I examine the careers of civil servants in Qing China between 1850 and 1912 by comparing the first appointment and subsequent promotion of officials according to whether they were appointed on the basis of an exam degree, a purchased degree, or affiliation with the Eight Banners. Exam degree holders have received by far the most attention in previous studies of Qing officials, but purchase degree holders and Bannermen together accounted for most officials. I compare the types of offices held, their career length, prospects for advancement to high office. I make use of the China Government Employee Dataset-Qing (CGED-Q) which contains 2,449,311 quarterly records of 124,474 civil officials during the period 1850-1912. The CGED-Q records almost all civil officials, ranging from low-level county officials all the way up to the highest officials serving in the capital. This is the first quantitative study to study Qing officialdom in its entirety by use of longitudinal microdata, and one of a small number of such studies for any government bureaucracy.