Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the journey to becoming a District Magistrate or Collector in India!

If you’ve ever been intrigued by the power and prestige that comes with being a Collector, or if you’re driven by the desire to make a significant impact on society, then this blog post is for you.

We’ll take you through the ins and outs of the role, including the skills required, eligibility criteria, and even some pro tips to crack the Collector Exam.

So, let’s embark on this exciting journey together!


Who is a collector

A Collector is a government official who is the chief administrative and revenue officer of an Indian district.

The role of a District Collector may vary from state to state, but they are generally responsible for collecting taxes from a district, maintaining law and order, and overseeing various departments within their jurisdiction.

The Collector’s office is the focal point for all developmental plans for the district.


Role & responsibilities of an District collector

The District Collector plays a pivotal role in the district administration. They are responsible for the collection of revenue, maintenance of law and order, and the implementation of schemes for development.

In their role as District Magistrate, they also oversee the functioning of various departments in the district administration including land acquisition, land records, treasury, public works, and backward classes welfare.

They also play a key role in disaster management during natural calamities and are responsible for coordinating relief efforts.


Skills required to become a Collector

To become a successful District Collector, certain skills are essential:

In order to thrive as a Collector, there are certain key Skills that are required:

  1. Administrative Skills: A Collector needs to have strong managerial abilities in order to address various legal and regulatory challenges in the district.
  2. Leadership Skills: Effective leadership is crucial for a District Collector in order to guide and manage their team effectively for executing development work in his district.
  3. Decision-Making Skills: A Collector needs to be able to make swift and effective decisions, particularly in emergency situations.
  4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills: A Collector must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills in order to engage effectively with different government departments and people.
  5. Patience: The role of a Collector is both demanding and rewarding. It requires a lot of patience to deal with different types of situations like development projects, maintaining law and order in the district, etc.

These skills, combined with the right educational qualifications and preparation for the respective administrative service examinations, can help you become a successful Collector.


Eligibility criteria for a District Collector

To become a District Collector, a candidate must meet the following eligibility criteria:

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

2. Age Limit: You must be above 21 years of age. The maximum age limit for general category candidates is 32 years. There is a relaxation in the upper age limit for certain categories:

    • For OBC candidates, the upper age limit is 35 years.
    • For SC/ST candidates, the upper age limit is 37 years.

3. Educational Qualification:  You must have a graduate degree from a recognized university to appear for the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) exam.4

4. Number of Attempts: For general category candidates, the maximum number of attempts is three. For OBC candidates, the limit is seven attempts. For ST/SC candidates, there is no such limit for appearing in the exam.

After meeting these eligibility criteria, the candidate needs to clear the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) exam.

Once you’ve earned your goal as an IAS officer, the path to becoming a District Collector Officer is through a combination of internal promotions and examinations.

In the next section, we will discuss the examination process for becoming a District Collector.


Qualifications required to become a collector or District magistrate

  1. Educational Background: The candidate must hold a graduate degree in any discipline from a recognized university.
  2. Attempt Limit: For general category candidates, the maximum number of attempts is three. For OBC candidates, the limit is seven attempts. However, there is no limit for ST/SC candidates.

After fulfilling these qualifications, the candidate needs to clear the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) exam.

Once designated as an IAS officer, they can be promoted to District Collector Officer through departmental promotions and examinations.


Subjects required to become a Collector

Choosing the right subjects is crucial for your journey to become a Collector. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Deep Understanding of Key Subjects: It’s important to have a thorough understanding of subjects like History, Constitution, International Relations, Economy, and Ethics. These topics are a major part of the syllabus for the Civil Services Examination.
  2. Choose Your Optional Subjects Carefully: In the main exam of the Civil Services Examination, you’ll have to choose two optional subjects. Make sure to pick subjects that align with your interests and areas of expertise.
  3. Start Early If You Can: If you’re still in school and aspire to become a Collector, it’s beneficial to start preparing early. After completing your matriculation or +2, you can begin reading books on English, General Knowledge, Indian Law and Constitution, History, Disaster Management, and so on.

Remember, the choice of subjects can vary depending on your interests and strengths. It’s important to choose subjects that you are passionate about and can excel in.


Collector or  Exams

Becoming a Collector, or District Magistrate, is a multi-step process that involves a series of exams and interviews. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  1. Get Your Degree: You need to complete your graduation from any university that’s recognized by the UGC.
  2. Civil Services Exam: Next, you have to pass the Civil Services Exam. This exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) or various state public service commissions like UPPSC, BPSC, and MPPSC.
  3. Preliminary Exam: This is the first step of the Civil Services Examination. You need to clear this exam to move on to the Mains exam.
  4. Mains Exam: If you clear the preliminary exam, you’ll move on to the Mains exam. To become a Collector, you need to Qualify in this exam.
  5. Interview: The last step is an interview. The marks you get in this interview will be added to your final score.

Becoming a Collector is a rigorous process that requires dedication and thorough preparation. With over 10 lakh students appearing for the UPSC exam, the competition is intense. It’s important to remember that the role of a Collector is one of the 24 departments where successful candidates are placed. Therefore, to secure this prestigious position, candidates must successfully navigate through all three stages of the selection process.

Also checkout: Career as an IFS Officer

How to become a Collector: Step-by-step guide

Becoming a Collector involves a series of steps. Here’s a brief guide:

  1. Join a UPSC Course: Enroll in an online or offline UPSC course to get structured guidance and study materials.
  2. Meet the Eligibility Criteria: Ensure you meet the necessary eligibility criteria, including age limit, citizenship, and educational qualifications.
  3. Apply for the UPSC Exam: Submit your application for the UPSC exam through the official UPSC website during the application period.
  4. Appear for Civil Services Examination: Take the Civil Services Examination, which is usually conducted annually.
  5. Clear the Prelims and Mains Exam: Pass both the Prelims and Mains exams, which test your knowledge on a wide range of subjects.
  6. Clear the Mains Exam: Achieve a passing score in the Mains exam, which includes nine papers and is more detailed than Prelims.
  7. Crack the Personality Test/Interview: Successfully complete the Personality Test or Interview, where your personality traits and suitability for a career in civil services are assessed.
  8. Complete the IAS Training at LBSNAA: Finish your IAS training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), where you’ll learn about public administration, law, political science, and other relevant subjects.

This is a simplified guide to becoming a Collector.


How to prepare for the Collector Exam – Pro tips

Preparing for the Collector Exam requires a strategic approach. Here are some pro tips:

  1. Understand the Exam Pattern and Syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the topics covered in the exam and the importance of each subject
  2. Make a Study Plan: Create a strict study plan. Allocate time for each subject based on your priority.
  3. Read NCERT Books: Start with reading NCERT books from 5th standard to 12th standard, focusing on History, Social Science, and Environment.
  4. Stay Updated with Current Affairs: Current affairs play a very important role in the Civil service exam.
  5. Join a UPSC Course: Enroll in an online or offline UPSC course for structured guidance and study materials. 
  6. Revise Regularly: Regular revision is key to retaining information, like practicing mock tests, discussions with fellow aspirants, etc.
  7. Practice Mock Tests: Mock tests play a very crucial role in your preparation, it help you understand the exam pattern and improve your speed and accuracy.

Remember, consistent effort and determination are key to cracking the Collector Exam.


Best coaching centers/Online class platforms to become a District collector

Online learning platforms like Testbook offer comprehensive study materials, live classes, and mock tests for UPSC preparation. They provide a structured learning path and allow you to learn at your own pace.

Other similar platforms include BYJU’S Exam Prep which also offers daily, weekly, and monthly current affairs, question paper PDFs, quizzes, free test series, and exam-specific study material.


District Magistrate/Collector salary and perks

A Collector in India is well compensated by the Government of India for their duties and services. Here are the details:

  1. Salary: As per the 7th Pay Commission norms, a District Collector is initially entitled to a salary of approx Rs 56,100 to 65,000 per month, which can range up to Rs 3,00,000 per month with years of experience. The average collector salary varies depending on several factors, including the type of government department they work for, their level of experience, and their geographical location.
  2. Perks and Additional Benefits: Along with the salary, a number of allowances like Dearness Allowance, House Rent Allowance, Travel Allowance, Medical Allowance, and House, many more are included. They receive some of the best benefits and privileges. There are also opportunities for career growth and advancement within the civil service.

This compensation package ensures that Collectors are well-supported in their role.


Tips to Crack the Interview.

Cracking the interview for the Collector exam requires a strategic approach. Here are some tips:

  1. Understand the Interview Process: Get familiar with the process and the type of questions that are usually asked.
  2. Prepare for Basic Interview Questions: Be ready to answer questions about your subject knowledge, strengths, weaknesses, and why you want to become a Collector.
  3. Stay Updated with Current Affairs: Current affairs are crucial in the interview. Reading English newspapers like The Hindu or Times of India can help improve your English and keep you updated about social and political events.
  4. Mock Interviews: Practice mock interviews to get a feel of the actual interview environment. This can help reduce anxiety and improve confidence.
  5. Be Confident and Truthful: During the interview, express yourself confidently and truthfully. The panel members are there to analyze your personality for the civil services rather than to test your knowledge.

Remember, consistent effort and determination are key to cracking the UPSC entrance test and interview.


Pros and Cons of a District magistrate

Becoming a Collector is a prestigious position that comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. Here are some pros and cons:


Here are some advantages that come with the role of a Collector:

  1. Job Stability: The role of a Collector is a stable government job.
  2. Opportunity to Serve Society: As a Collector, you have the chance to make a significant impact on society.
  3. Respect and Prestige: The position of a Collector is highly respected in society.
  4. Good Salary and Benefits: Collectors receive a good salary along with various allowances.


Here are some challenges that come with the role of a Collector:

  1. Stressful Job: Managing various aspects of district administration can be stressful.
  2. Long Working Hours: There may be periods where Collectors have to work for extended hours.
  3. Frequent Transfers: Collectors may experience frequent transfers, which can impact their personal life.



We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into the role of a District Collector and the path to becoming one. Remember, it’s a journey that requires dedication, consistent effort, and a passion for serving society. But with the right approach and resources, it’s certainly within your reach!

If you found this guide helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends who might also be interested in this career path. And if you have any questions or need further information, feel free to leave a comment below. We’re here to help!

Ready to take the first step towards your dream career? Start preparing for the Collector Exam today! Remember, every great journey begins with a single step. Good luck!



How to become a Collector without UPSC?

To become a collector without UPSC, one can qualify the State Public Service Commission (SPSC) Exam and gain promotions


How to become a Collector after 10th?

If you’re just out of 10th grade and dream of becoming a collector, focus on your 12th and graduation in any stream, then gear up for the civil services exam.


How to become a Collector after completing 12th?

To become a collector after completing 12th, complete graduation and then crack the civil services exam.


Collector exam name

The collector exam is known as the Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC.


How to become a Collector in Gujarat?

If you’re in Gujarat and aspire to be a collector, you’ll need to qualify the civil services exam conducted by UPSC.


How to become a Collector in Maharashtra?

For those in Maharashtra with dreams of becoming a collector, the path is similar – qualify the UPSC civil services exam.


Which degree is best for a Collector?

Any graduate degree from a recognized university is suitable to become a collector.


I want to become a Collector.

So, you want to become a collector? That’s awesome! Complete your graduation and then set your goal on qualifying the UPSC civil services exam.


Which subject to choose after 10th for a Collector?

After 10th, choose subjects that will boost your knowledge of English, General Knowledge, Indian Law and Constitution, History, Disaster Management etc.


How many years can it take to become a Collector?

With graduation, it typically takes around 6-7 years to become a Collector, including preparation for UPSC exams. Without graduation, it’s around 3-4 years of dedicated UPSC exam preparation.


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About the Author: Sanjay Hota

Meet Sanjay Hota, an edtech content writer with 4+ years of experience. Sanjay creates engaging content for educational institutions and edtech companies, and in his spare time, he helps students and graduates find clarity about their career prospects through his career counselling programme.