IBPS PO vs. IBPS Clerk: What’s the Difference?

IBPS conducts two exams according to their requirements in the Public Sector Banks every year. One is for the post of Probationary Officers and the other is for the clerical operations.

There is always a dilemma in the mind of banking aspirants between these two job opportunities of getting into the sector.

Many students prepare for both at the same time, but you can focus on one to get the job of your desired choice. Here is a detailed discussion about IBPS PO vs. IBPS Clerk.

  • Eligibility Criteria

There is very little difference between the eligibility of both profiles. Criteria from citizenship to the education qualification remain the same as both the profiles require graduation. 

The only significant difference in the eligibility is that the clerk profile requires a candidate from the age group of 20 to 28, and PO takes applications from candidates aged between 20 to 30. There is five years of additional age relaxation for reserved categories.

Also, bank PO applicants must have obtained 60% in 12th, but there is no such requirement in the clerical exam.

The number of attempts is also not limited, and one can appear in both the exams till one reaches the upper age limit.

  • Exam Pattern and Selection Process

Syllabus and marking are not different in both the exams. Both clerk and PO exams have sectional cut offs and time limits decided for every section.

While the Clerk level exam is of two stages— Pre and Mains, the PO exam has three stages— Pre, Mains, and Interview. The difficulty level in Pre and Mains exams varies. 

The clerk merit list is solely decided on the Mains exam, while the PO merit list is decided with the inclusion of the Mains exam and interview. 

Keep practicing IBPS PO mock test and IBPS Clerk mock test for keeping up with the preparation.

  • Position and Growth

The clerk is responsible for every operation and transaction happening in any bank. A bank PO is associated with loan approval and public relations with financing and investing. The clerk is seen busy in the banks as all the transactions are approved by them. POs are for verifying purposes and held responsible for the mistakes committed by the clerk working under them.

A bank PO is generally promoted every two years in the service, while the clerk is generally promoted every four years. Banks organize internal exams for promoting their employees.

With several years of experience, clerks will get promoted to POs while the POs start their careers from there.

PO has golden opportunities to lead the bank as candidates who started their career as PO are seen as Managing Directors of the banks.

  • Salary and Perks

Banks provide lucrative salaries and perks to their employees. IBPS PO will get DA, city compensation allowance, house rent, and special allowances. 

IBPS Clerk will get DA, medical allowances,  house rent, and travel allowances. IBPS PO gets additional allowances as they join the banking sector as an officer. 

  • State Language

While PO is all India level, IBPS Clerk is a state level exam. Knowledge about the regional languages is necessary at the clerical level as they deal with customers more frequently.

A bank PO can be posted anywhere in the country without keeping the language a barrier. If you are not comfortable in your regional language, you can start IBPS PO preparation to kickstart your career as a probationary officer in the bank.

  • Job Postings

Clerk are posted on a state level and can only be posted within the state. The PO job is of broad India level, and a probationary officer can be posted anywhere in the state.

The total vacancies released by IBPS for Clerk are higher than the PO every year. You can study with the best coaching for banking with the help of IBPS PO preparation books.


From time duration to the negative marking system, Preliminary is qualifying in nature in both the pre and mains in IBPS exams.

Other than difficulty level and interview, everything is almost of the same caliber in clerk and PO level exams in IBPS.

Get Into a PSB of Your Choice!

As the Public Sector Banks are responsible for creating a ton of jobs in the country, choosing the right institute becomes an issue for aspirants. You can also prepare for IBPS SBI clerk with the IBPS clerk and IBPS SBI PO with IBPS PO as SBI, and other PSBs conduct exams regularly.

You can join Dhingra Classes as a one-stop solution. From offline coaching and online coaching to IBPS mock tests, we provide the best banking coaching in India.


You can make your mind according to your preferred job choice and start preparing for the government exam with us.

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