Which one is Better SSC CGL or RRB NTPC? Difference between SSC CGL or RRB NTPC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Which one is Better SSC CGL or RRB NTPC” is one question that often comes across the mind of aspirants. SSC CGL and RRB NTPC are the most popular exams in SSC and Railway categories respectively. As both exams are immensely popular among the aspirants, let us find out which one of them is better with the help of different parameters.

In this article, we would be comparing these two exams in terms of the posts under the SSC CGL and RRB NTPC, salary offered, Promotion, and other important parameters and would try to find out which one is better. 

What is SSC CGL?

The Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Examination is held by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) for the recruitment of Grade “B” and “C” level positions in different Government Ministries, Divisions, and Offices. SSC CGL is recognized as one of the most popular exams for graduate students in India. The exam is divided into two tiers. The first is a computer-based online exam, and the second one is a combination of a computer-based online exam and a skill test. The upcoming SSC CGL 2023 would be a wonderful opportunity for students who wish to have a respectable government job.

What is RRB NTPC?

The Railway Recruitment Board administers exams like RRB NTPC, RRB Group D exam and other railway exams, providing candidates with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enter India’s prestigious government sector (Indian Railways). RRB NTPC Recruitment is targeted at candidates with a graduate degree or 12th (+2 Stage) from a recognized university. RRB is currently recruiting for 35,208 vacancies under Non-Technical Popular Category (NTPC) posts through RRB NTPC 2023.

SSC CGL vs RRB NTPC: Which One is Better?

While preparing for the government job exams, aspirants often tend to take multiple exams as the chances of selection are low and competition is high. The most common confusion in the minds of the aspirants arises related to the best job profiles that they should opt for which stand out on their selection criteria in terms of salary, job profiles, career path, and work-life balance as the next 10-15 years of their professional and personal life depends on this choice. Let’s compare the different factors of SSC CGL and RRB NTPC exams and understand the difference between SSC CGL and RRB NTPC in detail.

Difference Between SSC CGL and RRB NTPC

There are differences between SSC CGL and RRB NTPC exams in terms of eligibility criteria, posts, job profile, exam pattern, salary, syllabus, conducting body, etc. SSC CGL and RRB NTPC are among the popular government exams that provide opportunities to lakhs of aspirants to make their career in the public sector and departments and work in the ministries and departments. The Combined Graduate Level exam, popularly known as SSC CGL, is conducted by the Staff Selection Commission to recruit graduate candidates to fill the group B and C posts. On the other hand, Non-Technical Popular Category (NTPC) exam is organised by the Railway Recruitment Board is conducted for the 12th pass and graduates to recruit candidates for pay levels 2, 3 & 5.


Let us compare the posts that are offered under the SSC CGL and RRB NTPC exams. The first exam offers job profiles under different departments whereas the later one offers jobs in the railway departments only.


Through the SSC CGL exam, candidates are offered different posts under different groups varying in their salary structure, eligibility criteria and position. The posts are given below

Group Posts
Group B
  • Assistant Audit Officer (Indian Audit & Accounts Department under C&AG)
  • Assistant Accounts Officer (Indian Audit & Accounts Department under C&AG)
  • Assistant Section Officer (Central Secretariat Service, Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Railway, Ministry of External Affairs, AFHQ, Other Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations)
  • Assistant (Other Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations)
  • Inspector Central Excise (CBIC)
  • Inspector Preventive Officer (CBIC)
  • Inspector Examiner (CBIC)
  • Assistant Enforcement Officer (Directorate of Enforcement, Department of Revenue)
  • Sub Inspector (Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency (NIA))
  • Inspector Posts (Department of Post)
  • Inspector (Central Bureau of Narcotics)
  • Assistant/ Superintendent (Other Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations)
  • Divisional Accountant (Offices under C&AG)
  • Junior Statistical Officer (M/o Statistics & Programme Implementation.)
  • Statistical Investigator Grade-II (Registrar General of India)
Group C
  • Inspector of Income Tax (CBDT)
  • Auditor (Offices under C&AG, CGDA, Other Ministry/ Departments)
  • Accountant (Offices under C&AG)
  • Accountant/ Junior Accountant (Other Ministry/ Departments)
  • Senior Secretariat Assistant/ Upper Division Clerks (Central Govt. Offices/ Ministries other than CSCS cadres)
  • Tax Assistant (CBDT, CBIC)
  • Sub-Inspector (Central Bureau of Narcotics)
  • Upper Division Clerks (Date. Gen Border Road Organisation (MoD)


Under the RRB NTPC Exam, the following posts are offered to graduates and undergraduates

Category Posts
Under Graduate Level Posts
  • Junior Time Keeper
  • Trains Clerk
  • Accounts Clerk Cum Typist
  • Junior Clerk Cum Typist
  • Commercial Cum Ticket Clerk
Graduate Level Posts
  • Traffic Assistant
  • Goods Guard
  • Senior Clerk cum Typist
  • Senior Commercial cum Ticket Clerk
  • Senior Time Keeper
  • Junior Account Assistant cum Typist
  • Commercial Apprentice
  • Station Master


While choosing the career option, salary is one of the most important aspects that one considers in the initial stage only as it acts as a motivating factor. As we have discussed already the distinction between RRB NTPC and SSC CGL job profiles, in this section, we will have a look at the RRB NTPC vs SSC CGL Salary.

Group B

  • Pay Scale – 9,300 – 34,800/- (Pay band 2)
  • Grade Pay – Rs. 5400, Rs. 4800, Rs. 4600, and Rs. 4200

Group C:

  • Pay Scale – 5,200 – 20,200/- (Pay Band 1)
  • Grade Pay – Rs. 2800, Rs. 2400, Rs. 2000, Rs.1900, and Rs. 1800

SSC CGL Pay Levels

SSC CGL Pay Scales (in Rs)












Commercial Apprentice/ Traffic Apprentice:

  • Pay Scale – 9,300 – 34,800/-
  • Grade Pay – Rs. 4,200/-

Enquiry-Cum-Reservation Clerk/ Goods Guard/ Junior Accounts Assistant-cum-Typist/ Senior Clerk-Cum-Typist/ Assistant Station Master/ Traffic Assistant/ Timekeeper:

  • Pay Scale – Rs. 5,200 – 20,200/-
  • Grade Pay – Rs. 2,800/-

NTPC Pay Level

Initial Pay (Rs.)











SSC CGL vs RRB NTPC: Promotion

The third most important parameter after job profile and salary is the promotion and career path. Government jobs offer candidates job security and stability which is absent in the case of private jobs. One should have information on the career trajectory of the particular post before applying for the exams such as SSC CGL and RRB NTPC.

SSC CGL Post-wise Promotion

The table below mentions post-wise promotions that come under SSC CGL.



Assistant in Ministry of External Affairs

First promotion in 15-17 years without clearing departmental exam or else in 8 years if clear departmental exam.

Assistant (Other Ministries)

Section Officer – Under Secretary – Deputy Secretary.

Inspector (Central Excise) (CBEC)

Superintendent – Assistant Commissioner – Deputy Commissioner – Commissioner

Inspector (Preventive Officer) (CBEC)

Superintendent – Assistant Commissioner – Deputy Commissioner – Commissioner

Assistant (Central Vigilance Commission)

Sectional officer – Undersecretary – Deputy Secretary – Director.

Assistant in AFHQ

Section Officer – Deputy Director – Joint Director – Director – Principal Director.

Assistant in Ministry of Railway

Sectional officer – Undersecretary – Deputy Secretary – Director.

Assistant in Intelligence Bureau

Sectional officer – Undersecretary – Deputy Secretary.

Assistant Section Officer (CSS)

Assistant Section officer – Section Officer- Under Secretary- Joint Director – Director – Joint Secretary

Sub Inspectors (CBI)

Sub-Inspector (after 4 years)- Inspector- Deputy Superintendent – Additional Superintendent- Superintendent – Senior Superintendent

Sub-Inspector (Central Bureau of Narcotics)

Inspector – Superintendent of Narcotics – Assistant Narcotics Commissioner – Deputy Narcotics Commissioner – Narcotics Commissioner.

Sub Inspector in the National Investigation Agency (NIA)

Inspector – Deputy Superintendent – Superintendent

Inspector (Narcotics)

Superintendent of Narcotics – Assistant Narcotics Commissioner – Deputy Narcotics Commissioner – Narcotics Commissioner

Inspector (Examiner) (CBEC)

Appraiser – Assistant Commissioner – Deputy Commissioner – Commissioner.

Inspector (Department of Post)

Assistant Superintendent of Post – Postal Superintendent – Senior Superintendent of Post – Senior Superintendent of Post.

Divisional Accountant (CAG)

Divisional Account Officer II – Divisional Account Officer I – Sr. Divisional Account Officer

Statistical Investigator

Senior Statistical Officer – Assistant Director – Deputy Director – Joint Director.

Auditor (C&AG)

Senior Auditor – Assistant Audit Officer

Tax Assistant (CBEC)

Senior Tax Assistant – Excise Inspector – Superintendent/Appraiser – Assistant Commissioner – Deputy Commissioner – Joint Commissioner – Additional Commissioner of Income Tax

Accountant/ Junior Accountant (Offices under C&AG)

Senior Accountant – Assistant Accounts Officer – Principal Accounts Officer – Senior Accounts Officer.

Senior Secretariat Assistant

Assistant – Section Officer

Compiler (Registrar General of India)

There are fewer chances for promotion. The first promotion will be after 7-8 years if vacancies left. Will be promoted to the post of Director of the department.

Assistant Accounts Officer

Assistant Accounts Officer – Principal Accounts Officer – Senior Accounts Officer

Income Tax Inspector (CBDT)

Income Tax Officer – Assistant Commissioner – Deputy Commissioner – Joint Commissioner- Additional Commissioner – Commissioner.

Assistant Enforcement Officer

Assistant Enforcement Officer -Enforcement Officer – Assistant Director of Enforcement Directorate – Deputy Director – Joint Director -Additional Director – Special Director in Enforcement Directorate.

Assistant Audit Officer

AAO- Audit Officer -Senior Accounts Officer- Deputy Director / Deputy AG – Director / AG- Principal Director-Director General.

RRB NTPC Post-Wise Promotion

In the table given below, we have collated the promotion and career path of the RRB NTPC job profiles such as Goods guard, traffic assistant, station master, etc.


Name of the Post


Under Graduates

Junior Clerk cum Typist

Senior Clerk, cum Typist→Assistant Station Master.

Accounts Clerk cum Typist

Senior clerk cum typist→Chief Trains Clerk→Assistant Station Master to Goods Guard (GG)

Junior Time Keeper

Senior Time Keeper → Senior Time Keeper Grade II → Senior Time Keeper Grade I

Train Clerk

Senior Train Clerk → Chief Train Clerk

Commercial cum Ticket Clerk

Senior Commercial cum Ticket Clerk → Chief Commercial cum Ticket Clerk → Deputy Station Master

Graduate Category

Goods Guard

Passenger Guard → Express Guard → Section Controller → Chief Controller

Senior Commercial cum Ticket Clerk

Chief Train Clerk → Assistant Station Master

Traffic Assistant

Senior Traffic Assistant

Junior Account Assistant

Account Assistant → Junior Accounts officer → Senior Account officer → Deputy Accounts officer → Chief Accounts officer → Financial Advisor

Senior Time Keeper

Senior Time Keeper Grade II → Senior Time Keeper Grade I

Senior Clerk cum Typist

Chief Train Clerk → Assistant Station Master

Station Master

Station Superintendent → Assistant operation → Divisional Operation Manager

RRB NTPC vs SSC CGL: Nature of Work, Working Hours and Work Pressure

Let us evaluate the work-life balance of the work profiles available through the combined graduate level exam and the Non-Technical Popular Category (NTPC) using characteristics such as work type, work pressure, and working hours.

Nature of Job SSC CGL comprises about 30 departments. Work will differ depending on the department. In general, the job entails Supervision, Administrative Tasks, and any other assignment delegated by top authorities from time to time. As an officer, you will go through extensive training to learn the intricacies of administration. RRB NTPC offers non-technical positions. After joining, you are assigned to a department based on your merit, and you are responsible for the responsibilities associated with that position. You will get an initial orientation and training. The scope of labor encompasses a wide range of tasks. 
Top posts involve working in ministries No post involves working in Ministries, less pressure in that way
Work Pressure More Public Interaction and working under ministers lead to work pressure at times Less Public Interaction leads to less work pressure
Working Hours Fixed Working Hours, 9 – 5 kind of job, might have to work longer at times but not always The work schedule will be determined by your position and the department. It might be a day work, a night job, or anything else that the railways require.

SSC CGL vs RRB NTPC: Which is Better for Females?

It is important for the female aspirants to check which posts of SSC CGL and RRB NTPC exams suit them and fulfil their preference for the job roles especially those related to the working hours and working environment.

Better for Females

It is mostly preferred by female candidates

  • Most of the posts involve desk job
  • Good Work-life balance
  • Attractive salary
  • No transfer when selected as ASO in CSS, i.e. secure

Less preferred by female candidates

  • Not a desk job
  • Less salary
  • Some posts involve more physical labour

SSC CGL vs RRB NTPC: Transfer

Both RRB NTPC and SSC CGL offer government positions. Transfers are made on the basis of seniority/promotion in both organizations.

  • Officials are often transferred in every 4-5 yrs
  • In CSS, there will be no transfer. you will be required to stay in Delhi always.
  • Officials are often transferred in every 4-5 yrs
  • Can be given transfer in the village area

SSC CGL vs RRB NTPC: Selection Process and Syllabus

If you are planning to apply for either SSC CGL or NTPC exam after learning all the career aspects of the exams, here is how you can make the career option out of these exams. Let us check the selection process and syllabus of both exams and choose the one which is compatible for you

Selection Process

Two Tiers:

  • Tier 1 – Objective Multiple-Choice Type
  • Tier 2 – Objective Multiple-Choice Type and CPT/Skill Test

Two Tiers:

  • 1st stage CBT (Prelims)
  • 2nd Stage CBT (Mains)
Difference in Syllabus

English is part of the Syllabus

SSC CGL Syllabus involves an advanced maths section

RRB NTPC Syllabus does not have English as a part.

No advanced math in the syllabus

Difficulty Level of the Exam It is tougher because of the high competition as it offers varied job profiles in different ministries and departments Easy compared to SSC CGL


After comparing both exams, it is safe to say that SSC CGL is better than RRB NTPC because of the following reasons

  • offers a variety of jobs as compared to limited jobs offered under RRB NTPC
  • Attractive salary
  • Good career option with enough career growth
  • offers higher posts compared to RRB NTPC posts
  • Mostly preferred by Female candidates
  • Perfect work-life balance

It is important to say that thousands of aspirants apply for these two exams every year and compete to get selected as both the exams overall offer a great package and a good career option.

All The Best !!!


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