How Much Does An ISRO Scientist Earn? (Plus Qualifications)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 January 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO carry out various tasks like building launch vehicles and satellites, alongside establishing space infrastructure and facilities around the country. The national space agency's scientists and engineers develop application-specific satellite tools for broadcast, communication, weather forecast, disaster management, cartography or navigation. In this article, we explore how much does an ISRO scientist earns, their pay scales based on their positions, qualifications they require to apply to the ISRO recruitment examination and a broad view of the syllabus that can help you study for the entrance examination.

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How Much Does An ISRO Scientist Earn?

The 7th Central Pay Commission or CPC has revised the salaries and allowances of the ISRO scientists or engineers. The starting basic monthly earning of an ISRO scientist is ₹15,600. After promotions and notable achievements, this earning can go up to Rs 80,000. Different ISRO scientists draw salaries according to different designations and their subsequent pay bands that further have varied grade pay amounts attached to them. According to the latest Department of Space and ISRO disclosure, here is how much does an ISRO scientist earns per month on the basis of the pay band and grade pay:

Pay band

  • Distinguished Scientist: ₹75,500 to Rs 80,000

  • Outstanding Scientist: ₹67,000 to Rs 79,000

  • Scientist/Engineer-H: ₹37,400 to Rs 67,000

  • Scientist/Engineer-G: ₹37,400 to Rs 67,000

  • Scientist/Engineer-SG: ₹37,400 to Rs 67,000

  • Scientist/Engineer-SF: ₹37,400 to Rs 67,000

  • Scientist/Engineer-SE: ₹15,600 to Rs 39,100

  • Scientist/Engineer-SD: ₹15,600 to Rs 39,100

  • Scientist/Engineer-SC: ₹15,600 to Rs 39,100

Grade pay

  • Scientist/Engineer-H: ₹10,000

  • Scientist/Engineer-G: ₹10,000

  • Scientist/Engineer-SG: ₹8,900

  • Scientist/Engineer-SF: ₹8,700

  • Scientist/Engineer-SE: ₹7,600

  • Scientist/Engineer-SD: ₹6,600

  • Scientist/Engineer-SC: ₹5,400

Understanding grades of ISRO scientists or engineers

The ISRO scientists or engineers can have different grades according to which they receive their monthly salaries. Terms like SC, SD, SE or SG are the grades or ranks given to the scientists or engineers in the Indian space agency. These grades also determine the seniority of a scientist or an engineer. A fresh engineering graduate has a starting grade of SC. After a scientist or engineer has completed the residency period of four years of service, they become eligible for an interview. After clearing it, the individual becomes Scientist/Engineer-SD.

After SC and SD are higher levels such as SE, then SF, then SG, then G and then H. Above all these grades are an Outstanding Scientist and a Distinguished Scientist. An Outstanding Scientist is a highly qualified scientist while the Distinguished Scientist, which is also the highest grade in ISRO, has some of the most notable achievements in the field.

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Additional monetary benefits

The Government of India also offers certain monthly financial benefits, such as:

  • Dearness Allowance or DA: This allowance, which is added to the basic pay, gets revised twice a year and according to the government's 2015 records, the rate of DA is 113%.

  • Transport Allowance or TA: This allowance ranges from ₹400 to ₹3,200 depending on the individual's city of posting and grade pay.

  • House Rent Allowance or HRA: The government offers the HRA on basic pay and varies from 10% to 30% of the basic pay depending on the city of posting.

Moving from a non-metro city to a metro can also qualify for an increased TA and HRA.

Related: Gross Salary and Net Salary: Definitions and Examples

Understanding Pay Band And Grade Pay

Under the Government of India's salary structure, there are two pay elements called a pay band and grade pay. A pay band is a range of amounts that an individual can draw as a salary. For example, if the range is from ₹15,600 to ₹39,100, then an individual can get a starting salary of ₹15,600, which can go up to a maximum of ₹39,100. The salary increases depending on promotions within a grade but cannot exceed the range unless the grade has changed. There are a total of seven pay bands that are as follows:

  • ₹5,200 to ₹20,200

  • ₹9,300 to ₹34,800

  • ₹15,600 to ₹39,100

  • ₹37,400 to ₹67,700

  • ₹67,000 to ₹75,500

  • ₹80,000

  • ₹90,000

Each pay band has a few grades pay. For example, the pay band of ₹15,600 to ₹39,100 has three grades pay - ₹5,400, ₹6,600 and ₹7,600. An individual receives a grade pay amount depending on the level of their job title in the hierarchy. The pay in the band added to the grade pay becomes basic pay.

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Different Fields Of ISRO Scientists

ISRO has scientists or engineers from various fields of science that handle research, development, application and execution at ISRO for its varied projects and missions, such as the launch of satellites or planet observation. Here is a list of fields an ISRO scientist can work in:

  • Space and technology

  • Electronics

  • Mechanical

  • Computer science

  • Civil

  • Refrigeration and air conditioning

  • Architecture

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Recruitment For ISRO Scientists And Engineers

It requires individuals wanting to become an ISRO scientist to first clear a written examination. After clearing the written test, they can appear for an interview. The allotted time for the entrance examination is 90 minutes, during which they are required to answer a total of 80 objective type questions based on the academic disciplines like:

Civil engineering

The syllabus under civil engineering can include:

  • Surveying

  • Building materials

  • Mechanics

  • Structural analysis

  • Concrete structures

  • Steel structures

  • Foundation engineering

  • Fluid mechanics and hydraulics

  • Hydrology

  • Irrigation

Related: Aerospace Engineer Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Electrical engineering

The syllabus under electrical engineering can cover:

  • Signal processing and instrumentation

  • Fluid mechanics

  • Computational methods in engineering

  • Signals, systems and networks

  • Microelectronics

  • Control system analysis

  • Digital signal processing

  • Principles of communication

  • Power systems

  • Electromagnetics

  • Digital electronics and microprocessor technology

  • Semiconductor devises technology

  • Microwaves

  • Antennas and propagation

  • Radio astronomy

  • Transducers and instrumentation


Different topics the architecture syllabus can involve are as follows:

  • Design fundamentals

  • Materials

  • Construction

  • Structural mechanics

  • Descriptive geometry

  • Arts and graphics

  • Ecology and environment

  • Surveying

  • Disaster management

  • Building economics

  • Theory of structures

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Educational qualifications

Here are some important educational qualifications required to apply to the ISRO recruitment examination:

  • Individuals are required to have passed BE/BTech or equivalent qualifying degree in first class with an aggregate minimum of 65% marks or CGPA of 6.84 out of 10 (average of all semesters).

  • Individuals awaiting the results of their seventh and eighth semester may apply given their aggregate marks in the remaining semesters is 65% and above or CGPA/CPI is 6.84 and above.

  • Individuals with diplomas and BE/BTech (lateral entry) having only six semesters are also eligible provided they have passed their degree in first class with an aggregate minimum of 65% marks or CGPA of 6.84 on a scale of 10.

  • Associate Member of the Institution of Engineers or AMIE candidates are eligible to apply to ISRO, but there are certain conditions that can disqualify them so individuals are required to check with the recruitment authority before applying.

  • Individuals who have passed or are pursuing ME/MTech are eligible to apply given they have cleared BE/BTech in first class with an aggregate minimum of 65% marks or CGPA of 6.84 out of 10.

  • Individuals who have studied the integrated course of BE/BTech and ME/MTech are eligible to apply to the ISRO recruitment examination provided they are able to produce their graduation certificate for BE/BTech separately in first class with an aggregate minimum of 65% marks or CGPA of 6.84 out of 10.

  • Individuals who have acquired BE/BTech degrees through part-time are eligible to apply provided they can furnish a degree in BE/BTech in first class with an aggregate minimum of 65% marks or CGPA of 6.84 out of 10.

  • Individuals who have completed their BE/BTech degree through correspondence are not eligible to apply.

  • Engineering degree holders in the specialised field of electrical and electronics are eligible to apply for the post of Scientist/Engineer-SC Electrical.

  • Engineering degree holders in the mechanical discipline are eligible to apply for the post of Scientist/Engineer-SC (Refrigeration and Air-conditioning) provided they have studied air conditioning and refrigeration or allied subjects as electives or as a core subject in any of the semesters and passed their degree in first class with an aggregate minimum of 65% marks or CGPA 6.84 out of 10.

Courses that are considered degree or equivalent in the relevant field of discipline are BE, BTech, BSc (engineering), Diploma and BE/BTech (lateral entry), BSc and BE/BTech (lateral entry) and AMIE (includes conditions).

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Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

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