Working with the UN

Working with the UN

The United Nations is an exciting a dynamic place to work, intern or volunteer. Opportunities to work with the UN are varied, and there are several methods of recruitment.

Download our UN Careers Guide for Australian young professionals:


UN Opportunities Around the World

Recruitment for Professional and General Positions

Staff members in the Professional and higher categories (P and D) are normally internationally recruited and are expected to serve at different duty stations throughout their career with the Organization. Openings for professional jobs can be found at all duty stations across the global United Nations Secretariat. Information on vacant Professional positions and how to apply can be found on the United Nations Careers website.

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. Jobs in selected language positions in the General Service category such as Editorial and Desktop Publishing assistants may be recruited internationally if candidates with the special language requirements are not available locally. Entry-level jobs in the General Service and related categories are usually advertised locally, and you can find more information about positions vacant by contacting the local offices directly to ask about their entry-level job openings.

Young Professionals Programme

The UN Young Professionals Programme (YPP) is a recruitment initiative that brings new talent to the United Nations through an annual entrance examination. For young, high-calibre professionals across the globe, the examination is a platform for launching a career at the United Nations. For more information on the Young Professionals Program, including information on the application and examination process, click here.

UN Affiliated Agencies, Funds and Programmes

Many of the Specialised Agencies, Funds and Programmes of the United Nations conduct their own recruitment programmes. Candidates should, therefore, consult the appropriate agency’s website for information on positions vacant and the application process.

United Nations Volunteers

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organisation that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Close to 8,500 qualified, experienced and committed women and men of 170 nationalities serve each year as United Nations volunteers in over 140 countries, working in key areas such as poverty reduction, crisis recovery, elections support, governance and HIV/AIDS. For more information on the United Nations Volunteers, including how to apply, click here.

UN Opportunities in Australia

United Nations Online Volunteering Service

The United Nations Online Volunteering Service allows people to volunteer from their own home in their spare time. Volunteers contribute their skills online to help organisations address development challenges. Organisations collaborate with online volunteers over the internet to strengthen the impact of their development work. Volunteer tasks include, but are not limited to: writing and editing; research; design; translation; and consulting. Online volunteering opportunities are posted on

UN Women Australia

The National Committee for UN Women Australia is located in Canberra. They conduct local recruitment, run regular internship and volunteer programs, and have volunteer committees based in every capital city and some regional centres. For more information about opportunities with UN Women Australia, click here.

Australia for UNHCR

Australia for UNHCR (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is based in Sydney. They conduct local recruitment and run regular internship and volunteer programs. For more information about opportunities with Australia for UNHCR, click here.

UNHCR Regional Office

The UNHCR Regional Office for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific is based in Canberra. They conduct local recruitment from time to time. For more information on opportunities at the UNHCR Regional Office, click here.

The UN Information Centre

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) for Australia is based in Canberra. UNIC Canberra offers graduate and post-graduate students the opportunity to undertake an internship at the Centre. The programme aims to help students acquire practical experience to complement their studies, as well as to give exposure to the work of the United Nations. For information on how to apply for an internship at UNIC, click here.

UNICEF Australia

The National Committee for UNICEF in Australia is based in Sydney.  They conduct local recruitment and run regular internship and volunteer programs. For more information about opportunities with UNICEF Australia, click here.