
  • Least Accommodation is up to Rs 29500, this is provided in lieu of HRA.


Bank PO vs Bank SO – Final Verdict

From the information mentioned above, we have come to final conclusion.

Reasons for pursuing Bank PO Career

  • Learning Experience
  • Acquire multiple work skills
  • Become adaptable to various work environment
  • Highly Competitive Job
  • Upward Career Growth

Reasons for pursuing Bank SO Career

  • Simple Life
  • Good Salary, Job Perks and Benefits
  • Good Work Location (mostly metro cities)
  • Less frequent job transfer

We hope this comparison helps you to understand which will be the best option to be chosen from Bank PO or Bank SO.  For further queries you can write us below.  And keep visiting our site regulary for more updates.

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