United Nations Staff Categories (2023)

UNFPA uses thepersonnel categories employed across the United Nations system. Within each category, there are different levels, which reflect increasing levels of responsibilities and requirements. The information in this section will help you decide which personnel category, and what level, you fit into. This will be useful when you start searching and applying for jobs.

Broadly speaking, there are three distinct staff categories for personnel at UNFPA, and in the UN system as a whole. Click on the categories below for more information:

Professional (P) and Director (D) staff
General Service (G) staff
National Professional Officers (NO)

There are also other kinds of employment and opportunities at UNFPA and in the UN. These are not necessarily staff positions, but they are roles that support UNFPA's work around the world. Click below to learn more:

Temporary staff (also called Temporary Appointments)
United Nations Volunteers
Junior Professional Officer
Service contract holders

Click here to learn about UNFPA’s language requirements.

Professional and Director-level staff

What are Professional (P) and Director (D) positions?

P and D positions require strong analytical and communication skills, substantial experience and, often, solid leadership ability. There are a variety of jobs within this categories, ranging from programme specialists and operations experts to communications specialists, information systems professionals, and many others. These positions are normally internationally recruited.

Directors represent the highest level on UNFPA’s career staffing structure. As a Director, you’re expected to manage a team, determine priorities and allocate resources for an entire office or unit.

What is UNFPA looking for in a candidate for a P or D position?

We are looking for someone who is first and foremost absolutely committed to UNFPA's mandate!

In addition to technical expertise, which varies by position, we want a strategic thinker who achieves results, an excellent communicator who is a full-time advocate for the organization, and a team player who embraces the tremendous diversity of our workforce.

What education and work experience do I need for P or D positions?

Generally, we require that you have an advanced university degree for P- and D-level positions.

These are the work experience requirements for each level:
P1 - No work experience required
P2 - Minimum of 2 years of work experience
P3 - Minimum of 5 years of work experience
P4 - Minimum of 7 years of work experience
P5 - Minimum of 10 years of work experience
D1 - Minimum of 15 years of work experience
D2 - More than 15 years of work experience

Why are personnel in the P and D categories considered international staff?

Personnel in these categories are normally internationally recruited, meaning that they are hired to work at an office (duty station) outside of their home country. You can expect to serve at different duty stations around the world over the course of your career.

For headquarters and regional office posts, all nationalities are welcome to apply.

General Service staff

What are General Service (G) positions?

General Service roles include administrative, secretarial and clerical support as well as specialized positions such as building maintenance. These positions are crucial the smooth operation of the organization as a whole. The higher the level of the job, the more complex the functions become.

What is UNFPA looking for in a candidate for a G position?

Because General Service staff support the functioning of UNFPA, we are looking for candidates who achieve results in operational, procedural and technical capacities.

A commitment to making UNFPA successful is essential! We want someone who is analytical and can handle routine to complex tasks with dedication.

We also want an excellent teammate who embraces diversity and is eager to provide creative ideas for improving UNFPA processes.

What education and work experience do I need for General Service (G) category positions?

Completion of secondary (high school) education is a requirement.

These are the work experience requirements for each level:
G1 - No work experience required
G2 - Minimum of 2 years of work experience
G3 - Minimum of 3 years of work experience
G4 - Minimum of 4 years of work experience
G5 - Minimum of 5 years of work experience
G6 - Minimum of 6 years of work experience
G7 - Minimum of 7 years of work experience

Who is eligible to be considered for a G position?

General Service personnel are recruited locally from the area in which a office/duty station is located. They can be of any nationality, but should be legally permitted to work in the country where the office/duty station is located.

National Professional Officers

What are National Professional Officer (NO) positions?

NO roles are similar to Professional (P) roles, but they are normally locally recruited, meaning these staff are recruited to work at a duty station in their home country.

NO positions usually have a national context, i.e. functions that require national experience or knowledge of the national language, culture, institutions and systems.

Jobs for National Professional Officers can only be found in non-headquarters duty stations.

What education and work experience do I need for National Professional Officer (NO) category positions?

Normally, it is required that you have an advanced university degree for the National Officer level positions.

These are the work experience requirements for each level:
NOA - No work experience required
NOB - Minimum of 2 years of work experience
NOC - Minimum of 5 years of work experience
NOD - Minimum of 7 years of work experience

Temporary staff

UNFPA hires temporary staff internationally and locally for limited periods to perform staff functions for which there is no ongoing, long-term need, for example to replace a staff member on extended leave or to work on a project. Due to the short-term nature of the engagement, staff on temporary positions do not receive the full benefits package received by our regular staff. International temporary positions are normally advertised through e-Recruit. Local positions are often advertised locally.

Individual consultants

People are occasionally retained by UNFPA as individual consultants to provide specialized non-staff related functions required by UNFPA on a short-term or intermittent basis to meet a particular requirement. Due to the widely varying needs met by these types of assignments, the means of sourcing individual consultants and the related terms and conditions will vary as appropriate. Some consultancies are posted at unfpa.org/jobs. Others are posted at the country level. Potential candidates may also apply to UNFPA's consultant roster. See more here.

Internship programme

The UNFPA Internship Programme offers a small group of outstanding students the opportunity to acquire direct exposure to UNFPA operations. It is designed to complement development oriented studies with practical experience in various aspects of UNFPA work. Applicants should have an interest in the field of development; ability to adapt to new environments and work with individuals from different cultural backgrounds. Interns work under the supervision of a staff member at UNFPA. The background of the interns is matched with the needs of the organization. See more here.

Qualifying for an Internship

Candidates for the internship programme are selected on a competitive basis. The profiles of the interns are matched with the needs of the organization. Applicants should be enrolled in a degree programme at an accredited university or in a similar educational programme. Applicants must have written and spoken proficiency in English; fluency in French, Spanish or Arabic is an asset.

Financial Aspects

Interns do not receive any remuneration from UNFPA. The costs associated with participation in the programme must be assumed either by the nominating institution (which may provide financial assistance to its students) or by the students themselves, who will have to meet living expenses as well as make their own arrangements for accommodation, travel and other requirements. In addition, applicants must have medical insurance for the duration of the internship. Proof of insurance will need to be submitted before the internship begins.

Application Procedure

Applicants interested in participating in UNFPA’s Internship Programme at Headquarters in New York shouldapply through e-Recruit. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For information about internships outside headquarters, please contact the relevant UNFPA office.

United Nations Volunteer Programme

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. The UNV programme partners with governments and with UN, non-profit and private sector organizations in order to support development programmes. The UNV programme identifies and engages professionals who can deliver services and fulfill a wide range of specialised tasks to work as United Nations Volunteers.

UNFPA is one of the UN partners which utilizes the services of United Nations Volunteers engaged by the UNV programme to help deliver its mandate.

For more information: If you are interested in learning more about the UNV programme please go UNV’s website (www.unv.org) to see what kind of opportunities are available and to find details on how to apply.

Junior Professional Officer

UNFPA also participates in the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) programme.JPOs are sponsored by their government (or in some limited cases a JPO programme-participating government may sponsor a small number of developing country nationals).

The purpose of the JPO programme is to provide young people (normally under 32 years of age) who want to pursue a career in development assistance with professional experience within the United Nations system.

Clickherefor more information.

Service contract holders

UNFPA sometimes engages personnel in its field locations as non-staff service contract holders. Service contract holders are often not located in a UNFPA office but with an implementing partner. Service contracts are issued in increments from 6 months up to one year.

Service contract holders must be nationals of, or hold a work permit in, the country of employment. Typically, they work in support of the project activities of implementing partners, provide a government with additional personnel with technical or operational skills, or support functions that would normally be outsourced to a company (e.g., janitor, gardener).

There are five types of service contracts:

SB1- This represents work in the custodial, maintenance, security, driving and messenger areas; this is considered mechanical and physical operations.
SB2- This represents work of a more basic processing, support nature, including clerical and secretarial work as well as certain technical functions; this work requires appropriate educational background and relevant work experience.
SB3- This represents work of a specialized and comprehensive support nature, progressing to integrated execution at the higher level; this work requires appropriate educational background and relevant work experience.
SB4- This represents work of an analytical nature, requiring basic conceptual comprehension; this work requires appropriate educational background and relevant work experience.
SB5- This represents work of a conceptual, analytical and advisory nature at the higher professional level, related to development, humanitarian and emergency project work that requires substantive innovation and may involve functions that are supervisory in nature to oversee project activities. Qualifications at this level include a postgraduate degree and relevant experience commensurate with the job.

Service contracts are often advertised locally. For more information contact the UNFPA office in your area.

Language requirements

What languages do I need to know to be considered for a job at UNFPA?

An excellent command of English is required to work at UNFPA. In rare cases, a working knowledge of English and fluency in the language of the duty station is sufficient. Language requirements will always be indicated in the job description for a position.

The official languages of the United Nations are: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Knowing languages in addition to the job description requirements is considered an asset.


How to pass the UN written test? ›

Practice reading in the language in which you are going to take the test for the Verbal Reasoning section. Practice basic arithmetic skills such as calculating percentages and changes in percentages. Familiarise yourself with the United Nations Core Values and Competencies Framework.

What are the categories of the UN? ›

The main bodies of the United Nations are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. All were established under the UN Charter when the Organization was founded in 1945.

What are the three 3 categories of employees? ›

Let's explore each type in detail.
  • Type 1: The Freeloader. These are those looking for a source of income; not for a job. ...
  • Type 2: The Worker. These are those actually looking for a job. ...
  • Type 3: The Entrepreneur. These are those pursuing a higher purpose. ...
  • Conclusion. ...
  • What do you think?
Feb 23, 2016

What are the 6 employee types? ›

Here are 6 types of employees, and how managers can help them produce their best work:
  • The Social Butterfly. ...
  • The Leader. ...
  • The Harsh Critic. ...
  • The Introvert. ...
  • The Procrastinator. ...
  • The Recent Graduate.
Feb 19, 2023

Is it hard to get a job at United Nations? ›

It is generally considered hard to get a job at the UN for several main reasons: language skills requirements, high competition, specific experience, and a rigorous selection process.

How do you ace an UN interview? ›

Prepare a wide range of brief real life stories about your accomplishments. Be aware of the specific skills each story illustrates and remember to include the positive outcome or lesson learned from each experience. Be ready to discuss your strengths and your ability to learn from past experiences.

What are the five categories of UN efforts? ›

The work of the United Nations covers five main areas:
  • Maintain International Peace and Security.
  • Protect Human Rights.
  • Deliver Humanitarian Aid.
  • Support Sustainable Development and Climate Action.
  • Uphold International Law.

How many UN staff are there? ›

Total number of personnel in 2021: 119,870
UN WOMEN812934
80 more rows

What are the 5 structures of United Nations? ›

The Structure of the United Nations
  • The General Assembly.
  • The Security Council.
  • The Secretariat with the Secretary-General.
  • The Economic and Social Council.
  • The International Court of Justice.
  • The Trusteeship Council.

What is UN p4 level salary? ›

Wondering how much a P-4 is paid? The base salary is usually between 90,970 USD and 117,287 USD per year. It's common to have salary adjustments depending on the location.

How much does a p4 earn in UN? ›

The salary for this job should be between 120,171 USD and 154,936 USD.

How much does a p4 get paid in the UN? ›

The salary for this job should be between 126,084 USD and 162,560 USD.

What are the categories of employee status? ›

The three main types of employment status are: worker. employee. self-employed.

How do you define employee categories? ›

What is employee classification? There are a number of classifications into which an employee might fall. These classifications include: Full-time, Part-time, Temporary, Intern and Seasonal. Employees are usually classified based on the hours worked, the expected duration of the job, and the job duties.

What are the 4 ways that we classify employees? ›

Employees in the workplace can be categorized in several ways. Within the standard employment type, an employee is either a full-time employee, a part-time employee, an on-call employee, or a classified employee.

What are the 7 types of employees? ›

Types of employees
  • Full-time.
  • Part-time.
  • Casual.
  • Fixed term.
  • Shiftworkers.
  • Daily hire and weekly hire.
  • Probation.
  • Apprentices and trainees.
Jul 12, 2022

What are the 7 types of staffing? ›

The staffing function includes recruitment, selection, training, development, transfer, promotion and compensation of personnel.

Are UN employees well paid? ›

The highest-paying job at United Nations is a Consultant with a salary of ₹14.0 Lakhs per year. The top 10% of employees earn more than ₹31 lakhs per year. The top 1% earn more than a whopping ₹100.70 lakhs per year.

What is the hardest job of the United Nations? ›

The role of the United Nations (UN) human rights chief is under intense international scrutiny after the long-awaited release of a strong report on grave human rights violations in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Do UN employees make a lot of money? ›

For entry level professionals (P1 - P3) the annual net base salary for example can range from USD 37,000 - 80,000 (obviously this can range from organization and is used as a guideline only). Having said that, salaries, grants and allowances paid by the United Nations are normally exempt from income tax!

Is 4 days enough to study for an exam? ›

Ideally, studying should start at least five days in advance of the exam to allow students an ample amount of time to go over course concepts and materials, and reach out to their instructor or peers if they find they have any questions.

How do you pass an exam if you have not studied anything? ›

How to Pass an Exam Without Studying
  1. Reading and Understanding the Exam.
  2. Answering Difficult Questions on the Exam.
  3. Tackling Multiple Choice Questions.
  4. Choosing the Best Answer on True/False Sections.
  5. Improving Your Mental State for the Exam.

How many people are shortlisted for UN interview? ›

Usually, not more than 10 candidates are invited for the interview. A common interview is arranged by Skype but can be personal. Examples of interview questions you may see here. If your Interview is succeeded you will receive a job offer on the email after 1 - 2 weeks (sometimes it may even after 1 month).

Why do you want to work for United Nations answer? ›

Promoting international peace, strengthening action towards climate control, human rights, the eradication of poverty, and education are all objectives I want to be a part of.

What are the six tips to ace your interviews? ›

Check out these 6 tips to help you prepare for and ace your next job interview!
  • Stay focused. ...
  • Do your research and prepare questions. ...
  • Be prepared and don't hesitate to talk about your skillset. ...
  • Be yourself and try to relax. ...
  • Be ready for a virtual interview.
Feb 16, 2023

What are the 17 categories of sustainability as described by the United Nations? ›

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are: (1) no poverty, (2) zero hunger, (3) good health and well-being, (4) quality education, (5) gender equality, (6) clean water, (7) affordable and clean energy, (8) decent work and economic growth, (9) industry, innovation and infrastructure, (10) reduced inequality, (11) ...

What are the 4 pillars of the United Nations? ›

The Preamble of the UN Charter describes four areas that are the pillars of the UN: Peace and Security; Human Rights; The Rule of Law; and, Development.

What are the 6 principles of the United Nations? ›

Most work, however, is delegated to six main committees: (1) Disarmament and International Security, (2) Economic and Financial, (3) Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural, (4) Special Political and Decolonization, (5) Administrative and Budgetary, and (6) Legal.

What is the average age of United Nations staff? ›

The most common age range of United Nations employees is 20-30 years. 41% of United Nations employees are between the ages of 20-30 years.

What is UN common system staff? ›

The common system is designed to avoid serious discrepancies in terms and conditions of employment, to avoid competition in recruitment of personnel and to facilitate the interchange of personnel. It applies to over 52,000 staff members serving at over 600 duty stations. Role of the United Nations Secretariat.

What is a UN staff officer? ›

UNITED NATIONS STAFF OFFICER COURSE. Target audience. The UNSOC is intended for military personnel selected by UN Member States to be deployed as military staff officers in a UN Peacekeeping operation (OF 2-5 or OR 6-9 with national staff training).

Who are the Big Five in the United Nations? ›

Five permanent members: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with end of term year): Albania (2023) Brazil (2023)

What are the 5 branches and what are their functions of the United Nations? ›

The United Nations is comprised of five main organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice. Historically, a sixth main organ, the Trusteeship Council, played a significant role in the process of decolonization.

What are the six major divisions of the United Nations quizlet? ›

Six basic organs of the U.N. The International Court of Justice; Security Council; Economic + Social Council; Trusteeship Council; General Assembly; Secretariat.

What is a p5 position UN? ›

This kind of contract is known as Professional and Director staff. It is normally internationally recruited only. It's a staff contract. It usually requires 10 years of experience, depending on education.

What is a g5 UN salary? ›

The salary for this job should be more than 7,010 USD.

What does g6 mean in UN salary scale? ›

This is a G-6 contract. This kind of contract is known as General Service and related categories. It is normally only for nationals. It usually requires 6 years of experience, depending on education.

How much is P3 in UN salary? ›

Wondering how much a P-3 is paid? The base salary is usually between 74,649 USD and 97,747 USD per year. It's common to have salary adjustments depending on the location. Salaries, grants and allowances paid by the United Nations are normally exempt from income tax.

How much does P3 at UN get paid? ›

The salary for this job should be between 103,464 USD and 135,477 USD.

How much does a P3 at UN make? ›

The salary for this job should be between 103,687 USD and 135,771 USD.

Do UN staff pay tax? ›

Many UN employees have a unique tax status and are not assumed to be normal tax residents yet holding investments which come under withholding tax regimes could lead to paying unnecessary taxes.

What is d2 level in UN? ›

Directors (D-1 and D-2 levels) represent the highest level on the career staffing structure of the Organization. As a Director you manage a programme of the Organization.

How much does a P2 position at the UN pay? ›

Base UN salary scale is established by the General Assembly for various categories of specialists: P1: $70,533.00 — $85,114.00. P2: $86,908.00 — $95,978.00.

What are the four classifications of employees? ›

Learn the main differences between full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees. It's hard to keep up with all of the different types of employees.

What are the staff positions? ›

A staff-level job is a position in which the employee provides labor to a company.
Here are a few examples of staff-level jobs:
  • Staff writer.
  • Staff photographer.
  • Staff accountant.
  • Staff engineer.
  • Staff librarian.
Aug 11, 2021

What are the four groups of workers? ›

Professor Margarita Mayo uses examples from the world of football to provide some useful do's and don'ts on managing the four types of workers; all stars, high performers, high potentials, and problem employees.

What are the different groups of workers? ›

Instead, it has identified six main worker types: operators, givers, artisans, explorers, pioneers and strivers.

What are the 5 types of employees? ›

The most common employee classifications include:
  • Part-time employees.
  • Full-time employees.
  • Seasonal employees.
  • Temporary employees.
  • Leased employees.
5 days ago

What is employee categorization? ›

Employees are categorized into two basic “buckets”: mission-critical and non-mission-critical functions. “This categorization is essential for future identification of necessary resources, including acquisition of personal protective equipment and training,” Phelps said.

What are classifications of positions? ›

What is Position Classification? Position classification is the process used to allocate a position's defined duties and responsibilities to a job standard. The position classification process involves reviewing the duties and responsibilities assigned to a position.

How many categories of work are there? ›

The nature of work done can be categorized in three classes. They are positive work, negative work and zero work. The nature of work depends on the angle between force and displacement. Positive work- if the applied force displaces the object in its direction, then the work done is known as positive work.

What is the best category for employee? ›

Have a look to decide which one you belong to.
  • Innovator and pioneer. ...
  • Loyal employee. ...
  • Efficient employee. ...
  • A good Samaritan. ...
  • Great work ethic. ...
  • One who gets things done. ...
  • Reliable perfectionist. ...
  • Self improver and future high achiever.
Oct 6, 2017

What are the two types of workers category? ›

Types of Workers
  • Hired Worker: These are workers who are employed by others (employers) and receive a salary/wage as compensation for work. ...
  • Casual Worker: These are workers who are engaged by employers on a temporary basis for some specific work.


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