Bank PO vs Bank SO – Job, Salary, Career Comparison


The comparison was made in terms of job profile, salary, career growth and work environment. Read more about it through this link.

Bank PO vs Bank SO

In this article, we compare Bank PO with Bank SO. The analysis will be based on job profile, pay scale and career prospects. We hope this will help candidates in identifying the right career for themselves. Also, the get to decide whether to prepare for IBPS PO or IBPS SO.


Bank PO vs Bank SO – Job Profile

Following the earlier procedure, we will begin our analysis by comparing job profiles of a Bank PO and Bank SO. First up, Bank PO!


Bank PO Job Description – Major Tasks and Duties

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

A Probationary Officer is also considered as a Management Trainee (MT). Once you are recruited as a PO or MT, you will be on probation for atleast 2 years. During this time, a Probationary Officer gets assigned a number of tasks and duties related to  Banking Processes.

Some of the tasks and duties assigned to a Bank PO are:

  • Customer Service/ Relationship
  • Professional Link Building
  • Document and Account Verification
  • Banking Process Management like Cash Counters, Authorization of Transactions etc.


Bank SO Job Description – Major Tasks and Duties

The IBPS SO Exam is held once a year. The pattern of IBPS SO Exam is similar to IBPS PO in terms of written exam followed by an interview of shortlisted candidates. But a Bank SO has a specialized job profile.

Once you crack IBPS SO Exam and Interview, you are recruited as a Specialized Officer. But as a Bank SO, you are designated a particular department. Each department in a Bank has its own set of functions. Your job description as a Bank SO depends on the department you are assigned with.

The various departments and duties assigned to a Bank SO in them are as follows:

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.

Hence, we can understand one thing from the information mentioned above.

  • As a Bank PO, you have multiple verticals to work upon, which opens doors to various career prospects.
  • As a Bank SO, you will be working on singular job profile, which gives specialization in only one area.

Now we move to the next round in Bank PO vs Bank SO, which is, salary package comparison.


Bank PO vs Bank SO – Pay Scale

Here we discuss the salary package given to a Bank PO and Bank SO. This pay package will be all inclusive. It means the salary mentioned below includes Basic Pay, DA, TDA, CCA and HRA.

  • Bank PO Pay Scale – Rs. 14,500 – 32,758
  • Bank SO Pay Scale – Rs. 14,500 – 32,000

We can clearly see that the average pay package to a Bank PO and Bank SO is pretty much the same. The only difference occurs in terms of perks and benefits.

  • Transportation Assistance
  • Personal Assistant
  • Top of the Line Laptops for Specialist Officers

Hence, we conclude this round between Bank PO vs Bank SO as a tie. Now we move to another important comparative vertical, Work Culture and Environment. Let us analyze.


Bank PO vs Bank SO – Work Environment 

In this section, we will first discuss the general work environment and major issues faced by Bank PO. It is necessary to understand the expanse of a career you wish to pursue before you pursue it.


Bank PO Work Culture

As we already know, you have a lot of options at the entry level. But these options can also make your life a challenge at times. So we break down the pros and cons of working as a Bank PO.


  • Highly Energetic Environment. Something new is always up.
  • New things to learn, from banking processes to client management.
  • In time, added perks, like transportation cover and assistant to keep you upto speed.


  • While handling multiple work assignments, work life can become hectic.
  • Client Relationship gets challenging in Rural Areas due to lack of understanding of banking rules and norms by the people living there.

So, if you are a person looking for a real challegen, Career as a Bank PO will not disappoint you. Now we will talk about Bank SO.


Bank SO Work Culture

Bank SO has a fairly different work life than a Bank PO. We already know the type of work assigned to an individual completely depends on the department he/she gets placed. Let us break it down into a Pros and Cons list.


  • The job location will mostly be a metro city.
  • There is a limited set of tasks you get assigned.
  • The job transfer are not as frequent as that of a Bank PO.
  • You assist Bank Employees only. Dealing with clients and customers is not in your job profile.


  • The term ‘Specialist’ Officer might be over-emphasized. You will be performing rudimentary and repetetitive tasks on a daily basis.
  • The work environment might get boring at times.
  • You need to work according to the schedule of other banking personnels. You job dictates Assistance.

From the above mention data, you can analyze the type of work life you want.

We now move to our final section. It might be the most important one. What does the job has in store in the future? Let us see.


Bank PO vs Bank SO – Career Prospects

We will talk about Bank PO first, followed by career prospects of a Bank SO. Career Prospects include job promotions, benefits, minimum time between promotions and job skills acquired. Lets get straight to it then.


Bank PO Career Prospects

Career as a Bank PO provides an experience of a lifetime. You get to learn a lot about Client Relationship, Banking Processes, Marketing, Accounting etc.

  1. Your career as a Bank PO begins as a Junior Manager Grade Scale or JMGS Officer.
  2. A minimum 2-3 years of probation will promote you at the post of a Manager.
  3. Adding 8-10 years more, you will be running for the post of Senior Manager.

Hence, this career graph is extremely progressive as compared to any other government job. You just need the right attitude for it.

Bank SO Career Prospects

Since you are assigned to a particular type of profile, the tasks become repetitive after a while.

  1. You begin at IBPS SO Scale I, which is the Junior Management Level Post.
  2. You only get promoted to Scale II, which is Middle Management Level after a designated number of years.
  3. There is no fixed criteria of promoting officers.

The biggest concern while pursuing a career as a Bank SO is the line of work. You can only continue along a single career. Otherwise, you have to start again from the first stage.


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 understand which to choose from Bank PO vs Bank SO. If there are any further queries, please mention in the comment section below.

Stay connected for more information regarding IBPS SO Recruitment 2016. To excel in IBPS Exams, download the Best IBPS SO Exam Preparation App for free.

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    • Bank PO gives you an opportunity to work upon multiple job profiles and acquire skills which can enhance your overall resume.
      So Yes, according to us, a career in Bank PO can be more exciting when compared with Bank SO career.

      But we still leave the final decision on you.
      All the Best Arun.

    • We agree the examination is tough.
      Bank PO just happens to offer multiple career opportunities. But selecting the right ones, that decision is in your hands.
      There is no hard and fast rule that Bank PO will definitely be better than every career.

        • As a probationary officer, you get to learn about multiple areas of work, like marketing, accounting, banking processes, client management and customer service. Although a career as a Bank PO has a good growth rate and salary revision (every 5 years in SBI), you can still opt for private jobs if you want to or go for private banks.

        • graduate can apply. but with restriction of special department working environment for SO, it is mandatory that u need to have that particular qualification such as agriculture department requires agriculture background or related graduates. we just need to see that we relate to that particular department work environment.
          like u said mechanical eng can’t apply for SO, u didn’t mention for what dept. u are not eligible.. so need to mind it.

    • Totally depends on the candidate’s preference.
      There are a lot of special provisions for PH Candidates. But when it comes to regular transfers, a Bank SO might be a better choice.

    • Yes, Bank SO can be promoted to a Managerial Position.

      Salary for the 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/-

  1. dear sir,
    i am holder and i am trying to Bank IT officer jobs , it is suitable for me or not ?
    SO job is respectable job or not or it is like as normally computer engineer which are going for computer maintenance in houses or other office .
    it is an officer type job or not?? what is salary ?
    can be move to General banking if we move then i have to start from start post or in the scale of in which i am doing job or treat as junior officer after 5 year job

  2. Hello sir,

    I want to know the time period of increments in salaries of both Po and so. And including all perks which is better one in both?

  3. Hi
    I have interview SO 14 noon in Hyd

    What shall i prepare mostly? ?
    And how can i build my personality!!!

    And what is cutoff marks for marketing officers for ST category

    Please inform me…..

  4. Im preparing for civil services. bt nw due to financial condition, want to work in bank. wil clear both PO and SO of 2015. what to chose if I want to take time for study? My home in Pune

  5. I am selected as SBI Assistant Manager (System) this year. Should I join? right now I am working in rajasthan and my in hand salary is 25K and my office is walk in distance from my home. What will be the in hand salary in SBI as Assistant Manager (System). and how will be the promotions and increment happens?

  6. hi ..
    what is the salary in hand for SBI assistant manager systems? what are the promotion chances? is it a good or just a side line job?

  7. Sir ,
    I have done PGDM in marketing do i eligible for marketing officer . Because in eligibility they have written MBA or PGDBM or PGDBA .. waiting for ur reply ..

    • hellooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo………… sir i want to say something ..firstly I want to ask something to uuu ..,,,In banking sector , who is the best official level job plzz tell me sir ,,,,,,,,,,,,i know po is the best , but i want to know in addition to po ////////////////////////////

      • Sir,i am from panipat (haryana)and i have a family including 6 months old son.
        I need a bank job in panipat.
        So from both bank Po and so, in which job i can get easily and as early as possible transfer in panipat.

  8. Hello sir,
    I am computer engineer, so which is best career option for me, either PO or SO. Plz guide me.
    Thank U.

  9. hello sir,
    I am preparing for SO IT officer Bank exam just 2016 passout. Want to ask about salary growth. If we start with this salary as mentioned Rs 14500 600/7 18700 700/2 20100 800/7 – 25700/- then what will be my salary after 10 years and after 20 years. as SO and PO. I want this comparison, in terms of salary growth

  10. I am working as an SO marketing in union bank of India .It is a complete field job and postings are worst ….I am from kolkata and posted in tamilnadu, where they ask me to bring business but people here speak only tamil .My job duties include visiting shops and exporters randomly and give my cards to them and also deal bankassurance and mutual funds…This is the realty of a marketing officer today in a PSU bank.Promotions are slow as well.So guyz before applying and joining please ensure whether you would like to make a career as a marketing officer and enjoy the job or not.And yes we have three years of bond as well…of Rs 250000.

  11. Hi,

    After getting selected for SBI IT officer (With few years of experience into MMGS II level), We need to report at Mumbai.
    So, how many days will the training go on and when will we be posted to other locations.?
    Can we opt or request for specific location.?

    Thanks in Advance.

  12. good comparison.
    i wanted to ask,
    Q. Iam a post graduate in Animal physiology(M.Sc. Animal physio) which is life science field… If i Apply fo SBI SO… which department wil i be working in? wil i have to work in the agriculural department? will i always be posted only in rural areas? as u have mentioned above, job posting is metro cities only.. can u please answer these question.. will be a great favour and help… thank you

  13. hi
    currently i am in final year of and my trade is electronics and communication.
    Will i be eligible to apply for ibps So IT officer?

  14. Sir,
    Is Electrical and Electronics Engineering student is eligible for the post of IT officer in bank SO exam because it is not clearly mentioned about this branch as we study all the subjects related IT field in our curriculum same as the IT or Computer science branch student studied.

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