RRB ALP Vs SSC CHSL, Which is the Better Option?

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Railway Recruitment Board Assistant Loco Pilot and Staff Selection Commission Combined Higher Secondary Level are two prominent government exams of different education levels. RRB ALP is a graduate-level examination while SSC CHSL is an intermediate-level examination. RRB ALP is conducted to recruit candidates in Indian Railways for the post of Assistant Loco Pilot. SSC recruits candidates for various Clerical posts in the different ministries/departments of the government. This blog will provide you with a detailed analysis of the RRB ALP Vs SSC CHSL to clear your doubt regarding the better option.

Eligibility Criteria

  • For RRB ALP, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering background from a government-recognized university.
  • For SSC CHSL, candidates must have passed intermediate from a government-recognized board.

Recruitment Process

RRB ALP has a three-phase selection process while SSC CHSL has two tier examination. We have mentioned below the detailed exam pattern for both examinations.

RRB ALP Selection Process

The different phases of the RRB ALP are as follows:

  • CBT Stage- 1
  • CBT Stage- 2 ( Part A and Part B)
  • CBAT (Computer-Based Aptitude Test)
  • Document Verification

CBT Stage 1 Exam Pattern

SubjectsNo. of QsMarks
General Intelligence & Reasoning2525
General Science2020
General Awareness on Current Affairs1010

A total duration of 60 minutes will be allotted to the candidates.

CBT Stage 2 Exam Pattern

  • The Second Stage of CBT will consist of two parts: Part A and Part B.
  • Part A will have questions on Maths, Reasoning, Basic Science and engineering, and Current affairs.
  • There will be a total of 100 questions to be solved in 90 minutes for Part A whereas Part B will consist of questions on Relevant Discipline/Trade and will have 75 questions to be solved in 60 minutes.
  • Part B will be of qualifying nature only whereas the marks of Part A will decide the progress of the candidates to the next stages of the selection process.
Parts SubjectsNo. of QuestionsDuration
Part AMaths
General Intelligence & Reasoning
Basic Science & Engineering
General Awareness of Current Affairs
10090 Mins
Part BRelevant Trade7560 Mins
Total1752 Hours 30 Mins

SSC CHSL Selection Process

SSC CHSL has a two-tier stage of the examination. We have mentioned below the exam pattern for both tiers.

Tier 1 Exam Pattern

SubjectsQuestionsTotal Marks
General Awareness2550
General Intelligence 2550
Quantitative Aptitude2550
English Language2550


  • A total time of 60 minutes is there.
  • The Tier-I Examination will consist of Objective Type, Multiple choice questions only. The questions will be set in English and Hindi for Part II, III & IV.
  • There will be a negative marking of 0.50 marks for each wrong answer. Candidates are, therefore, advised to keep this in mind while answering the questions.

Tier 2 Exam Pattern

The SSC CHSL exam pattern has been changed this year, find the updated exam pattern below.

of Questions
Maximum MarksTime allowed
(2 hours
& 15 minutes)
Module-I:   Mathematical Abilities
Module II:      Reasoning and General Intelligence.
Total = 60
= 180
1 hour (for each section) (1 hour & 20 minutes for the candidates eligible for a scribe as  per Para-8.1 and 8.2)
Module-I:            English Language & Comprehension
Module II:          General Awareness
Total = 60
= 180
Module-I:        Computer Knowledge Module
= 45
15 Minutes (20   minutes for the      candidates eligible      for a scribe as per Para-8.1 and 8.2)
Module-II: Skill Test/ Typing Test Module
Part A: Skill Test for DEOs.15 Minutes (20 minutes for the   candidates eligible  for a scribe as per Para-8.1 and 8.2)
   Part B: Typing Test for LDC/ JSA.10 Minutes (15 minutes for the      candidates eligible       for a scribe as per Para-8.1 and 8.2)

There will be a negative marking of 1 mark for each wrong answer.

*For the visually handicapped (40% disability) the test duration is 30 minutes.

Salary and Job Profile

We have mentioned below the detailed salary and job profile for both the RRB ALP and SSC CHSL.


Candidates who have applied for the RRB ALP must know about the job profile. Following are the duties of the RRB ALP

  • Help the Loco Driver in tuning the Locomotive.
  • Maintaining the productivity of the Locomotive by increasing sectional average speed, punctuality, safety & security.
  • Keep an eye on the signal & indicate it further.
  • Repairing the Locomotive (if required).
  • Noticing track defect through jerk or lurch.
  • Checking the efficiency of the locomotive


The salary structure of the RRB ALP is as follows:

Grade Pay1900/-
Pay Scale19,900/-
Assistant Loco Pilot SalaryGross 35,000/-


The SSC CHSL exam is conducted for openings in DEO, LDC/JSA, PA/SA positions. The job profile is different for the different positions.

DEO Job Profile

  1. Entering data from records to system using database management software
  2. Working with office suite ( word, excel, PowerPoint)
  3. Updating and verifying data from various records.

LDC Job Profile

  1. Drafting simple letters and indexing of information
  2. Entering data from records into computer
  3. Deal with the clerical work and maintain the workflow in the office.
  4. Receiving and storage of important documents and information.

PA/SA Job Profile

  1. Attending customer queries and providing support.
  2. Mail disposal and maintaining the records.


The SSC CHSL Salary ranges from Rs 33,000 to Rs 40,000 per month, according to the updated 7th Pay Commission, depending on the designation and work profile. To learn more about the SSC CHSL remuneration in hand for each position, click here.

Work-Life Balance

  • As the Assistant Loco Pilots, candidates do not have any fixed holidays or festival holidays. Their off depends on the timetable of the trains they are operating. ALPs working in longer route trains may have long working hours and if trains get delayed it is expected to be more extended. Assistant Loco Pilots may find it difficult to have a balance between their work and life.
  • Candidates posted in government departments through SSC CHSL have weekly off and a specific working hour which is generally a 9-5 job. Having emergency or working weekly offs is very rare in these positions. Candidates also have festival holidays and have an overall better work-life balance.

Future Scope & Career Growth

  • As we mentioned above, its very hard to have personal time or work-life balance as an Assistant Loco Pilot. So, candidates who want to prepare for other examinations or do further studies may find it difficult to spare time.
  • Talking about career growth as ALP, you will be first promoted as Sr. ALP, then as Loco Pilot, and finally as Sr. Loco Pilot. After which you will get an office.
  • As an LDC, UDC, or DEO you can always prepare for other government examinations and usually have a great work-life balance and a lot of spare time to focus on your studies and hobbies.
  • After clearing SSC CHSL, you will receive promotions along with which you can also give departmental exams and get promoted to Group “B” and “C” posts.

RRB ALP Vs SSC CHSL – Conclusion

The preference between RRB ALP (Railway Recruitment Board Assistant Loco Pilot) and SSC CHSL (Staff Selection Commission Combined Higher Secondary Level) depends on individual career goals and interests. RRB ALP is suitable for those seeking technical roles in the railways, with a focus on operating and maintaining locomotives. On the other hand, SSC CHSL opens doors to non-technical positions such as clerks and data entry operators in government offices.

The “better” job depends on factors like personal preferences, educational background, and the nature of work one finds fulfilling. If you have a technical inclination and enjoy working in the railway sector, RRB ALP might be a better fit. However, if you prefer non-technical roles in government offices and have skills in areas like data entry or clerical work, then SSC CHSL could be more appealing.

Consider your career aspirations, skills, and interests to make an informed decision about which job aligns better with your goals and preferences.

RRB ALP Vs SSC CHSL – Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 RRB ALP Vs SSC CHSL, which is the better?

Ans. Candidates can check the detailed analysis of the RRB ALP Vs SSC CHSL mentioned in this blog.

Q.2 Is SSC CHSL an intermediate-level examination?

Ans. Yes, SSC CHSL is an intermediate-level examination.


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