What it means to work for the UN
The world looks to the United Nations for solutions to complex problems everywhere; from ending conflict and alleviating poverty, to combating climate change and defending human rights. The issues on our agenda are manifold and diverse as are the careers we offer. Among our ranks you will find staff members who monitor elections, disarm child soldiers, coordinate relief in humanitarian crises and provide administrative as well as logistical support to carry out our complex mandates. These are just a few examples amongst our many other equally critical and necessary functions.
As an international civil servant, you are expected to uphold the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity in all matters affecting your work and status. Integrity includes probity, impartiality, fairness, honesty and truthfulness. Those we serve have a right to expect no less. [ learn more ]
What are my career options?
There are a number of ways that you can join the
United Nations' teams across the globe. Some options are to work for a short time, volunteer your services or become a long term staff member.
- Professional and higher categories - Work in the Professional category generally demands a high degree of analytical and communication skills, substantive expertise and/or managerial leadership ability. Typically, these positions require judgment in analyzing and evaluating problems as well as in decision-making involving discretionary choices between alternative courses of action. They also require the understanding of an organized body of theoretical knowledge at a level equivalent to that represented by a university degree. While this knowledge is customarily and characteristically acquired through formal education, it may, in some fields of learning or specialized disciplines, be acquired through other training, self-study, or practical experience.
- General Service and related categories - The work carried out by General Service staff supports the functioning of the Organization and is typically procedural, operational or technical in nature. The work in these categories ranges from routine duties to varied and complex assignments. The knowledge of the subject matter and higher-level skills are generally developed through long experience and familiarity with applicable procedures, regulations and precedents or projects of the Organization in a narrow technical field or in an administrative support activity. The higher the level of the job, the more complex the functions become along with higher levels of responsibility.
Staff in the General Service and related categories are generally recruited locally from the area in which the particular office is located but could be of any nationality. As a result, such staff members are usually not expected to move between different duty stations.
- National Professional Officers - National Professional Officers are normally locally recruited and perform functions at the professional level. The qualifications for National Professional Officers are the same as for the Professional category and require as a minimum a first-level university degree. Jobs for National Professional Officers can only be found in non-headquarters duty stations.
National Professional Officers are nationals of the country in which they are serving and their functions must have a national context, i.e. functions that require national experience or knowledge of the national language, culture, institutions, and systems. Examples of these positions include human rights officers, political affairs officers, legal officers, medical officers, child protection officers, humanitarian affairs officers, interpreters and civil engineers.
- Field Service - Staff in the Field Service category are normally recruited internationally to serve in field missions. You are expected to be highly mobile and to serve in different locations during your career. They provide administrative, technical, logistics and other support services to United Nations field missions. You are required to have as a minimum a High School diploma or equivalent; some positions may require a technical or vocational certificate.
- Senior Appointments -As is the practice in many other international institutions, one arrives at the highest positions in the Secretariat either by appointment of the Organization's legislative organs or Chief Administrative Officer. These positions include: Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, Under Secretary-General, Assistant Secretary-General.